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About us

 

Gerar Toye is the Global Gypsy.                        

 

Living his dream being supported as an artist he travelled around the world constantly 

for twenty years living in warmth after his last winter on the road in 1986 in Scotland. 

However that winter he spent at Findhorn changed his life and enlivened his quest to 

touch spirit and uncover his soul connecting with life along the way.

 

"I had a dream that if I did anything with passion and integrity and was authentic that people would support me to do it. The secret to life is to find your passion then inspire others to support the quest."

 

 His photographic style is sensitive and timeless. Shooting from the hip with two basic 

nikon film cameras he explored many countries searching for the worlds greatest smile 

and produced the Smile book with long time traveler and Swedish friend Anders Blomqvist. 

Passionate about his art and darkroom training he spent every spare cent on film, 

taking images of total strangers along the way and inspired by his experiences wrote 

one line axioms which he called imagisms to express his understanding of insights 

realised.

 

Gerar wanted to save the whales but felt there was only so much one person could do 

but realised that if he was to grow as much as he could maybe he could inspire One or more

other people to connect with their own spirit to find and follow their truths and higher 

calling and maybe they would save the whales instead. To this date he has not saved 

even one whale however over a million people have been touched by his work.

 

The last known job he had was in 1987 when he was contracted to sail a 100 tonne 

1910 Baltic trading yacht from Perth, West Australia to Alaska as he had built a 

darkroom on board to hand process the colour transparencies of the captains’ 

underwater photography in Micronesia from his 20 year circumnavigation of the planet.

On meeting Judith Pintar a celtic harpist at Findhorn he realised his purpose was to 

help bring artists in the world together to create for peace, and to create the True 

Hearted Artists Foundation but in pre-internet earth it was a challenge and he decided 

to follow his heart ( he art) and see where his inspiraton would lead.

 

On returning to New Zealand the country of his birth he taught himself to paint 

producing a 24 meter mural at Mangawhai Heads to immortalise the event of the locals

saving 55 pilot whales in a stranding that happened while he was away. He then 

transformed a 1956 school bus into a beautiful wooden rimu home and traveled with 

the gypsy fair for 5 summers around Aotearoa ( and still went around the world every 

winter) sharing his imagery, insights and travel stories with the folk of middle earth. 

Inspiring others to find their true nature and passions. Along the way the taught 

thousands of people how to play didjeridoo and juggle to those who wanted to learn 

something they thought they would never be able to do.

 

Building another bus in Australia he traveled up and down the east coast going to 

music festivals for many years while also having another RV in California based in the 

Napa Valley.

 Carrying two old Nikon Film cameras and two lenses and 200 rolls of film a year Gerar

 had little space for clothes so it was easier to remain in summer climates as there 

wasn't room for a raincoat or jumper so he claimed only one real winter in his twenty 

years of travelling.

 

Uninspired by the cards he would see available Gerar started imagist publishing to 

supply travellers with real images & insights which he exchanged for food and film 

along the way which are now translated in 6 languages on the backs of them.

 

With the birth of Rimu & Kiva in 2002 life changed drastically and full time solo dad life 

presented itself a reason to stop and create a base in New Zealand and now in Bellingen NSW Australia.

 

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Enrolling in a Fine Arts degree at Canterbury to explore his painting but realising that 

painting wouldn’t bring about the change he wanted to see in the world Gerar switched

to film and the ideas continue to flow. He is now working on multiple scripts to inject 

positive propoganda into narrative cinema.

 

Usually resident in Karamea in the summer months where he is part of the Livng in 

Peace Project with visionary Paul Murray establishing the global gypsy gallery which 

will eventually transcend to the global gypsy cafe project as a training ground for 

travelers to intergrate into third world countries to give a month of their time training 

orphans and children of sex workers…..more on that on the global gypsy cafe project 

page. However all this sat perfectly with his vision he shared with Judith.

 

The global gypsy gallery sits in the heart of Karamea on the west coast of the South 

Island and attracts woofers (Willing workers on organic Farms) from around the world 

and inspired beings coming to Rongo Backpackers and the Living in Peace Project and Karamea Radio.

The shop is now closed and is in transition into a cafe

 

All enquiries to gerar  oz@globalgypsy.com

 

Gerar is still single and "....for now I've given up looking for Miss Right and now i'm 

looking for Miss Right for now......"

 

Gerar currently (2015-2021) resides in Bellingen NSW Australia where he has opened 

another gallery from where he plans to finish some scripts and raise money to make his

films. He Lives in a housebus and is converting a shipping container into a bedroom and establishing a Tiny Homes business to tackle affordable housing.

