Sculpting a new tradition

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Sally Smith and Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia

There wasn’t much space to be found in Space Gallery on Oneroa’s main street last Friday evening, where a good-sized crowd squeezed in for the opening of the 2015 Sculpt Oneroa exhibition.

The annual event, curated by artists Sally Smith and Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia, sees a range of contemporary sculptures by local artists scattered around Oneroa village over the summer season.

It seems to have become something of an instant tradition. Sally Smith says she is pleased with the way the exhibition is growing “quite naturally” in quality and stature.

Her relaxed style of curating allows the artists to speak, rather than having to be filtered through a remote selection panel.

Sally’s own piece Kowhangatara/Spinifex was sold on opening night.

Naturally, as soon as the snacks and speeches were had, the message was to go out into the village and peruse the 18 works on show.

Paul Olson could be regarded as a local artist returned. After spending his youth on Waiheke, he has been away for many years in Southland, working on his wood carving skills.

His solid, word-inspired pou, Kopu -Word stands in Pendragon Mall, outside the Unichem Pharmacy.

The three whimsical works by Jay Lloyd are notable as an intriguing departure for this already accomplished artist (who usually works in bronze), into a new area of artistic enquiry.

The pieces Wow, Pow and Pow Wow combine humour and mystery, and so keep the viewer wondering.

From Place to No Place, identity is a stand-out work by Kazu Nakagawa.

In true Nakagawa-style it is displayed discreetly and is well-worth seeking out. It carries the artist’s signature lightness-of-being, while embodying complex conceptualisation, no mean feat in any work of art.

The other exhibiting artists are Chris Bailey, Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia, Daniel Johner, Oliver Duhamel, Veronika Evans-Gander, Maria Lloyd, Nico Otero, Brian Gartrell, Jillian Karl, Oliver Stretton-Pow, Les Baxter, and Anah Dunsheath.

The exhibition continues to 21 February, and all works are for sale. Brochure guides are available from Waiheke i-Site in Shop the Rock, Waiheke Discovery at the top of the village and both [ s p a c e ] and Toi galleries.

Story by Alex Stone

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