Topic: Ken Wright: Painting with Light

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Ken Wright's career started in England with a 4 year course at Lincoln College of Art where he studied all aspects of design, exhibition, packaging, photography and illustration.

He then moved on to specialise in graphic design with a photographic twist. This gave a sound foundation to a multi-disciplined career spanning some 34 years in the industry.

Ken tells me, light-heartedly, that his claim to fame is the design of the commemorative ten dollar bank note released by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to celebrate the new millennium. He was principle project designer and team leader. I've carried one of these notes around in my wallet as a keepsake since 2000. To find out recently that Ken designed it was an interesting and intriguing happenstance.

After a life changing brush with cancer Ken decided to change career path and move into fine art photography.

Ken shifted with his family to the Bay of Plenty as a lifestyle change and to pursue his passion for ocean photography.

His creative photographic art is on show at the TECT Arena and in many private collections.

"As a fine art photographer I want to engage my viewer with the image and have them feel like they could walk right into the picture, pick up the rocks and smell the sea", he says.
For this Ken uses a wide angle lens, gets very close to the action and says, "If you're not wet, you're not close enough''.

Ken also likes to explore the outdoors around the Bay of Plenty and relishes the chance to capture our rivers and native bush on film. 

Ken Wright at work on his inspiring waterfalls project.

On a visit to Otanewainuku Forest to see Whataroa Falls Ken discovered a second waterfall and his latest project, a series of photographs of local waterfalls named "Beyond The Ledge" was born. 

Not only did he discover the second waterfall fall he discovered three more with the guidance and kind help of landowner Hanz Prendergast.  

The waterfall project expanded further with the help of McLaren Park Ranger Gary Borman and Ngatuhoa custodians Stu Emerson and Bob Mankelow. 

"Most people would only ever see one, some would see No.2. but the rest are .... way beyond the ledge.

"The falls project just blew me away ... being in an unspoilt environment that few people have seen is very special, almost spiritual.”

, Fern Gully - one of the Bay's beautiful waterfalls.

"On one early morning trip to Whataroa No.2. fall, I donned my fishing waders, got into the pool right next to a moss covered rock and waited for the light to change.

"It was pure heaven, no noise pollution, just the sound of nature meandering along its way as it has done for hundreds of years ... carving its own path through the bush.”

Ken's stunning exhibition, "Beyond the Ledge ~ Waterfalls" can be seen at Mt Maunganui's Lightwave Gallery, 31 Totara Street, until the 24th December 2012.  Visitors will also experience a captivating audio visual show designed by Ken that accompanies the exhibition.

For more information go to

by Pete Morris (December, 2012).

Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a freelance writer who has a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

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Ken Wright: Painting with Light

First Names:Ken
Last Name:Wright