Kuaotunu local Colin Verner has always been a lover of art and creativity. Although he never formally studied art in his younger years, it has been a hobby since childhood. In his 20s he took the plunge and went to study at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland and graduated with honors in 1996. He then received a graduate assistantship to study, work and live at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, USA.
After graduating he worked for an art consultant in NYC for about two years, and then decided to travel more. He spent four years teaching English based in South Korea, where he also expanded his artistic abilities with a studio there. He regularly exhibited alongside Korean artists and won the Hanam city arts festival award in the sculpture category in 2003.
When he decided it was time to settle down, his journey eventually brought him home to the Coromandel. As a lover of water activities, the Coromandel is the perfect home for Colin.“Living in the Coromandel I get the best of both worlds,” says Colin. “I get to pursue my passion and love for art, but I also get to enjoy the ocean and go out boating, diving and enjoying the beauty around me. Since settling here, I’ve found myself becoming more and more inclined to create artworks provoked by the environment. In particular the dynamism of the sea and the sky has become a source of inspiration for me. However, I don’t want to depict what we can already clearly see. For me art is an exploration of consciousness. My aim is to draw something of nature out from within myself. I create drawings and mixed media artworks that explore the melding of external phenomenon with the internal processes that function to make us conscious”.
Colin is a mixed media artist working predominantly with wood, but he also likes to work with glass and ceramics where he can. He has a range of artistic wood products for sale from his studio or online, and he also creates drawings and one-off mixed media sculptures. His studio in Kuaotunu is open by appointment, and during the summer months it is open to visitors most weekends if his banner is out on SH25.