Progressive foundry / Artworks foundry
photos by Andre Van De Ven
Abstracted Gothic Arch & Kowhai flowers
Permanent Public Sculpture, Rose Gardens, Auckland Botanic Gardens
Commissioned by the Friends of the Gardens in 2008, unveiled in 2009.
Situated in the Rose Gardens at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.
Within this work, my second public commission, elements of ‘Rose Cathedral‘ originated from ‘Short Embrace’, a medal in the 2004 MANZ exhibition. It, in turn, came from another medal, ‘Katybird‘, I did for a 2002 MANZ exhibition in which I explored ideas around the relationship to forms within nature; specifically forest dwellers; and in turn their anatomical relationship to the flora around them. This medal featured a native Tui on a branch on the obverse, and a Katydid cricket on the reverse.
In the medallic tradition of obverse and reverse, I played with the anatomical leaf forms by flipping them in a kind of rhythmic repartition. I combined this with an exploration of the native Kowhai flower and its emotive and expressive qualities. In a kind of Yin/Yang play of forms and energies I coupled these forms with the solid and strong framework of the arches. These arches reflect the existing arches the Rose Garden is formed by. The inside arches house a nautical theme. This is a nod to my father, a seasoned yachtsman, who passed during the making of this commission.
photos by Andre Van De Ven
Endangered Blue Penguin
Permanent Public Sculpture, Campbells Bay Beach, Auckland
These six Little Blue Penguins, made in bronze, can be found at Campbells Bay on Auckland’s North Shore.
The Little Blue Penguins were a private initiative by Max Tomson, supported by local council, celebrating the bird and penguins ladies, Sylvia Durrant and Annwynne Standish and the tireless work they do rehabilitating the local penguins, among other species of birds.
I was very excited to do this project, so lucky to be part of it. Working on a community project is deeply rewarding and working with Max Thomson, whose idea it was to offer this addition to his community, was such a joy. Community telling its own story is such an important social function and one which is of benefit to all who encounter it. It not only fosters local knowledge, but creates a sense of worth and understanding among its people, which further extends outward to other groups and visitors. When we first installed the penguins there was an attempt at vandalising them. But once we had the community unveiling people understood that it is a community funded, community directed initiative, and the community embraced the addition.
The penguins tell a story about the love and generosity of the Bird ladies, Sylvia Durrant and Anwwynne Standish, and their long lasting positive contribution to their community.
photos by Andre Van De Ven and Samantha Lissette
Golden Goose Egg Chair
Abstracted Goose Chair
Permanent Public Sculpture, Auckland Botanic Gardens Front Lawn
Situated on the main lawn of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, this is the first of the Bird Chair series, made for the 2015/16 Sculpture in the Gardens. It was donated to the permanent sculpture collection by private art patrons.
I wanted to make something both playful and useful to go into a public space which not only allowed touching, but actively invited a tactile response. I wanted a more immersive experience of bronze, not just touch, but to further embrace the work. I thought it a good way to encourage children and adults to break barriers between art and public and engender positive responses and healthy relationships. So when I thought of the chair, I felt it would fit the bill pretty well.
This was such a challenging artwork to make for all involved. I had no idea if it would work, if the bronze would be suitable to sit in. So I enlisted the help of a structural engineer to design an internal steel structure to support the weight of multiple people at a time on any point of the sculpture. I also had to simplify and soften the form to allow for safety, with small children climbing all over it. If I made another one, I’d put a lot more detail into it.
I love visiting the Gardens and seeing families picnic beside the chair, kids eating their lunch or sitting contemplatively in it, or couples and friends climbing on it. This is exactly what I had in mind, an acceptance of art within a public domain.
photos by Andre Van De Ven
Abstracted Leaf Cutter Ants
Permanent home at Riverhaven Artland Sculpture Park, Clevedon
The Ants permanent home, within their own landscape of anthills, resides in the beautiful Clevedon sculpture park, Riverhaven Artland.
Born as a sight specific response to the Auckland Botanic Gardens 2013/14 exhibition Sculpture in the Gardens, Atta Mediae is a work primarily heralding industry and the merits of hard work. Along side this are ideas around team work and working toward a single unified goal or outcome.
Any successful team pulls on the strengths of its individuals. This idea of individuality is reflected in the unique designs sculpted into each Ants armory. The Ants bodies are put together more like armour than exoskeletons, though the two are reflective of each other as an exoskeleton performs the same function as armour. The armour also signifies the uniform; a device used to represent unity, identity and shared purpose.
The leaves impart a soft, organic aspect to the piece and signify the yin or feminine principal, thereby engendering a harmonic balance between themselves and the hard, masculine, robotic nature of the ants. Seen as a whole, the rhythm of the soft and hard elements combine to reflect the balance of life as it marches ever forward to greater achievements.
The Long Embrace
Abstracted leaf forms with Kowhai
Permanent Public Sculpture, Ayrlies Gardens, Auckland
The ‘Long Embrace‘ was made for the Inaugural ‘Sculpture in the Gardens’ at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.
This is the large version of the ‘Short Embrace’, a medal in the 2004 MANZ exhibition. It, in turn, came from another medal, ‘Katybird‘, I did for a 2002 MANZ exhibition in which I explored ideas around the relationship to forms within nature; specifically forest dwellers; and in turn their anatomical relationship to the flora around them. This medal featured a native Tui on a branch on the obverse, and a Katydid cricket on the reverse.
This piece was bought by the sponsors, the McConnell Family, and now resides at the celebrated Ayrlies Gardens.
Sand cast Bronze
Permanent Public Sculpture, Guangzhou, China
My first public commission, this work is a gift from Auckland City to sister city Guanzhou, China.
Commissioned by Auckland City Council to celebrate the cities 20th Anniversary.
It is a visual celebration of many natural aspects of Auckland city in relief form cutouts.The back is etched rather than in relief.The brief involved something which would be easily transportable and also durable. It did the trick.