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Exhibition. All welcome!

Please come along to my dual show at Turua Gallery, Auckland, 28 April- 10 May 2023.


Estuary Art and Ecology Award 16, July 2022

I am very happy to be a finalist in the Estuary Art and Ecology Award 2022. I love that this national award has ecology at its core.

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A paper boat at sea conveys fragility, vulnerability and is here a symbol of the care needed to restore the Tamaki Estuary. Material and digital methods enable a vision of this restoration.

Navigation chart NZ532 anchors the artwork in local waters with the Tamaki River at the centre of the boat, conveying a sense of place, turangawaewae; a shared responsibility. This is our place, we are kaitiaki.

The boat sails an unsettled sea topped with white horses, white caps of windswept waves. All is not well. A red flag signals warning, danger ahead. Hic sunt dracones! (Here be dragons!)  My own dracones, the Dolfish* signifies the unfamiliar and what we may find there. 

Alongside the Dolfish, the hull interior is dense with diatoms and fish- an ark.

An additional AR video layer ** transforms the frame of the work, resembling a preserved artefact, to a tank full of life, fish and abundance. 

AR allows co-existent realities viewed simultaneously, showing what we are missing and what could come again. 

Whale Tales Summer 2022

In this short video clip I chat with Eru, from Tamaki Regeneration, about my whale tail and especially about the AR, augmented reality, component of the artwork.

Video credit: Eruini Paranihi, Tamaki Regeneration.

Update May 2022:
My tail sold at 
auction raising $7,000.00 for a great cause. Very happy about that! :)


If you live in Auckland you will have seen whale tails pop up all over the city this Summer. I've been one of eighty artists invited to paint one of the huge fibreglass tails to contribute to Whale Tales 2022, a WWF art trail fundraising for ocean conservation.


My tail re-charts the Hauraki Gulf with human landforms amongst familiar islands such as Rangitoto, Waiheke, Rakino, Kawau to reflect we are part of nature not separate from it, all is interconnected, we are part of the whole; and to convey a sense of place, of belonging. Turangawaewae.

It was a bit daunting starting work on such a huge, 3-D form but I've loved it. The tail took over our garage and pretty much took over Summer too while I was busy painting it.


Re-charting the Gulf was sponsored by Tamaki Regeneration. It is sitting happily alongside the Tamaki River just near the Panmure Yacht and Boating Club.

For exact location and all information on the art trail download the Whale Tales 2022 app.

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Podcast with Creative Matters

Mandy Jakich is developing a wonderful podcast called Creative Matters Podcast recording conversations with artists. My conversation with Mandy is Episode 37 and the number is growing so there are many interesting artists' stories there if you are interested and each is unique and insightful. Perfect to listen to during that walk or as you work may be.

As with any press article, text, photograph or podcast, it is a snapshot of our conversation on that day at that time- so please enjoy it as that. There are probably many things I brushed over or left out but it wasn't  deliberate, simply that it didn't come up at that  moment. It's part of my story and the story behind my work. 

Mandy is lovely and very skilled at guiding the podcasts along and we covered a lot of ground and many years in about an hour, as I sat out at her home at Muriwai looking out over her beautiful garden and out to the ocean. I hope you enjoy.

Link to the Creative Matters site :

Link to the episode on Apple Podcasts:

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Exhibitions October - November 2021

I have artwork in the following exhibitions currently showing:

Turua Gallery - 'Neighbourhood' group exhibition 8 October - 22 October.  

Black Door Gallery - 'Familiar Terrain' landscape group exhibition 20 October - 14 November.   

Flagstaff Gallery - 'Celebrate' group exhibition 5 - 22 November    

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'Spirit- Conversations with Creative Women'

Book release

This beautiful coffee table book, 'Spirit', featuring  34  creative women, is now available and I feel  honoured to have been included alongside this deep pool of talent.

The text comes from one conversation with Jannine about four years ago now.

Ann Orman's photography is sensitive and very beautiful throughout  and creates this visually luscious book.

(All photo credits here to Ann.)


July 2021 Art in the Park

Wow! Art in the Park was an amazing success.  Tickets sold out each day and there was a real buzz. Thank you so much to everyone who came along and made it such a fabulous few days, and to those of you who purchased my works too. I hope they are bringing you much joy. 

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Art in the Park

Lockdown 2020

Reflection on a world upside down, topsy-turvy, changed.

Covid-19 lockdown.

