A woman who is passionate about art and music says she feels like her soul has been ripped out after her artwork, instruments and musical equipment was stolen.

Clare Gibney had hundreds of dollars worth of art that she had been working on for approximately six months taken from her Gonville workshop in Whanganui.

Some of her unsigned work was left behind, however the offenders also took a guitar, microphone and amp.

Gibney feels she was targeted after trees were cleared from her section, opening up her hobbies workshop and revealing what was inside.


"They came over the fence, munted the window, took the pane out, took the pane with them and took the steel bar that holds the frame," Gibney said.

"I feel like my soul's been ripped out. My two loves are my music and my art. They're my two passions and I've just retired, I'm just starting to enjoy that."

The artwork includes a lot of resin work, as well as acrylic paintings that are beach-themed featuring waves, seabirds and plant life.

Much of it was created using materials from Castlecliff Beach such as shellrock and toetoe.

The work was going to accompany photography by Bruce Tonkin as part of an exhibition he and Gibney were planning for the end of the year.

Those plans are on hold but the exhibition will go ahead at some stage with the theme 'of time and tides,' aiming to show the effect of water on the environment.

Gibney said her work has spiritual value.

"It's a shame that it's in the wrong hands because it's like a slur on who we are here, everyone who uses the beach and the river.


"It shows total lack of respect for our home. We were telling the story of our beach and the mole and the river mouth, all that sort of stuff."

Gibney became interested in art when her grandson left a painting and some paint at her house about a decade ago.

She has become vigilant following the break-in and is getting her windows covered with mesh as well as having security cameras installed.

Gibney and Tonkin have taken to social media, sharing pictures of the stolen works to let people know what to look for, and their posts have been shared across New Zealand.

Police confirmed the burglary was reported on Monday, with the theft taking place on the Sunday night before.

A spokesperson for police said initial inquiries are being made. Anyone with information about the missing items can call police on 105 and quote the file number 191007/8970.