NZ Sculpture OnShore
November 5 – 28
Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples
NZ Sculpture OnShore which is the country’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition opened this week with its organisers committed to raising $100,000 for Women’s Refuge.
Lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 have meant that the exhibition, now in its 25th year will not be held at O Peretu / Fort Takapuna. Instead, they have created a new online platform to view and purchase the more than 200 works.
The online site also calls for Kiwis to support women and children fleeing domestic violence by donating to their Woman’s Refuge Givealittle campaign. This year, donations will go towards ‘Kids in the Middle’, an initiative to create safe, comforting and creative spaces for children staying in each of the Refuge’s 40 safe houses.
NZ Sculpture OnShore’s Board Chair Sally Dewar says, “The impact of this global pandemic has hit many of our local communities hard; more New Zealand women and children than ever before are fleeing from dangerous situations. There are few things more important than helping children feel safe and secure after experiencing trauma, and so we are determined to support Woman’s Refuge’s Kids in the Middle project.
“If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who would usually buy a ticket to NZ Sculpture OnShore, please go online today and give generously to this important cause. If you’ve not been to the exhibition before, this is a great opportunity to do so,” says Ms Dewar.
Event curator Sally Lush says of this years event “The works are by emerging and established artists from around New Zealand, with a mix of crowd favourites who have exhibited at previous events, and others offering fresh and exciting new perspectives,”
“There are quirky and thought-provoking works, soaring monumental sculptures, sound and light art works and sight specific installations. Also, there will be many accessible works specifically for adding that special touch to home gardens.”
Included in this year’s exhibition are popular artists Jeff Thomson who has created several “model” houses made of steel mesh such as “Mesh 4” ($5000) which he says “ came about through my love of models which I create for both private and public sculpture proposals. My father Tiger spent 30 years building model boats, his commitment, patience and skill has always been a huge inspiration for me as a sculptor”.
There are realist sculptural works such as Fiona Garlick’s “Off Balance” ($29,000) featuring a tui perched on an oversized acorn. “The work is part of a body of work called Charming Invaders that has been occupying me as an artist for several years. She sees this as addressing the tension between introduced and native species of flora and fauna. “The work is intended as homage both to our native Tui and to the trees, plants and people who have come to New Zealand” from all over the world. But mostly it is a comment on the more serious issue of non-native species in our environment.”
There are also more abstract works such as Johl Dwyers “Metallic Magenta” ($3450) of which he notes “There is an interest in light-based colour and pigment-based colour, specifically when these two properties intersect – how we are increasingly experiencing colour in a light-based virtual space as opposed to a physical space, such as on a screen or device instead of in an artwork.”
Taranaki artist Chauncey Flay’s “Parliament House Structure I” ($28,000) is literally made out of pieces of Takaka marble removed during earthquake strengthening of the Beehive, New Zealand’s Parliament building.
Julie Moselen’s “Unity” ($12,800) was inspired by and explores the duality of the Masculine and the Feminine, and through the unification of these two elements, harmony and balance are created. Steeped in symbolism relating to Mother Earth, and Sky Father, The Sun and the Moon, birth, death and rebirth, this curvilinear form (feminine) created from cold hard steel (masculine) takes on an elegance and grace where both softness and strength are present. The earthy rusted patina is evocative of the passing of time and represents the ever present need for equality between men and women in society.
Steve Molloy’s notes about “The Ripple Effect” ($13,000) that “The story of this piece is about the ripple effect of our words and actions, and how they can have a major influence over others and their future. We must be mindful of what it is we put out into society as we do not truly know the full consequences of where such a simple action will end.”
Also showing are Ramon Robertson and Susan Dinkelacker along with mother and son team Trish and Sean Clarke as well as father and son James and Jorge Wright.
The event also reflects New Zealand’s indigenous and multi-cultural heritage. Shane Hansen (Tainui, Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Hine, Chinese, Danish and Scottish descent) is showing “Te Tūi Kaitiaki” ($45,000).
Master carver Joe Kemp (Ngai Tahu, Ngāpuhi and Te Arawa (Ngati Makino) is showing “Hinerau raua ko Tanerau” ($95,000) in swamp totara and Taranaki andesite.
Jin Ling who taught art in China before migrating to New Zealand 20-years ago is showing “Reader” ($4200) which is one of her striking, life sized, ceramic works depicting women at peace.
Since inception, Sculpture on Shore has raised more than $2.1M for the victims of domestic violence, helping women and children access safe places to stay, counselling and wrap around services.
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