Toby Verbeek Bourke    

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Toby was born in New Plymouth in 1978. He has lived in Wellington since he was six. He hasn’t been out of New Zealand, but would like to. He would like to go to Sydney because he’s got lots of family in Australia.

When asked about his artwork, Toby said, “I like colour. I’m inspired by rainbows. They’re natural, quite amazing. I do like light. My mum (artist Anne Marie Verbeek) likes colour and is an influence. She’s quite creative.”

Toby is really pleased to be involved in this auction and is reminded of an exhibition at the Compassion Centre. “I liked the biographies. They were interesting. I just about cried when I read some of what was written.”

Toby is a dedicated member of the Stillwaters Christian community. The Bible is obviously an influence in his artwork. “I started reading the Bible three years ago. I decided to read through the Bible in a year. It really helped me understand more than I had before. I find it healing. I used to have a really negative view of myself. [The Bible] gives me hope. I had lost hope. I had some pretty big struggles.”

Living in a city with so much to do, Toby prioritises spending time with his friends and family, and doing things with positive contributions. Toby likes encouraging people – their talents, helping people count their blessings and building community. 

© Actionaut 2016