A Glimpse of Elizabeth’s Galleries and Studios from 1976 – 2020

I graduated from Elam Art School, Auckland in 1972 and flatted in Auckland and surrounds, painting for my first solo exhibition in 1975.
My Puhoi studio was on the first land I owned. I was imbued with the magnificence of the native New Zealand bush. Nature was my inspiration
and Mother Nature was my Inspiration Source. So, my first home was a truly magical place.
Up until 1983 I painted under my maiden name, Elizabeth Grainger.

New Zealand

1976 – 1979 Puhoi, North of Auckland, New Zealand

With the earnings from my first major exhibition at George Harrison’s Gallery, Tauranga in 1975, I bought land at Puhoi, and designed this studio which my then future husband and I built. We married and lived in the studio whilst waiting to build our home proper, however, we moved to Katikati instead. Whilst at Puhoi, I painted fifty paintings and had my second sell out exhibition at George Harrison’s Gallery in 1978. I also saved the adjoining native bush from being felled by New Zealand Forest Products. Presently, the whole beautiful valley, stream, hills and studio have been bulldozed flat and filled for the Northern Motorway. The magnificent Pūriri trees, bush and the waterfall that I painted have all gone. The owners after me, Arthur and Irene Cameron had made it even more beautiful. Heart breaking!

1979-1983 Home and Private Gallery, Katikati, New Zealand

Left: The home I designed in 1979, on gifted land which was once my parents’ dairy farm that I grew up on, ‘Tayside’ in Reas Road, Katikati. This home was inspired by a real Tudor home of a friend, H G Hurrell, whom I had visited on the edge of the Dartmoor moors, England.

Right: In 1975, when the land was still dairy pasture, I sat on the bank of the once-Wharawhara River and looked across the creek. I clairvoyantly saw a vision of my future home so vividly, so drew what I was shown (above). I also drew up the plans of the first wing of the courtyard, and had it built. Unfortunately, when my first marriage broke up, I was forced to sell the property as matrimonial settlement. It later became Fantail Lodge and the owners built the second wing as accommodation and a conference room. My original vision included my future art gallery, a Grand Hall, themed accommodation, a dance hall and rooms for meetings and workshops – all the things I am still aiming to do now. During my time here I gave birth to two sons, painted The Tauranga Centennial Mural and had my third major exhibition at George Harrison’s Gallery in Tauranga. It was also here, in 1983 on life’s edge, that I had the vision of my Life’s Purpose / Mission, and my inspiration source changed from the Māori Earth Mother Goddess Papatūānuku (who was more focused on New Zealand surrounds), to Gaia, Earth Mother Goddess of my Celtic heritage. At this pivotal time, I gained a more ‘worldly, global’ view. Both Papatūānuku and Gaia are aspects of the same Mother Earth Goddess and both periods of my art are equally as ‘spiritual’ as the other. When I separated from my husband, I moved to Whakamarama on the top of the Kaimai Ranges, about 35 minutes away from my small hometown, Katikati in the Bay of Plenty.

1983-1992 Woodhenge, Whakamarama, New Zealand

Left: The Tunnel of Love at John Kyle’s and my Medieval wedding, Woodhenge, Odey Road, Whakamarama, Tauranga. Halloween 1987

Right: My son’s pony, Casper, wanting to be part of the action in the lounge.

At Woodhenge, John Kyle and I had a private gallery – by appointment. Now, my paintings had changed to a more Celtic, Arthurian, Medieval feel, and so had I, but I was still on the same journey! Our children’s friends loved coming to our magical home and I learned just how important it is to encourage all children’s creativity, so, because of this understanding, all my future galleries have been very child friendly.

During this time, I had a solo touring exhibition in the South Island of New Zealand (seven exhibitions) and we attended the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Mind, Body and Spirit Festivals where my art was enormously popular. These trips coincided with exhibitions at The Inner Circle Gallery and Pod Theatre Gallery in Sydney, and The Castilla Gallery, Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne. My exhibition at The Castillia Gallery caused so much road congestion that the proprietors lost their permit to be a public gallery, and I was asked if I would like it as my private gallery.

“Yes please!” I announced excitedly

So, John Kyle and I emigrated to Australia. When we arrived the paintings that hadn’t sold were still hanging on the walls.


1992-1995  Elizabeth Kyle’s Gallery, Olinda, Victoria, Australia

This gallery was built as a Puppet Theatre, hence a wall with a shelf. It was the home of Aussie Ostrich and other famous old TV characters. My Visionary Art was so popular that on Sunday afternoons there was barely space to move. Here, I learned a lot about the interest in, and effect of Visionary Art. What a magnificent welcome to Australia we had. We transitioned from the quiet countryside to city bustle, but we were still in the magnificent bush of the Dandenong Ranges. Australian citizens were so wonderful to us. Thank you ALL so much!