He is assisting Paul Forest in the Cluster Project as 

a way of remodelling the charity structure to give more back to those in need. The 

vision he shared with Judith Pintar, Paul Murray and Paul Forrest still stands as his 

reason for being to bring together people of common heart, to awaken kindred spirits & 

create positive change. Funding for films to inspire is always needed, so please feel 

free to support this artist who has devoted his life to this cause. I believe that given the chance I can inspire

a new type of film making which may inspire even more kindred spirits to awaken

There is always another ten thousand souls ready to waken.

The best feedback an artist can receive is cash                      

Some people are so poor all they have is money

 

 Here is the latest article written by Paul Murray which appeared in the Rongolian Star

by

 

Off the Top of my Head

By Paul Murray 

 

Gerar Toye

A thirst for inspiration, wisdom, experience and understanding led Gerar Toye (52) on 

an international quest from his birthplace in South Auckland to Karamea at the top of 

the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

 

The youngest of six children, Gerar spent his formative years in Manurewa––one of the

most multi-cultural suburbs of Auckland and also one of the roughest and toughest––

before moving to Borneo for a couple of years with his father Dallas, a school teacher, 

and mother Pauline, a volunteer nurse.

 

On returning to New Zealand and completing his primary education, Gerar developed a 

strong interest in photography and became a darkroom printer for New Zealand’s top 

professional photographers. The job satisfied his passion for photographic printing, but 

the formulaic style of the photography he was charged with printing and the sterile, safe

and conservative images he constantly saw emerging in the developing fluid left him 

wanting to make his own images and express his creative ideas through photography.

 

Gerar quit the job that no longer inspired him and went to Australia in 1982 for a couple 

of years before returning to Borneo to hook up with childhood school friends there. The 

trip triggered his wonderlust and he spent the next two decades travelling the world and

gaining the international experience, self-education and wisdom that travel affords.

 

Sri Lanka was next and there he met fellow travellers from the north, who had strange 

tales of India to share. “In Aragum Bay, I met people who had travelled through India 

who told me crazy stories about the country with sparkles in the eyes, which inspired 

me to visit the country,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the tales I heard and wanted to 

verify them for myself…I wanted to prove them wrong, but after seeing the country for

myself, I found out that all I’d heard was true and more!”

 

His tourist visa allowed for six months in India, but that was in no way sufficient once 

his interest in the country and its diverse culture was piqued. He returned 10 times and

travelled extensively all the while with his camera at the ready.

 

In 1989, he heard about the Kumbh Mela Festival, a Hindu pilgrimage that takes place 

every four years in four different locations in rotation. Hindu devotees flock to bathe in 

the sacred Ganges River and here he photographed the religious, cultural and 

anthropological spectacle of the largest gathering of humans on the Earth.

 

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The experience was overwhelming, 30 million people assembled in one location, with 

70 million attending the event over the course of one month inspired Gerar to return to

participate in the Maha (large) Kumbh Mela festival in 2001, which occurs every 144 

years and is held at Triveni Sangam the “meeting place” at the confluence of the 

Ganga, Yamuna and the Sarasvati rivers.

 

There Gerar photographed the myriad people assembled in the largest-ever 

congregation of religious pilgrims with his unique “shooting from the hip” style that 

enables him to capture candid moments, spontaneity and genuine emotion in his 

subjects. The hand-printed images are now being exhibited at the Global Gypsy Gallery

in Karamea.

 

 With the travelbug’s teeth now deep into his flesh and Gerar ventured to numerous 

countries, travelled through the Americas, Europe and Asia, all the while with camera at

the ready to capture moments of human emotion, joy, expression and life moments. 

With three cameras and 200 rolls of film each year Gerar had no room for cold or wet 

weather clothes so spent his time in constant warmth with only one winter in his twenty 

years on the road.

 

Opportunities abounded and he helped everyone he met basically woofing before it 

was invented. These led to some marvellous experiences, including being invited to

tour America with Paul Kelly and Crowded House, which he turned down to follow an 

affair of the heart. Using his darkroom skills he built a darkroom on a 1910 Danish Gaff 

rigged ketch from Fremantle West Australia through Indonesia, Micronesia and Japan 

and on to Alaska.

 

He now had a body of work that he could share with others and market to finance his 

vagabond lifestyle. Years on the road had also furnished him with wisdom and spiritual 

understanding well beyond his years and he decided to mix both his spirituality and 

photography to create postcards, posters and T-shirts of his images matched with 

inspirational quotations and put his experiences out into the retail market. Despite 

significant effort and attempts to offer his cards to retail outlets, shop owners were not

keen to stock his products, so he decided to go it alone and sell them himself.

 

He returned to New Zealand in 1990 initially to Mangawhai Heads north of Auckland 

where his now retired parents live. While there, he painted an ecological mural on the 

public toilets as a move to think globally and act locally. The mural was graffiti-free until 

it started to peel ten years later and he was commissioned to return to repaint it for the 

locals but the building was eventually demolished.

