Painter Kit Lawrence is happy his partner Michelle Penrice led him to her home town Whanganui.

"I love the colours here," he says.

"There are big blocks of colour everywhere and I love how graffiti gets painted over in different colours as well."

The couple have set up a pop-up shop in the building at 1 Victoria Ave where Penrice has been selling her bespoke clothing but it will become a studio/gallery for Lawrence's work this weekend.


The English-born artist has been in New Zealand since 2004 and met Penrice while living in Auckland.

"We have travelled a lot and did a couple of US trips where we toured the southwest and another trip where we visited the lake district.

"My work in this exhibition is in two parts - some of the work is inspired by my US experiences and the rest is Whanganui inspired."

Penrice says her partner's impressions of her home town have inspired her to see it with fresh eyes.

"He will point out a building and say how cool it is and because I saw it while I was growing up I haven't noticed it.

"When he points it out I realise how many great buildings there are here."

Lawrence studied fine arts and says he has experimented with digital prints and collage but loves the fluidity of painting.

"I have used oils but I didn't enjoy them as much as acrylic and I like painting with screen printing inks as well."

• Kit Lawrence's exhibition is open to the public this weekend at 1 Victoria Ave (entrance on Taupo Quay).