Being A South Pacific Island
There's a big old art-deco picture theatre in Helensville, west of Auckland.
These days the locals get to see movies only in the foyer, because the cinema auditorium itself is given over to folk art!
Thousands and thousands of objects have been collected by John Perry, long regarded in New Zealand as having a keen eye for local treasures.
Some may call it "Kiwiana", but John Perry says what he collects are one-off, unique pieces of New Zealand art; a tiny Sterling Silver waka; a lamp and shade made out of TT2 sticks; tuis painted on a fire screen; a WWII pin up girl created in a native wood Marquette.
John believes that New Zealand is becoming more conscious of its heritage and less embarrassed by it."The increasing importance of New Zealand Folk Art is all part of our being a South Pacific island, and not a piece of England".
For many years John Perry was a Director of the Rotorua Art Gallery and Museum where he horrified the local powers-that-were by buying an artwork on a rusty piece of corrugated iron for eight hundred dollars. It was by Ralph Hotere.
John now runs his shop" Global Village Antiques and Collectibles" out the back of the old cinema. But most of the space in the building is taken up by his beloved collection, the basis for his planned Folk Art Museum.