Amla Meijer is best known in Whanganui for her jewellery made with polished and powder-coated metals as well as a range of repurposed materials.

With her new range of works showing at the Fine Arts Whanganui Gallery, she demonstrates another string to her bow as a painter.

The bright, acrylic canvasses reflect her South African heritage and the vast, carved murals she has created in a number of international locations.

Meijer was born and bred in Pretoria, South Africa, where she studied fine arts and later learned jewellery making in the Netherlands.


"In this current series, I have been inspired by African Kuba fabrics and their intricate patterns.

"I have balanced these works with solid colours, repetitive textures and geometric forms."

Meijer says she does not overthink the process and is not always in complete control of the outcomes.

"And so for me, therein lies the beauty.

"It is fluid and intuitive and in complete contrast to my jewellery process which requires fine and precise planning."

Meijer came to Whanganui more than a decade ago when her husband was appointed as an anaesthetist at Whanganui Hospital.

Their plan was to stay for a fixed term but they loved Whanganui and it is now home.

"I love Whanganui's clean air, our rural house and the winding Whanganui river."


Meijer also loves the culture of cherishing the local history and the ethos of salvaging and recycling that exists here.

"I love old, abandoned buildings, pretty fabrics, vintage medical quackery and the way old books smell."

Meijer is one of a pool of artists in the Whanganui Fine Arts Collective established in 2015 to found the gallery and offer an exhibition space for themselves and other Whanganui artists.

The Collective's newest member is painter and ceramic artist Frances Sim-Higgins who has some of her watercolours on show at Whanganui Fine Arts Gallery.

For the past two years, Whanganui Fine Arts has offered young, emerging artists opportunities through its Young Artist Scholarship and entries for 2019 are now open.

The scholarship consists of a cash award of $1000 and an exhibition contract with Fine Arts Whanganui Gallery in 2020.

Information and entry forms are available at or visit the Fine Arts Whanganui Gallery at 17 Taupo Quay, open from 10am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, 9am to 1pm, Saturday and 10am to 1pm Sunday.