Treasure to be found

13 August 2023

The kete featured in my still life images is of a cherished gift from a special friend, mentor and fellow artist.

I was gifted this kete from the family with the most beautiful story behind its maker.

I hosted and curated a retrospective exhibition a year after her passing celebrating a lifetime of her creative journey. On Great Barrier Island.

This kete is the first made by my friend.

Oh how the tears flowed when this was put in my hands.

The gift, from another’s hands.

What makes this kete even more special is my friends chosen subject matter and what she become known for, painting kete along with set still life scenes of meaningful spirit, kind of like personal still life portraits. Cathie Phillips was of Irish decent. Weaving and the appreciation for its form was celebrated in every piece Cathie painted.


The loss of my Mum (2022) revealed a paua wrapped with harakeke, when I was cleaning out her home. My Mum was born in Liverpool, England.

I am uncertain of how my Mum acquired this beautiful piece but it has stirred a river of emotions and a scene or series of work that I strongly am compelled to get on canvas.

Cathies kete was gifted to me in 2012 and the paua, 10 years on.

I started painting the combination and had to put it aside. It will come back to me to finish when the time is right.

Love always from Helen McLorinan.

P.s prints are available in A4 card by email request.


Public Art Studio - Open  Monday & Friday

487 Mokau Road, Mimi, Taranakii

Phone: +64 2740 55 49


All artwork and photography are the copyright of Helen McLorinan Art.

Images may not be printed or used commercially without prior permission