Miranda Parkes knew what she wanted to create as soon as she stood in the Tauranga Art Gallery Atrium.

"I came in with no preconceived ideas, but also knew it was such an amazing space that had I gone back to Christchurch figuring out what to do would have been quite hard. So I planned it there and then," she says.

"I wanted to respect the space but at the same time it's such an ephemeral work, so it was a good challenge."

The next challenge was creating the huge painted canvas - the largest Parkes has ever used - within her two garage studio in Christchurch.

Miranda Parkes: Fabric origami at the Tauranga Art Gallery
Miranda Parkes: Fabric origami at the Tauranga Art Gallery

"It's almost 60 square metres and I painted it on the floor. It was 14 hour days there for a while. There was a lot of folding involved, or studio fabric origami if you like."

With this and other work, she enjoys utilising a mixture of the familiar and the exploratory.
"It's a balance of a familiar landscape for me and pushing past that into the unknown. I don't like to go in cold but I want to push outside the comfort zone too."

Parkes employed a similar strategy for colour selection, with her Whopper work being a mix of established colour palette and some new colours.

"I love choosing colours with a bit of energy to them."

New Zealand art tends to use a lot of dark colours, Parkes says, especially in landscape work.
She describes Whopper as "an interface of painting, sculpture and architecture".

With the bold use of colour, texture and the scale of work, Parkes knows Whopper is likely to draw immediate reactions from viewers - that it's fun, or playful, or happy, for example.

Whopper is on now at Tauranga Art Gallery and runs until June 15.