2017 Epsom/NZIPP Award Winners

In its efforts to showcase the best artworks by regional artists in all media, Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts is proud to present IRIS: Photography Exhibition, a display and sale of the award-winning photographs from the 2017 Epsom / New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers Awards. The official opening of the exhibition will also include an announcement of the Central Districts Regional Photographer of the Year. Photography, often considered a step-child in the world of fine arts, is now being shown in many galleries across New Zealand. As the ability to take or make quality photographs becomes a world-wide phenomenon via computer programmes, digital media and the ever improving camera/phone technology, acquiring art photography will increase among collectors of fine art. And while photography may become a more common art form to be seen on gallery walls, the NZIPP continues to raise the bar making it harder to win one of their coveted awards. Hence the award winners’ work will become more sought after as art to collect, to incorporate into publications, PowerpPoint presentations and similar visual media or simply to utilise as decoration on home and office walls. Bringing together the 2017 award winners from the region for public display was the idea of local photographer Rachel Smith. Taylor-Jensen is indebted to her hard work and enthusiasm without which this exhibition would not have seen the light of day!

Opening with a public reception on Friday 6th October from 5-7pm at the gallery, 33 George Street, Palmerston North, ‘IRIS’ will showcase the photographic imagery recently given NZIPP awards by this prestigious organization.

The award-winning photographers whose work is being featured in ‘Iris’ are:

  • Michael Watson, a commercial and fine art photographer based in Palmerston North. A Fellow of the NZIPP, Michael has been involved with NZIPP for the last eight years, particularly in the behind the scenes running of the Livestream of the Iris Awards Judging.  His creative works explore many fantastical ideas, with incorporated themes around identity, sexuality and empowerment. Michael's commercial work spans both the photographic and video medium, covering event, promotional and advertising content. While his fine art photography covers a softer styling of portraiture and creative imagery.


  • Loren O’Connor is a portrait photographer located in Patoka, Hawkes Bay. Living on 1,800 acres of sheep and beef farm is a sanctuary that has provided a wonderful way to raise children and pursue her passion of portrait photography. Loren specialises in fine art custom made portraits, and also enjoys family and maternity photography.


  • Tony Carter is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated portrait photographers. He has lived in Taranaki all his life and has been a professional photographer for 26 years. Carter has been awarded New Zealand Photographer of the Year five times by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. In 2010 he was the first New Zealander to be awarded Grand Master of Photography by the institute. A consummate perfectionist, in 2017 alone Carter won one gold, four silver and four bronze photography awards.


  • Michelle Fey is based in the sunny Hawke's Bay. She went from forensic photography to specialise in weddings and now babies/small children. She loves the challenge and time pressures of weddings and the patience of having to bring small children out of their shells and getting newborn babies to sleep. Michelle loves to capture special moments and timeless memories.


  • Kelvin Gilbert, based in Palmerston North specialises in commercial and illustrative photography. Kelvin loves to push the boundaries of reality through his imagery, both through post-production and photographic technique. Kelvin has been a member of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography during which time he has won Illustrative Photographer of the Year and been a finalist in multiple categories. In 2016 and 2017, he was Finalist for New Zealand Photographer of the Year. He is also the youngest to be awarded the distinction of Grand Master of Photography. Just recently he was awarded the Australian Overseas Photographer of the Year at the AIPP APPA.


  • Chris Hill turned his passion for photography into a full time job in 1997, initially concentrating on commercial and architectural work. Later, he expanded into the wedding and portrait market. In 2002, Chris was offered a role running the photography courses at the Western Institute of Technology (WITT) in New Plymouth where he taught part-time until early 2017. In 2010 and 2011 Chris was awarded Commercial and Advertising Photographer of the Year at the annual NZIPP awards and was a finalist in the Commercial category in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. He has represented New Zealand in two World Photographic Cups. Still passionate about photography, Chris runs his business photographing for commercial and portrait clients as well as teaching privately from his New Plymouth studio.


  • Kaye Davis is a professional portrait, still life, illustrative and landscape photographer based in Palmerston North. She has been an Accredited Professional Member of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) for over 16 years. Continually striving for perfection and excellence is evident through the numerous national and international awards she has won over the years; including the titles of New Zealand Professional Photographer of the Year, Grand Master of Photography (NZIPP) and Australian Illustrative Photographer of the Year and Master of Photography II with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.


