Ewe wouldn't have believed your eyes had you visited Te Puke's community art space last week.

Leeanne Ryan, who opened Tupeke in the Heritage Walkway earlier this year, had company for the hours the art space was open in the form of a newborn lamb.

The lamb, one of a pair of twins, had been rejected by its mother.

Leeanne and her husband Paul have around 30 lambs at their No 3 Rd property.


"I went out to do a walk around the paddock like I do every night and the mother was full on headbutting her, so she was being thrown backwards," says Leeanne.

She tried to get one of the other sheep that had lost lambs to feed the rejected lamb, but without success.

"I've talked to other people and it does happen, it's not unusual."

With the lamb needing a bottle every two hours, there was little option but to take it to the art space.

"There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her, she drinks happily and she's quite boisterous and playful."

Back at the small holding, Leeanne put the lamb back out into the paddock when she could.

"I want her to stay a sheep. But it is pretty cute having a lamb follow you around," she says.

Tupeke, which means leap, is a free-to-use art space for the community. Leeanne hopes it will provide inspiration for people and their arts and crafts.


She painted at school, but stopped and only started again when she moved to the Bay of Plenty seven years ago.

Since moving to Te Puke last year the opportunities dried up until she hit on the community art space idea.

"The house is very dark and cold and not conducive to creativity.

"This space is quite nice and light and I've refurbished it so it's a pleasant place to be."