Friday, March 1, 2024

Sculpted stories

Cheryl Wright – STRENGTH
Feast your eyes on more than 120 spectacular sculpted works of art from over 100 artists at the country’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition. The NZ Sculpture OnShore has returned after a hiatus of five years. Three of our local, gifted creatives will showcase their works of art at the Clifftop Park located at Operetu, Fort Takapuna in Devonport.

If NZ Sculpture OnShore sounds familiar it’s because it is in its 27th year—only it gets better, quirkier and more thought-provoking each year—with works of art that go way beyond the traditional white cube galleries.

It’s a rare opportunity to explore soaring, monumental sculptures, juxtaposed with innovative projects of sound and light art works and site-specific installations as well as handmade domestic wares and smaller sculptural pieces at the NZ Sculpture OnShore.
Several works will be built onsite, including cornerstone piece And Then They Kissed Me by social practice artists Bernie Harfleet and Turtle Sarten.

Installed in the Fort’s engine room and connecting tunnels, the confronting and moving work is a metaphor for the experience of women fleeing domestic violence and finding refuge. Visitors can write messages of hope and encouragement to those who have escaped and are rebuilding their lives. The proceeds from the sale of each work will go to Women’s Refuge NZ.

In the past NZ Sculpture OnShore has raised more than $2 million for the victims of domestic violence, helping women and children access safe places to stay, and providing counselling and wrap around services. This event is Women’s Refuge NZ’s largest public fundraiser.

Some of the accomplished, local artists exhibiting this year include Howick’s artist/designer Ramon Robertson, sculptural painter Wendy Hannah from Buckland’s Beach and Clevedon-based Cheryl Wright, owner of Art Industry.

Ramon Robertson’s: The Courier

Ramon Robertson’s – The Courier

Ramon is known to explore themes linking to human nature, conditioning, and behaviour in the city.

His artwork engages with aspects of architecture and urbanisation. Mass production and standardisation of objects is also a focus, as well as a closer look at our human existence in our living environments.

The sculptures he produces are often figurative.

What’s going on in the artist’s mind?

Robertson states: “I often talk to people around me who are in some way connected to what I do as a sculptor, for example, the postman, the courier and a workman. In my neighbourhood and street what I do is quite obscure to a lot of people but in conversations with, let’s say, the courier I sometimes find out that people have other obscure interests outside of their day-to-day work. This interests me about people and I like that everything is not what it initially seems.”

Wendy Hannah’s: Pioneering Women, Mary

Hannah explores light, colour, pigment, and materials to create an immersive environment, reflecting the different facets of her practice. Known to create, large scale installations using recycled materials, Hannah brings modern innovation to time honoured processes.

Fascinated by the fundamental elements of art making, she pushes boundaries with new materials, surfaces, pigments and paint.

The story behind her work?

Hannah states: “I explore hard edge design abstracting figurative imagery to represent the diverse achievements and accomplishments of pioneering women. The effect of this work could be interpreted as a representation of the multifaceted nature of women’s roles and contributions. It also signifies how these pioneering women and Wahine Toa have had to adapt and shine.”

Cheryl Wright’s: Strength

Cheryl Wright’s art is an extension of her love of nature. She is a multimedia artist currently using hard materials with the intention to produce works that appear soft and encourages the viewer to connect with nature, to respect and protect it. Wright has been exhibiting regularly since 2007 and is the owner of Art Industry, a gallery in Clevedon Village.

Where does the artist get inspiration from?

Wright states: “Joy, remembrance, beauty, harmony, balance, grace, strength, honour, hope. Calendula, cosmos, snapdragons, gladioli, wild poppies, fennel. The symbolic meaning of flowers, their natural beauty and comforting presence. Flowers can say it all!”

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