Birdwoods Arrowtown - A year on!

Jack Stobart

A warm welcome and introductory newsletter from Birdwoods Gallery in Arrowtown, I established just over a year ago with the guidance of my parents, Bruce, and Louise, who own the well-known Birdwoods in Hawke’s Bay.

For those that don’t know my story thus far – having moved to New Zealand from Zimbabwe in my teenage years. After finishing high school in Hawkes Bay, I moved down to Queenstown and studied Adventure Tourism at the Queenstown Resort College before spending six years overseas working in the world of luxury yachts, often yearning for a life of my own in New Zealand. In 2019, I joined my parents in Africa on one of their buying trips, being fascinated and inspired by the artists in my homeland, I decided to stay on, fully immersing myself into a stone sculpture apprenticeship, under the tutelage of a group of experienced stone sculpture artists. Out of this experience was born my own version of Birdwoods, located in the quaint Central Otago village, Arrowtown.

What a whirlwind the first year has been. Six weeks after opening we went into the first lockdown. Since then, we like every business in New Zealand have been practicing ‘flexibility and fluidity’. Times are undeniably tough, but with tough times comes innovation, creativity, and diversification, this much we have learned from many of the artists we trade and support in Africa. Some of the most inspirational work is created in the face of adversity, far greater than we can imagine.

We at Birdwoods believe we will manage through this and come out stronger than before. We have expanded the range of products we offer, in addition to our signature stone and metal sculpture from Africa, we have received a collection of very attractive baskets from Ghana, jewellery from South America and England, beadwork and collectables from South Africa and some beautiful Kilim and Afghan rugs from the Middle East. Below are a few images of some of the treasure you can find in our gallery.

The lockdown was the perfect opportunity to reshuffle what we had on display in the gallery and pull the paintbrush out of retirement to brighten the space up a bit. A pastel terracotta (Twizel Resene) wall at the back of the gallery adds a splash of color that perfectly accompanies our new handwoven, colorfully died baskets from Bolgatanga, Ghana!

Kilim and Afghan rugs have long been a Birdwoods favourite. We have exotic handwoven rugs, floor and table runners, and cushions sourced from our brave Afghani trader who comes from Kabul.

f you are visiting Hawke’s Bay, Arrowtown or Auckland, we welcome you to the Birdwoods Galleries – Where Everything has a Story!

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