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A nostalgic Journey through Art

If you have visited Akaroa near Christchurch, chances are you’ve come across artist Deb Fuller, who runs the Lava Gallery with husband Dean. Her distinctive style captures typical old New Zealand with that sentimental feeling of an uncomplicated, quieter time of an era gone by. Deb’s subjects often sit in vast, barren landscapes, quiet and still, allowing your focus to settle without the busyness of noise or distractions. Ordinary objects and houses that speak of our cultural history and identity, particularly the New Zealand bungalow, villa, and state house, take centre stage.

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Frequent photography road trips around the country take Deb to her favourite places on the West Coast of the South Island, inspiring her work.  “The towns are still quintessentially old New Zealand, and that is what I try to recreate in some of my artworks.”

Deb uses a unique blend of mixed media painting on to canvas and photographic imagery.  It is the creative collaboration of two visual mediums that combine her love of painting and photography.

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Coming to Wellington

A big fan of the Art Across Aotearoa Shows, Deb has been a part of them every year since they began. She will be at the Wellington Art Show, in the new Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre.  “Wellington is such a great cosmopolitan city with an amazing vibe, and Wellingtonians seem to be very appreciative and supportive of the Artist’s Community,” she says.

Holding on to the presence

A gatherer of eclectic old chairs, Deb says, “I enjoy photographing them and incorporating them into my art.  For me, they hold a sense of the person who once occupied that space.  Having tragically lost a brother recently, from early onset dementia, now more than ever is that feeling of wanting to hold on to the present – for it is all that we have,” she says.

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Looking back, Deb believes her style initially evolved subconsciously from the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes when she would walk through the Red Zone. Seeing the suddenly empty homes and imagining the lives which they once contained behind the net-curtained windows evoked strong emotions that are evident in her style.

Born into an artistic family with dad, sister and two brothers all being artists, Deb began considering a creative path after the birth of her daughter 25 years ago.  Before opening her gallery space Lava 17 years ago, she used to do base herself at the Art Centre Market in Christchurch.

Meet the artist

If you’re in the lower North Island, love art and are free next weekend, head to the Wellington Art Show! What makes this show different is you can chat with all the artists, including Deb, about their work. Deb says “I very much enjoy being a part of them for the chance to get direct feedback from people visiting the shows and observing your work.”

“The opportunity to be a part of a community of artists is priceless for those of us that work so much on our own at home, and many amazing friendships have developed over the years.  Kate and John also do a great job of looking after and supporting the artists and making us feel as though we are more than just a commodity,” Deb says.

The first time in Wellington, the show has been a huge success in Christchurch for 14 years and moves on to Auckland and Queenstown later in the year.

Don’t forget to vote for the Lawson’s Dry Hills PINK award while at the show.

Wellington Details


Friday 19 April, 2024

5pm – 7.30pm


Friday 19 April, 2024

7.30 – 10.30pm


Saturday 20 April, 2024. 10am – 8pm

Sunday 21 April, 2024. 10am – 5pm

Find out more


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Gold Medal & Trophy Winner

We’re delighted that our Reserve Chardonnay was awarded a Gold medal and the Marlborough Chardonnay Trophy at the recent 2023 International Wine Challenge (IWC).

Now in its 39th year, the IWC is accepted as the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential annual wine competition.

Well done team!