Between them Robin and Gena Shepherd have been painting for 130-odd years, and on Saturday they will unveil an exhibition of some of their work at Te Ahu's Art Space in Kaitaia.

There was no particular theme, Robin said. A Retrospective Exhibition was more a "hotch potch", little ones, big ones, long and tall ones, displaying a range of styles and subjects that he and Gena had each indulged in over the last 65 years, including the first painting Gena completed, in 1957.

All but four will come from their personal collections, Robin saying they may not be their best works, but many were now in distant locations, in New Zealand, the UK, Germany, the US, Singapore and Australia, and were "difficult to access".

They weren't necessarily in the world's great galleries, he added. Rather it was a case of visitors liking something and going home with it.


Neither he nor Gena considered themselves to be anything other than amateurs who enjoyed attempting to capture and/or translate the world they saw and knew, he added, although visitors to the exhibition will undoubtedly be impressed.

The collection will include a depiction of a cluster of baches at Whangamata in 1955, redolent of a world that no longer exists. Certainly the baches have long gone, making way for more palatial residences many years ago.

None of the works will be for sale, although Robin suspected he might weaken if someone was to offer an astronomical sum. The display will also feature a solitary Robin Shepherd cartoon, one of perhaps thousands that he has drawn over many years.

The exhibition will open at 10.30am, and will remain on display throughout August, seven days a week, admission free.