Stay home, stay safe, take care. 

Summer holiday inspiration   February-March  2020

Inspiration? Motivation? Yes! I've just returned from a week sailing on the Hauraki Gulf-  up the west coast of Coromandel and across to Aotea, Great Barrier Island. 

I'm feeling very lucky. We snorkelled in clear, green water thick with plankton and the full food chain, and saw bioluminescence at night.

There were about six Brydes whales feeding right in Tryphena Harbour when we were there. They would gently, slowly arch out of the water- beautiful, peaceful and grand. 

This has been such a good, reinvigorating break... it reinforces my convictions regarding conservation which inform much of my art practice and I'm hoping it will reflect in new work this year.

February 2020 Solo exhibition 'Ultramarine'

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'Ultramarine' solo show at Turua Gallery, St Heliers February 14- 28.

'Ultramarine' refers to both the paint colour Ultramarine blue and the marine focus of the works.

The sea is the link connecting the works and the exhibition includes both my painting and printmaking.

For more info please refer to the page on this website titled 'Artist's Statement : Ultramarine'

March 2019. Sculpture on the Gulf- Small Sculpture Showcase

'Relic. Abundance. Festina lente' by Phi

My work 'Relic - Abundance, Festina lente' was exhibited in the Small Sculpture Showcase on Waiheke Island, March-April, in conjunction with Sculpture on the Gulf. It was very well received and quickly found a new home.

This work was inspired by crayfish being pronounced functionally extinct in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty regions.

Paper boat in museum quality glass case with ceramic scrimshaw whale teeth, with AR app.

November- December 2018  'Seas of Paper and Paint' Exhibition

Please come along! This exhibition at Flagstaff Gallery opens Thursday November 29th 5.30-8pm and is a dual exhibition of recent work of mine and wonderful realist painter Richard Smith, on a marine theme. 

It would be great to see you there.

July 2018 A glimpse in to my process ...

July 2018 Inkmasters, Cairns, Australia

I'm thrilled that my work 'Hic sunt dracones- North Coast', with AR app, was accepted in to Inkmasters 2018 and is on show in Cairns, Australia.

Unfortunately I couldn't go with it.... oh for a tropical holiday right now!


February 2018   NZ Painting and Printmaking Awards

'Uncharted Waters', my unique screen print (1/1) on marine chart, was a finalist in this year's NZPPA and I'm happy about that! A positive start to the year.

Artist's statement:  Marine charts record the explored, known world, reassuring us we know where we’re going. However, with warming, acidifying oceans we are heading in to uncharted waters, where calcium carbonate shells are wasting away. Hic sunt dracones! Heading toward my Dolfish, animated through Augmented Reality, representing the strange and unfamiliar and what we may discover there.

January - Summer holidays 2018... 

Plenty of inspiration from this trip! January '18

We sailed up the coast to the Bay of Islands (strong southerly) and then very slowly back down again (becalmed!). What a beautiful country we live in. 

I'm feeling very lucky to experience this.


Colours of sea and sky and a sense of space.


We need to protect the oceans.  


January 2018.    Happy New Year!

December 25th 2017

March 30th 2017

A sneak peek at my frame for the upcoming Frame Works event, with artwork and Augmented Reality app. 

Note the ambient insects in the background!

January 2017

I love Summer.

I am surrounded by, immersed in, luscious colour and light. And I just love it!

Best wishes for a fine 2017! 

December 25, 2016

Saturday November 12th, 2016

The Flutter Chair annual pre-Christmas pop-up sale is on this weekend and next weekend only (November 12 and 13, 19 and 20).

My signed, artist chair covers for Flutter will be available along with a beautiful range of plain colours and some very cool leather Flutter chairs too.

I'm also going to have some of my prints there for sale - great Chrissy prezzie shopping or just getting ready for Summer!

Come to : Lizzie K & Co Interior Design showroom  at 11 Enterprise St, Birkenhead,


Tuesday October 4th, 2016

These plant specimens are over 200 years old! I had a fascinating day at the museum and viewed the Banks and Solander collection in the herbarium, spending time with the knowledgeable and generous staff (thank you). It's a natural history treasure trove- and truly inspiring for my botanical works. In the eyes of Banks and Solander, traveling on Cook's Endeavour in 1769, it was a voyage of discovery and everything they found was new. And these are the plant specimens they collected. Beautiful.


Collected in 1769 and pressed- and they are in such good condition still.