However, unfortunately, the owners soon wished to sell the property, so we needed to move.

Sadly, my beloved husband, John Kyle had become terminally ill with emphysema and, after a long illness, he passed over in 1997 in Auckland.

1996 -1997 Kryal Castle, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Left: Awesome Kryal Castle.
My living quarters were in the foreground of this photo and my sons’ bedroom was near the top of the large tower.

Centre: This Gallery was originally built for me, at the side of the jousting arena.

Right: Beautiful Arabian palfrey, Sir Don and his Lady Elizabeth at Kryal Castle.

So, now my journey had become a solo adventure. It was never as magical and wonderful without my beloved John Kyle, but I continued with my Mission, as I do to this day. Sir Don and I stayed for a summer, winter and summer but we could not cope with another frozen winter. I learned so much here. It was a wonderful experience. During this time, I, my gallery and art were featured on Healthy, Wealthy and Wise TV program. Keith Ryall built this large castle in the early 1970s as a tourist attraction. It was amazing that he fulfilled his dream. Now Kryal Castle continues as Castle Promotions and Entertainment P/L. Keith Ryall has passed over.

1997-1999 A Return to Melbourne

From 1997-1999 my belongings were all stored in the once Monbulk Jam Factory, whilst I stayed at Kallista for a year with Annie Sutterby, and painted the twelve Zodiac Signs for Well Being Magazine. I needed to live near Sir Don’s agistment at Monbulk in the Dandenongs.

I also stayed with Anne Atkins (of ‘Wonderwings’ Fairy Shops) in her magnificent old church hall in Richmond, Melbourne. Anne and I had a wonderful time having creative adventures together, and also with Goth Hilary Willow. We were the Three Queens of Melbourne: Fairy, Medieval and Gothic, and over the years, we invited each other to all our grand happenings. The most extravagant were the themed Gothic Balls which Hilary and five others organised, with 800 guests in full costume and magnificent banquets. Anne and I were the honoured costumes judges at the Victorian Sideshow Alley Ball in 1997

1999 Castle Rumble, Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia

This amazing castle was built by Brian Rumble, an eccentric English craftsman who restored cathedrals and castles in England before he emigrated to Australia. This castle has loads of atmosphere. Other inspired castle-lovers came to assist him build. My beloved horse, Sir Don and I travelled from Melbourne to Queensland (1700km), with all my belongings on the invitation of  ‘King Brian’, but I only lasted there six weeks after my gallery opened, as our personalities were incompatible. Brian did say that I was the best worker he had ever had though. I was ‘rescued’ by a knight who was staying on the top of Springbrook Mountain, so I moved my containers of belongings there and soon found my next delightful gallery amidst the tropical rainforest. There are magical stories about all these experiences, however, I don’t have room to tell you them here. They are disclosed in my forthcoming books.

1999-2000     1951 Springbrook Road, Springbrook, Qld.

Springbrook Mountain Plateau has a thriving Arts Community, and I became absorbed into assisting with that as much as I could.

We held a combined art exhibition, ‘Art on a Plateau’, at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, and all artists worked together very well.

This was a lovely gallery amidst picturesque tropical rainforest and attracted tourists on their way to ‘The Best of All Lookout’, bushwalks, waterfalls, and other galleries.

Soon, my son came to live with me, and he needed to find a job on the Gold Coast, so we moved to Surfers Paradise for his benefit.

A map for pilgrims visiting Elizabeth Kyle’s Castle →
For every gallery, I compiled a medieval map.
← My bedroom could be viewed, but not entered. Maypole mosquito net, five chandeliers, Medieval costumes.

2000 -2004 Elizabeth Kyle’s Gallery, Raptis Plaza, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise, Qld

Tourist destination Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, is an expensive place in which to live and have a gallery. However, an artist friend, Stephen Bowerman had a great idea which allowed me to have a gallery in central Surfers Paradise.

I approached the management of water front Raptis Plaza, Cavill Avenue, and asked if I could have an exhibition in shops that were empty until they found new tenants, for a minimal rent. Consequently, I had my gallery in three locations during this time and I became experienced at creating ‘pop-up’ galleries. I included some of Steven’s drawings and medieval jewellery and athames by a fabulous jeweller/blacksmith.

