Which would you choose: A summer in Cornwall, where a heatwave has pushed temperatures to 33C on England's south coast, or a winter on Waiheke Island? For Cornish artist Mark Surridge, there was no contest — Waiheke was always the winner.
A first-time visitor to New Zealand, Surridge is also the first UK artist to be accepted for the Waiheke Community Art Gallery's 12-week Artist in Residence programme.
Started in 2007, the scheme allows an artist to live on the island and create work that is then exhibited in their own show. The last artist to hold the residency was Michel Tuffery in 2016.
Surridge, who divides his time between making art and part-time lecturing in painting at Falmouth University, heard about the residency from friends who live on Waiheke and said they could see the island in his work.
It took him a few years to get around to applying but he eventually put together a proposal to make a series of paintings that explore the Waiheke landscape through GPS mapping.
Before leaving the UK in June, Surridge wrote on his blog: "For sometime, I have been aware that walking doesn't always mean seeing, you can walk a mile and not remember seeing anything because the brain has decided that it wants to think about something else something internal. Also there may be a latent image tucked away in your subconscious that finds its way in the paintings in the studio."
He's walked kilometres across the island, recording his movements in line form to use as inspiration for his characteristically boldly coloured abstract paintings. It's meant a fair bit of walking in the rain.
"It does rain a lot more than I expected; some people have either blamed me for bringing the weather with me or apologised for it but it's okay," he says. "I am just very pleased to be here and, to be honest, it's better than most summers in the UK."
Surridge said the density of native bush and foliage surprised him and he believed his colour palette has probably intensified because, although it's winter, the hues of the island are more dramatic and richer than he envisioned.
"I suppose the main challenge has been the adjustment, on a day to day basis, of being away from home, where I have a wife and family, to being totally immersed in the work and the island it. I've been invited into so many homes and had so many wonderful meals. The support system and the way you're looked after here has been fabulous."
It's also opened his eyes to the amount of art made on Waiheke as well as the scope of some of New Zealand's best known abstract artists including Gordon Walters, Allen Maddox and Stephen Bambury.
Surridge said he'll leave the island feeling re-energised and with new ideas for work.
"Don't turn your back on the familiar; when you live in a place for a long time, you can turn your back on your surroundings instead of looking at what's around you."
• Mark Surridge's exhibition The Shape of the Walk opens at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery on Friday, August 10