 

He later travelled in a purple 1956 Bedford bus called “Carpe Diem” with the Kiwi 

Gypsy Fair for five years, circling the country six times and selling his wares at markets,

festivals and fairs. The response to his products was very positive and the feedback he

received encouraged him to produce a book compiling his photographic images and 

quotations. However, finding a publisher to handle the idea proved frustrating as the 

idea was considered unsaleable. “The images and quotes were very popular with the 

public, so I knew a book would work,” he said. Publishers thought otherwise and he 

was forced to go it alone and using five credit cards to produce his first book “Reality is 

for those with no Imagination,” which was published in 1997.

 

The next challenge was to find book retailers that would stock and

sell his book. This again proved frustrating as he wasn’t backed by a publisher and as a

sole trader, retailers were less than helpful and he met with similar resistance from 

bookshop owners he had experienced when marketing his quote cards.

 

Around that time the Internet was gathering popularity and he set up a Web 

site to stock his own work and market it online. This proved a 

good move and his product started to move. Retailers gradually came on board and his

work is now stocked in over a hundred outlets across New Zealand and Australia. His 

book sold out and has been translated into French, German and 10 other languages. 

He now has eight books on the market and has sold over 15,000 copies making him 

one of New Zealand’s best-selling authors.

 

In 2002, Gerar and his then partner Amla had boy/girl twins Kiva and Rimu. His 

nomadic lifestyle quickly changed and he became a father, settled back into life in New

Zealand,

He decided to pursue his creative passion and enrolled in a fine arts degree at 

Canterbury University in Christchurch. He initially decided to study painting, but on 

reflection switched to filmmaking as he felt the artform had a greater propensity to 

influence people in a positive way. “I didn’t feel I could change the world by painting,”

he said.

 

The challenges and responsibilities of fatherhood forced him to leave university before

graduating, but he managed to express his talent for directing and writing film and 

produced a low budget ($400) 20-minute short film titled “Zen and the Art of 

Hitchhiking,” which can be seen online:

 

Zen and the Art of Hitchhiking at www.vimeo.com/3565835

 

Invited by Paul Murray to revisit Karamea and the LivinginPeace Project he had started

Gerar was inspired to be part of the dream to bring people together and he settled into 

life in the small remote rural community in 2007 after purchasing the old information 

centre building in the centre of town. He painted it in rainbow stripes and established a 

retail outlet of his own to market his growing range of books, postcards, T-shirts, fridge 

magnets, jigsaws, bumper stickers, framed photographs and posters and expanded 

with a range of goods and products including; organic food, local produce, artworks, fair

trade items, second-hand goods, accessories, curios and pre-loved natural-fibre 

clothing…the Global Gypsy Gallery was born.

 

Today, the Global Gypsy Gallery is a veritable emporium and must-see shop for any 

visitor to Karamea. It has become a Farmer’s Market where local organic fruit and 

vegetable growers can sell their excess produce, local artisans can sell their creations,

the best cup of tea and coffee in town and hours of browsing through a treasure trove 

of quality new and used products from around the world. Gerar’s photographs adorn 

the walls and he again has overcome the challenges of unsupportive retailers and 

conservative mindset by doing it himself…and doing it very well.

 

Gerar lives in Bellingen N.S.W. Australia 

where his twins who are nearly 15 and attend the Chrysalis Steiner School. He is working on

 two film scripts “Holy Cow Shit” and “My Sweet Revenge,” which is about 7 strangers

who kidnap former U.S. President George W. Bush and hold him captive for a week. 

 Gerar is currently seeking funding for the film. (more on film page)  

His dream now is to make films that will inspire others to reflect and think for 

themselves and to connect with the love of giving and compassion.

 

Another long-term goal is to establish the Global Gypsy Cafe Project where cafes 

would be set up in countries of need and staffed by Wwoofer volunteers to train 

orphans and children of sex workers to grow food and run the cafes. Gerar considers 

that the way to freedom for many in their cycle is to receive skills and not handouts. 

Each cafe would be self-sustaining and provide healthy organic food to travellers, while 

encouraging people to see a notice board of locals that need assistance.

 

Disillusioned by charity tourism, Gerar sees a way that the efforts of travellers can be

harnessed and directly helping those in need. After his time in Calcutta with Mother 

 Teresa and working in Dr Jacques clinic, he saw a direct way he could help by creating

a system where travellers can be placed where they can help the most without anyone 

 lying anywhere and without money changing hands. 

 His upcoming Holy Cow Shit film will express the concept in film and all that is required

 is $20,000 funding if you have more than you need and would like to share in a project 

 which will touch the lives of many.

 Gerar is seeking funding to establish a not for profit entity for the project, which could 

 potentially place thousands of travellers in areas where they can give and receive the

most and help needy people take charge of their lives.