  • Rachael Smith is a commercial, landscape and fine art photographer; her business Rahera Photography is based in Palmerston North. Rachael’s work has been exhibited and sold in art shows and galleries around New Zealand. In 2016 she received a Top 101 Award in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year. She has also won awards for her landscape and travel images in the 2013, 2014 & 2017 NZIPP Iris Awards.

Other Upcoming Exhibitions.

Previous Exhibitions.

The Mountains and the Sea
By: Paul Lyons
- 22 Mar 19

RETRO - SPECTIVE: Cash & Carry Sale of Silkscreen Prints
By: Malcolm Warr
- 22 Feb 19

SUMMER FLIGHT: New Zealand Birds and Landscapes
By: Jayeta Valentine
- 25 Jan 19

By: Michele Theobald & Val Jones
- 30 Nov 18

By: Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduate Weavers 2018
- 12 Nov 18

By: Rachael Smith
- 26 Oct 18

“Licorice All Sorts”
By: Georgia Lambert
- 11 Oct 18

The Art Room (Term 3)
By: Manawatu Art Teachers Association
- 24 Sep 18

By: Willie Docherty
- 25 Aug 18

“A Bouquet of Paintings”
By: Mary Mulholland
- 03 Aug 18

The Infinite Smallness of Being
By: Raemon Rolfe and David Lupton
- 13 Jul 18

Land & Water
By: Timon Maxey
- 22 Jun 18

By: Don Hill & Steve Leurink
- 01 Jun 18

By: New Paintings by Ross Whitlock
- 07 Apr 18

By: Roger Staples
- 02 Mar 18

A Family Affair
By: Colin Hoare and sons James and Alex
- 02 Feb 18

By: Vivian McKenna
- 12 Jan 18

Echoes Of Fiordland
By: Annabel Neall
- 12 Dec 17

By: Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduate Weavers 2017
- 13 Nov 17

By: Sue Weterings
- 20 Oct 17

IRIS: Photography Exhibition
By: 2017 Epsom/NZIPP Award Winners
- 06 Oct 17

Land and Water
By: Jacky Pearson
- 08 Sep 17

Moments of Transcendent Beauty
By: Paul Lyons
- 11 Aug 17

“Exploring the Intersection Between Detail and Suggestion”
By: John Tidball
- 15 Jul 17

‘The Spaces Between’
By: Anne Morris
- 17 Jun 17

‘The Primacy of Gesture’
By: Ross Whitlock
- 12 May 17

By: Alfred Memelink
- 23 Mar 17

By: Vivian McKenna
- 03 Mar 17

Across the Ditch
By: Australian and New Zealand Print Artists
- 04 Feb 17

“GIVEN TIME AND SPACE” Abstracted Imagery
By: Colin Hoare
- 06 Jan 17

By: Watercolours by Celia Guy
- 03 Dec 16

E Toru nga Mea
By: Weaving and Carving Graduates Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Papaio
- 14 Nov 16

Dot's Nice
By: Elka
- 21 Oct 16

Colour Blast: Work That Jump Off the Canvas
By: Boyd-Dunlop
- 10 Sep 16

Heart Standing Still
By: Rachael Smith
- 30 Sep 16

SAMPLING: Paintings by Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL: Caohagan Island Quilts
By: Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL
- 25 Jul 16

Head for the Coast New Work
By: Beth Charles & Robert Charles
- 11 Mar 16

Extraordinary Art: Paintings
By: Paula Novak
- 12 Feb 16

Window to the Falling Sun: Paintings
By: Annabel Neall
- 04 Dec 15

By: Paul Lyons
- 14 Nov 15

An exhibition of Maori Art - Maunga Kura Toi degree artists of Te Wananga o Aotearoa
By: Te Koru
- 03 Nov 15

Country to Coast
By: Nicholas Hayter
- 11 Oct 15

Anything Goes: Annual Exhibition
By: Manawatu Spinners and Weavers Guild
- 28 Sep 15

By: Dennis Greenwood
- 15 Sep 15

"Soul Is Eternal":
By: Wayne Hansen
- 29 Aug 15