Date 18 March 2021 Words The Art Paper Photography Supplied
In an outdoor area buzzing with activity, the Raumati Toi Sculpture Symposium is an incredible opportunity to view artworks by twenty sculptors working within Aotearoa.
Spanning artists who practice across wood, hard and soft stone, metal, and paint, the Symposium offers the unique chance to engage with each sculptor whilst they are working and see artworks at different stages of the creation process. Visitors who are sensitive to noise or dust might want to bring a mask or earplugs to have on hand, as the live-action making means multiple pieces of equipment are often in use!
Raumati Toi was brought together by Lawrence Makoare (Ngāti Whātua Orākei), a sculptor working mainly in wood and Oamaru stone. As well as being an incredible place to meet established artists, the event is also a learning opportunity for ten rangatahi who are being guided through the process of how to sculpt an Oamaru sculpture of their own design. Makoare writes, “I enjoy working with likeminded people that spur me on to create more traditional and contemporary pieces made with blood, sweat and a whole lot of aroha; and to share my knowledge with youth that are willing to learn and be creative.”
All pieces made during the two-week event will be auctioned on the closing day at 4 pm, Sunday 28 March.
We highlight seven artists from the event below.
Logan Okiwi Shipgood is a sculptor, art director and set designer. In 2015 he opened Penny Haka gallery in Rotorua.
—Logan Okiwi Shipgood
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi is one of Aotearoa’s foremost sculptors. Many of his artworks are based upon the ancient Pasifika art of lavala (lashing), a binding technique that evokes physical and metaphorical ties to cultural knowledge.
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi, Haukulasi, 2017, acrylic yarn and cardboard tubes, overall 1830 (h) x 2720 (w) x 840 (d) mm. Image courtesy of Te Papa Tongarewa.
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi at the Raumati Sculpture Symposium, March 2021. Image courtesy of Kytaja Photography by Tania Brown
Uenuku Hawira has been sculpting for over 12 years. He creates taonga from natural materials such as wood and stone, and is also an expert in Tā Moko.
Kendra Hanley describes her sculptures as “organic shapes with soothing curves and tranquil lines.” After finding a curiosity and affinity with Oamaru stone whilst travelling the South Island in 2005, she became “hooked” on the medium and has been sculpting almost full-time since.
Steve Molloy‘s sculptural forms are often meticulously finished and highly polished. He plays with space and illusion to highlight geometry and wonder within the natural world.
Jocelyn Pratt sculpts modernist forms that evoke the natural world. She brings her artworks to life through utilising local resources and has developed unique polishing and texture techniques that enhance the qualities of the stone.
Jocelyn Pratt, Aqua Anchor. Image courtesy of the artist.
Having worked as a sculptor since the early 2000s, Paul Brunton utilises ecologically sourced native hardwoods to create artworks with a sense of dynamism and fluidity.