Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Art a'wandering

As I mentioned, Barry and I spent a week or so in the North Island of New Zealand recently.  One of the places we visited was the town of Kerikeri.  We went here specifically because we had read about Wharepuke Sculpture Park (art-park.co.nz).  Extra bonuses included the Wharepuke Print Studio, Art at Wharepuke Gallery and a fabulous coffee shop.

You can imagine we spent quite some time there.

The Sculpture Park walk was a delight. I really love wandering through gardens and discovering art - having sculpture peep out at you or suddenly appear; being dwarfed by them or looking intently at the bark on a tree to find some.

And so it was here - a gathering of 42 artworks in different media, from all over the world.

Here are some of my favourites:

I loved the pencils. By Clare Sadler, and called Abandoned Old Tec they were made of stone. I loved the way she put the nicks in them, the bit where we used to scrape a sliver off and write our name on it; the way the lead was evident from top to bottom. Simply stunning.

But then the dandelions were just gorgeous.

By Jane and Mario Downes, called Stop the Clock, they were made from scrap metal and stood so tall, much taller than the dandelion field they stood in.  I loved the many stages they were displayed in - full blow, half-blown, spent. They did everything that blown dandelions do - encourage us to dream and play and wish...

Alice Burns' Brave New World took small pieces of fused glass and porcelain and wired them to tree branches. The work had fragments of fingerprints embedded in it, telling stories of people and connections across the world.

 In Wharepuke Revisited, Anton Forde carved recycled railway sleepers to create seven female forms, each an individual and with their own toanga, neck piece, reflecting important elements of life. They were very calm and felt like a family gathering in the forest, steadfast and timeless.

More carving, but this time of driftwood. Webber Booth carved driftwood pieces reminiscent of the burrowing that sea worms do - creating these lovely intricate tunnels. Patterns of Decay is its name.

And then you come across the gorgeous vibrant crazy kiwis by Di McMillan (Kiwi+ Stuff).
Constructed with all sorts of recycled materials - netting, cables, plugs, keys, pipes and more they each glow with individuality and just make you smile.

My final favourite was called Close to Natural - Tree Rings by Anna van den Nieuwelaar. Each of these tree rings has its own unique bark imprint on the inside and fits snugly into place on the trunk of the tree. Made of glass, they were simply divine.

After our walk we were lucky to spend time in the printmaking studio with Mark Graver - an amazing printmaker who wrote the book on Non-Toxic Printmaking. An excellent resource (and he signed the copy I bought!).

We really appreciated the time he spent with us, and were able to purchase this wee print - absolutely gorgeous.

A delicious day and I really do hope to go back. Printmaking exchange or residency anyone????


  1. Replies
    1. Oh it was indeed Mo - one of those days where you thought you knew what lay ahead but it was oh so much more! Go well.

  2. A day of pure joy...thanks for taking me.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the trip Jo - it was such a delight and a wonderful discovery!

  3. Thanks Fiona - it was a pleasure to meet you, and yes, we do offer artist residencies!

    1. Thanks Mark, we had a great time and there has been lots of enthusiasm here for a trip and or exchange in 2017 - stay tuned!

  4. Delicious indeed! Thanks for sharing, Fiona.


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