There was a lot of through traffic here and many people remember visiting my Surfers’ galleries. I had to be very strong in my convictions, as the energy of the area is not slanted towards culture as it had been in Melbourne. It is more about money, surfing and beach holiday experiences here. When my son returned to New Zealand, I was free to go back to the bush.

2004 Private Gallery, Currumbin Valley

A long way up Currumbin Valley Road I found this beautiful old Queenslander house to rent with a large park like garden and a stream with a swimming hole and platypus. The old Queenslander, with verandas on all sides, was open living inside and made the most beautiful gallery. Here we had Drawing Workshops, and visitors to my gallery and I did a lot of painting. I loved being here, but yet again, the owners decided to sell.

A dear friend had noticed the Tugun Castle was for lease, so she requested a painting of her son, in exchange for her being my patron to lease this (then derelict) castle for my art gallery. I thought that might be a one-sided deal, so I told her I must complete the painting first, and then she can decide to what extent she wishes to help me with the castle. It is from her assistance that I am in the position of having the shop and café requirements I have now. I moved to the Tugun Castle. It had experienced a flood through it and there was mud a meter up the walls. A lot needed to be done to it. Designing it and beautifying it was one of the most pleasurable experiences in my life. I was fortunate to have the assistance of my talented Ballroom dance partner of fourteen years, Henry Weeks.

2005-2006 Elizabeth Kyle’s Castle, Tugun, Gold Coast. Australia

This delightful lady’s castle at Tugun on the Gold Coast was my favourite gallery so far, and my queenly apprenticeship was a steep learning curve, and the accumulation of the entire castle interior requirements for the next Elizabeth Kyle’s Castle. As well as my well patronised Art Gallery, we had wonderful happenings here: banquets, a café, a gift shop, costume hire, psychic readers, art lessons, dance lessons: all the things I wish to do again in my next Castle. My patron tried to save the Tugun Castle from demolition, however a developer bought it, so I had to move again. The landmark castle was demolished, and bare land remains. This must not be allowed to happen again.

This iconic Gold Coast castle was built as The Land of Legend in 1980, as a Doll and Toy Museum by Bette Symonds. It was one of the Gold Coast’s first theme parks.

Bette Symonds’ Castle, The Land of Legend’s history:

Castle Pamela, in Tirau, New Zealand, was also built as a Doll and Toy Museum, in 2000.

Aspects of ‘Arty Facts’ Gift shop and a part of Elizabeth’s Visionary Art Gallery, Tugun, 2006. Perhaps you may not be surprised that I am quite tired of shifting, and would so appreciate a final, permanent, suitable gallery / home. Will Castle Pamela in New Zealand be this place?

2007-2017         Sunset Strip, Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia

It was so sad to leave the Tugun Castle. However, sometimes we need to let go for a while to give us time to balance our lives, so we can return stronger for the next big adventure. I allowed a month to pack, clean up and move. As I carefully packed the boxes of personal items I needed for the next stage of my life, I placed them out of the way, in a pile of boxes with a big sign on it,


However, I must have had an illiterate packer (or someone who hated me), who without my knowledge, packed all my treasured possessions into one of the three shipping containers (or maybe they stole them).

I was so disappointed. Well, at least I had a good excuse to collect some more medieval wares.

Another passion of mine is Social Dancing.

As many of the older local Ballroom and New Vogue dancers were dying and taking their knowledge with them, I felt I needed to record this important aspect of our social history before it was too late. So, I drew the dancers and interviewed them, creating two books recording the dancers dance histories. These were people who danced on the Gold Coast, mostly at Coolangatta and Tweed – the dance mecca of Australia.

Luckily, an affordable flat became available across the road from Twin Towns Services Club where Henry and I danced most nights, and where the dancer subjects often congregated.

Eventually, I ended up drawing six hundred dancers. I am not a natural writer so I needed to know if I could actually write a book. These books were my ‘apprenticeship’ for my next huge project.

Sunset Strip was a 1960s’ Backpackers with some flats. I was so fortunate to rent a flat, and, as its next stage was to be demolished, I was permitted to put nails in walls and alter it however I liked. This was my tiniest castle ever, but a tremendous lot of artwork and creativity happened in it. I was living under the poverty line and am proud that I survived.

I knew that this window of time, without any other huge responsibilities, was my time to document all my artwork. So, I started compiling a book – which is now two books, The Rangi Visions and The Gaia Visions.

It occurred to me that I should also explain why I created my artworks, and introduce readers to Symbolism in Art, and Mystical Symbolism, as apparently, I am a Mystical Symbolist. So, as well as documenting my work, the books became more inspirational and educational. However, instead of taking me the estimated two years to complete, they took me ten years and they are not completed yet. I learnt what a ‘text box’ was (so I was reeeally starting from scratch) and I learnt Photoshop and InDesign.

