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The light and colour of Taupo’s landscapes are endlessly inspiring for Lynden, whose most well-known pieces are based on the Central Plateau. The iconic Huka Falls at Taupo, where a beautiful hour-and-a-half boat ride that meanders up the river right to the white water at the falls was the inspiration for a set of Volcanic series vases and bowls.
Lynden and his wife spend a lot of time at the Chateau Tongariro, roaming through the walking tracks that criss-cross the UNESCO dual-heritage site of Tongariro National Park. “Summer, autumn, winter, spring – it’s so different. Most people tend to go in winter to ski, but in summer, it’s incredible. The colours are just so unusual. There are lots of places with no trees, so it’s very exposed and there’s so much happening in the landscape – mosses, alpine flowers.”
The fact that Taupo is home to a large community of artists was part of the reason Lynden founded Lava Glass there. One of his favourite places to visit is that of a husband and wife creative team – Robbie and Sue Graham of Wildwood Gallery in Waitahanui – who create turned wood and metal sculptures.
Lynden also commends the works that the Taupo Sculpture Trust do. “They are working vigilantly to make the townscape vibrant.” Pieces worth visiting include Ben Foster’s Monument and Twist II in the Suncourt Plaza, Terry Stringer’s lakefront Flora Totem and Lynden’s own Cloak of Tia outside the Great Lake Centre.
At the end of a long day in the studio, a favourite spot for dinner is The Brantry, a converted town-house serving contemporary New Zealand cuisine just down the road. The restaurant has been there even longer than his own studio, and during the 20 plus years Lynden and his wife have been visiting, “they have never had an off night.”