Artist’s Open Studios weekend

A great turn out of people came through the doors to view art at the Iconic Art Space (Marton),  stop #72 on the Artists Open Studios (Whanganui) trail.


Artist in residence, Ali Hale Tilley (pictured above), spoke with over 70 people, explaining her works and showing visitors around her Art Apace. 5 pieces of art have already been sold so if you are thinking of investing in art, now is the time.




Local artist Daniel Williamson (pictured below) also exhibited his sharpie sci-fi sketches and dropped in to make an appearance.


Lots of amazing locals gave their time,  relaxed and played games, adding to vibrancy of the day. 

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Participating artists from around Marton added to the festivity of the weekend, which continues next weekend as well.


Whether you are interested in viewing or buying art, or discussing creative topics, Marton is a great place to descend on next weekend. the Artist’s Open Studios will continued  Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March with participating studios open from 10.30 am – 4.30 pm.


Iconic Art Space is situated on the corner of Stewart Street and High Street, Marton.


 Look forward to seeing you!

See for more information

Yoga in 3 great locations


Imagine yourself taking part in an adventure-filled 5-20 day yoga & meditation immersion. Ali Hale Tilley – director of the NZ Yoga Centre and experienced tour guide- will be running 3 different yoga workshops throughout October 2019.

Groups will practice yoga in beautiful Dubrovnik, historic Tbilisi and exciting northern India. Each 5-day yoga module has up to 20 hours of yoga, meditation and guided self-exploration amidst vibrant culturally-rich locations.

The cost of each five day module is only $300 NZ/ person, Join us for an adventure of a lifetime. 

You can chose you own accommodation and travel plans to suit your budget and comfort levels. Or Ali can advise you on how to plan the trip around your budget and departure locations.

for more information contact Ali on or check out for previous guided tours.

free the soul and merge with spirit


Join our most recent Sunday morning yoga class by listening to the latest podcast. In this discourse I explore the idea of freeing the soul and connecting with the great spirit, which animates the world.

Sunday morning classes are held at the NZ Yoga Centre Marton

Inner peace garden

Out garden at the NZ Yoga Centre has come alive over summer. It holds gifts of plants and sculpture from some very special people.

Here are just a few of the views for you to enjoy

A commission for Father Peter


my most recent painting of the Virgin Mary’s Annunciation 

story and painting by Ali Hale Tilley


The person racing across the tarmac was a minute late for the expected departure of the Intercity bus from Wellington Airport to Whanganui. “You’re very lucky the driver waited for you,” I said, as he dropped into the adjacent seat. He told me he had just returned from a Catholic gathering in Brisbane and had nearly missed the departing plane too but for the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Our conversation quickly fell upon deeply religious themes. We shared narratives of the Virgin Mary, ecstatic dreaming, and wild dance.

We shared narratives of the Virgin Mary, ecstatic dreaming, and wild dance.

This young man, an Austrian by the name of Andreas, said he was a “Fellow” working at a Benedictine monastery beyond Woodville. When he mentioned the monastery’s name was ‘Southern Star’, I reached into my bag and pulled out a medallion of Mary holding a star. I had bought the brass pendant from a coin collector at the Alicante Town Square market a few years before. He examined it closely.


I told him that although I was not a Christian, I had done many pilgrimages to Virgin Mary shrines and basilicas around Spain. I also mentioned I loved painting the Virgin Mary, and that I had offered my services to Father Peter, the Catholic priest in Marton, to repaint the faded Mary statue in the church’s outdoor grotto. At the time, Father Peter had someone else in mind for the restoration.

After a short time Andreas said, “What is your bank account number?” Not being in the habit of giving my bank number to relative strangers, I declined his request. He then asked if he could commission me to do a painting of the Virgin Mary for Father Peter. Finally, I agreed and he transferred money into my account somewhere before Foxton.

When the bus pulled into Palmerston North and Andreas got off, I smelt the distinct scent of church incense lingering in the air. That is how I knew the transaction was legitimate, authenticated by some sort of divine sanction.


A few weeks went by and I popped into the Catholic Church in Marton to check out the colours of the stained glass, and to get a feel for the interior. Father Peter was there in his white robes. Not being Catholic, I kicked off my shoes and approached the Virgin Mary statue prostrating as I would at an Indian temple.

A few days later Father Peter came by the Yoga Centre and we chatted in the garden about deep and meaningful topics including the commission. I kept as much as I could a surprise. However, our talk echoed what Andreas said that the work I was doing at the Yoga Centre was a type of ministry.


I started the painting the picture using influences from the medallion, and of a sketch I had done of a painting in the Santa Maria Basilica, Alicante.


A few weeks later, on another Intercity bus trip out of Wellington, we stopped for an hour at Wellington Central. I popped over to the Anglican Cathedral to get some inspiration from the stained glass and sit in contemplation at the small chapel of Mary. Soon an American woman entered and we engaged in conversation about Mary’s Annunciation. She joined me a close reading of Luke  1: 35 (King James version)

 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God

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I talked about the Holy Ghost’s part in the inception and the notion of Mary being overshadowed by the “Highest”. I wanted to find a way to express that exact moment when Mary first conceived “that holy thing.” She told me she was an art history major and that in Renaissance art of Mary’s Annunciation the Holy Ghost was portrayed as a flying dove. At that time, I had already painted a dove sitting in Mary’s left hand. This conversation confirmed the significance of the symbol I had chosen.


I wanted to share this story and a copy of the painting of Mary’s Annunciation commissioned for Father Peter of Marton. I hope this painting inspires you to make time over Christmas for deeper contemplation of life’s mysteries.




20 Stewart Street, Marton 4710

Phone: 06 327 4108 // Facebook: NZ Yoga Centre


Southern Star Abbey / Kopua Road.
Takapau RD2.
Hawke’s Bay 4287.
New Zealand


New Tuesday class 6 pm-7pm

Need some ‘me time’?

Join our stress-busting new class

‘Yoga for Fit young Mums & Dads’

Tuesday night 6pm-7pm


bring a friend and you both get $2 off casual rate

(why not try it next week, there are only 2 more classes before Xmas!)

Hauora Yoga Conference – 2018

Members of the NZ yoga community made meaningful connections at the Hauora Yoga Conference this weekend.  Friday’s weather meant we were able to enjoy the beautiful grounds of AUT – North Shore Campus. However, by Saturday the rain set in so we needed to change venue from the marquee to a great space in a nearby location.

My Saturday presentation, on yoga in NZ of the past, present and future, allowed me to connect with some really great people. I met people I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, which was great. I also enjoyed some of the presentations given by our talented local and international yoga teachers. It was a great opportunity to see our commonalities and unique differences.


Ali preseting at the Hauora Yoga Conference



After my talk, I held a yoga class focusing on the shared narrative of Quan Yin/ Hatha Yoga, focusing on the flow of compassion to deepen our contemplation.




The Hauora Yoga conference was housed under the banner of Fitex. It was the first year yoga was integrated into this broader platform.IMG_2368.JPG

Hopefully other presenting opportunities will arise in 2019 as it was a great way to bring the mind-body-spirit-community together.