When I was a teenager I was clairvoyantly ‘told’ by a Higher Source that I must honour three duties if I wish to keep my gift of seeing visions. Ever since then I have endeavoured to do this.

My three duties are:
1 Keep a pure loving heart so I may receive the channelled visions.
2 Manifest the visions into physical form.
3 Share them with others.

Although I was hidden away during this time, writing The Rangi and Gaia Visions is sharing my art.

These books are my biggest mission to date, and a testament to my tenacity. However, the biggest life mission still is yet to come. It involves everything I have learnt and created.

It is my final resting place for my Visionary Art Collection. I require the next venue before these books are released. So, where is my next ‘Castle’ going to be? One factor may be that I am now living in New Zealand. Or should I return to Australia?

2019 onward. Is the future Elizabeth Kyle’s Castle in Tīrau, South Waikato, New Zealand?

In Tīrau, New Zealand, I discovered a ‘Castle For Sale’, which no one else seems to want. However, this Castle is PERFECT for my biggest Vision. The fact that it is half finished is perfect for me, as I can make it my own-styled, Walk-in, 3D Experience.

Actually, when I first visited Castle Pamela two years ago, the castle appeared to plead with me to ‘Help it’. Little did I know how much help this iconic Castle needs, as the other option is for a developer to demolish it for twenty-five house sections. Personally, I find the idea of destroying such an iconic building abhorrent, especially as I had recently witnessed the Tugun Castle’s fate.

For thirty-six years I have been working on my Mission, from a vision I received when I was on the edge of death in 1983, but was told,“You have to stay alive, because you have work to do”. This iconic Castle (or something similar but I can’t imagine anything so perfect) is required to fulfill my Mission. (Maybe I need to go to England?)

Tirau’s Castle would become a Sanctuary of Inspiration and Learning, with guest speakers and workshops, and be of benefit to the local community, tourism, South Waikato, New Zealand and our Planet. Tīrau sounds like “Teeee-ro” with the ‘au’ shortened. In the Māori language, ‘Tīrau’ means ‘Place of many cabbage trees.’

Tīrau, originally named Oxford, is a delightful, quaint, arty, country town and is the hub between the tourist hot-spots: Hobbiton Matamata (20km), and the Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua (52km), Mount Maunganui Cruise Terminal and Tauranga (58km, 44 minutes), Cambridge (32km), other closer small country towns, Hamilton City (56km), and a bit further out-Lake Taupo (98km) and Waitomo Caves (94km). Plus Auckland, with 1.6 million people, is 2 hrs-30 minutes away.

So, it is well placed in the centre of the North Island. However, securing this property will truly be a miracle, as, being an artist – like many other artists, I really need a patron or philanthropic person’s help. For what the property is, it is not expensive. If you are interested in assisting me in this vision, I have a book on my Castle intentions for you to ponder.

The South Waikato District Council love my proposal, and I hope you will too.

I have been collecting ‘Medieval’ chattels and wares for thirty-six years and have four shipping containers worth of art works and ‘Medieval’ furniture (theatrical only – much of which I have made myself), also shop stock and fittings and much more – all ready to move straight in and get going.

  • Awesome, healthy, organic, extraordinary Medieval food from the commercial kitchen (when finished – a priority).
  • Gothic Café. Healthy, themed, need a chef.
  • ARTY-FACTS Shop. Existing fittings & stock.
  • Lectures, Conferences and Workshops.
  • Medieval Banquets with guests in costume.
  • Reproductions of Elizabeth’s paintings etc.
  • Festivals and Fairs
  • Costume Hire. We have many costumes.
  • NZ Motor Caravan Club destination
  • Hiring The Stag Hall for meetings
  • Corporate Team Building
  • Dance Lessons, Dances and Themed Balls.
  • School excursions
  • Medieval (only) Weddings
  • Rent the house. Or AirB&B when not used for workshop guests.
  • Medieval tent Glamping
  • Tarot and Astrology Readers
  • Alternative healers, Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, aromatherapy etc.
  • School holiday activities
  • Photoshoot destination
  • Cruise Ship passengers – on the tourist route. Buses of visitors. Set times.
  • International entertainers evenings. Waiting!
  • Special evenings for families with children
  • Dinner and lunch
  • Small theatrical productions
  • Souvenirs: Our own wine bottle labels, hand-painted wares, Medieval crafts. Castle themed cocktails and more
  • Subdivide a Medieval Village?