Wednesday September 21st, 2016

I am a finalist in the Walker and Hall Waiheke Art Award 2016, with one of my new tattooed botanical artworks. Happy about that! The exhibition opens in October.

I've also been notified that one of my artworks, a detail of my Red Admiral Butterfly on canvas, has been chosen to be part of the permanent International Benetton Art Collection, Imago Mundi, in Italy. There's an opening with accompanying book  in Italy in October.

It's been a good news week! Good timing coming at the tail end of winter working away in the studio!  :)




Monday August 1st, 2016.

An Augmented Reality app is now available on both Android and IOS devices (smart phones and tablets, ipads) for my Monarch Butterfly.

Google search Philippa Bentley Monarch and then it's a quick easy download from Google's Playstore or Apple's Appstore. And its all free! 

We've had the Android version available for about a year, as some of you will know, but its only recently that I can also offer it for Apple users as well. Yay- finally!

Have a play. See the butterfly emerge and fly in the room around you. AR is pretty amazing technology really and I'm excited about its possibilities with art.

Have fun!

Yes that little video above is of my Red Admiral Butterfly. I'm yet to film my Monarch flying. I'd love to see some of your own films or pics of it in flight if you want to email them to me :)

Monday March 14th, 2016

I was recently invited to have an artwork in the New Zealand collection of Luciano Benetton's art collection 'Imago Mundi'. It was a tiny canvas and so I decided on a detail of my 'Red Admiral Butterfly' to fly around the world!

Monday 14th March, 2016

Silkscreens drying in the late summer sun... new Spode Tattoo prints emerging... 

Thursday September 3rd, 2015.

Forget the Spring squalls and wild winds and get along to Golden Dawn tonight for Art Ache... I'm one of the four invited artists in this Art Ache and whatever the weather it's going to be a good  night, cool venue, great art ....





...and it was! Thanks to all who came along. X.

Tuesday August 25th, 2015.

Some pics from my recent show 'A natural history' at Flagstaff Gallery.



Thursday July 9th, 2015

I'm working toward an exhibition later this month and I'm including some botanicals in the show. I am loving painting and exploring new ideas!


This is an acrylic on canvas but I wanted to convey a lightness and delicacy, as if a herbarium specimen, painted in watercolour. It's still on my easel getting the finishing touches. 


The show will combine flora along with my fauna this time, and painting along with printmaking - and some new media and AR technology too. :) 





Tuesday March 24, 2015

UPDATE: My egg sold for $1,925.00 at auction. Around $200,000 was raised through this auction for the Starship Foundation. Yay!


The Big Egg Hunt is on!

My egg is down near Silo Park on Auckland's waterfront. It's been wonderful how many people are out hunting the eggs and sending me pics of themselves with my bee!

My egg is titled Ark Hive, a play on 'archive' in reference to declining bee numbers in NZ and globally. We need to treasure our bees!


Fancy this nestled in to your garden at home?

Or perhaps in the foyer or a courtyard at the office? It sits just as happily indoors or outdoors.

... get online and vote for it!

You'll be supporting a great cause at the same time. 



Friday March 6th, 2015

Here's a wee tease for the egg hunt!

My egg in its box ready to be couriered off to its mystery location.

It's getting close- the Big Egg Hunt begins on March 12th.

Tbh I don't know where my egg is going to be either!

Except I do know which city it will be in, so I guess thats a start!!...

Friday February 20th, 2015

The Big Egg Hunt interview in this mornings NZ Herald.

"It's so nice to be a part of this- for Starship. It's great to be a part of the arts community doing this for the kids." 

I was in and out of hospital in my childhood, first with an accident as a toddler and then with a bone disease, so supporting this really makes sense to me. It really is a lovely project to be involved with.


And I was wowed last night at a preview of all 100 eggs at Vector Arena- the eggs are fabulous!


Thursday February 12th 2015

I am delighted to have been selected as a finalist in the NZ Painting and Printmaking Awards 2015, by judge Dr Anne Kirker, with my submission 'Spode Tattoo'. The exhibition opens tomorrow night- exciting! 

Monday February  9th, 2015

That's a big egg.

I've been invited to be part of The Big Egg Hunt this year. 100  artists and designers are creating their own egg to be auctioned as a fundariser for Starship Hospital. A great cause.

Tbh right now its feeling a bit daunting and the deadline is looming.

It really is a very big egg!

I will post some shots of the finished egg later on...

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