Flew home from New Zealand last night (and am giving myself a small pat on the back for getting a blog post out to you this morning!) I thought you might like to read about the very worthwhile Brick Bay Sculpture Trail which I visited on Saturday morning – before the heavens opened.
If you are ever in the neighbourhood – yes, even those of you from Texas and Vancouver and London and, and, and… well, this is one to put on the NZ bucket list. It really is a wonderful way to while away and hour or two.
A 50 minute drive north of Auckland, the walk itself is an outdoor gallery experience, where an ever-changing exhibition of around 45 sculptures by leading New Zealand artists are sensitively sited along the 2km trail. As you walk the path, you experience sculpture framed by native trees and palms, surrounded by bird life and green pastures.
All sculptures are for sale and change regularly as works are sold.
Some of the works are pictured below – I’d love to know if you have a favourite.
The Blue Trees by Konstantin Dimopoulos is Brick Bay’s Temporary Artist Project for summer. Firstly realised in Melbourne, Australia then in Vancouver, Canada and now at Brick Bay, the artist is taking The Blue Trees around the world. Dimopoulos transformed native manuka trees at Brick Bay into an electric ultramarine blue walkway using biodegradable pigment. The vibrant Blue Trees call to attention the issue of deforestation and its impact on global warming. Every year some 800,000 miles of forest are felled, trees which breathe for the planet, and without them temperatures rise. Often overlooked in daily life, trees are enormously important to our survival. The ultramarine pigment is biologically safe within a water base and classified as a non-hazardous substance, harmless to humans and the natural world. Over time the colour naturally degrades and trees return to their natural state.
A rosebush becomes a hand-held rosebud which then becomes a woman with a flower as a head.
Matthew 12:12 Cup 2011 is an exhibition by sculptor Gregor Kregar featuring a collection of new porcelain sheep in national rugby jerseys, set to coincide with the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Kregar continues his practice of displacing and disrupting the everyday to allow new and unexpected meanings to emerge. For this New Zealand based artist, nothing is quite as ubiquitous as sheep. They are a national icon, an economic mainstay and an unmistakable feature of the livestock landscape.
Here they are, two otters, sporting their Sunday-best hats, laden with luggage, waiting at the station for the next part of their journey. Awaiting Transportation reflects the artist’s thoughts about issues that she visits regularly in her art. A key theme is that of migration and its connotations of displacement, which is intensified in the context of forced migration in wartime. This leads to considerations of war, the adversity it creates, its effect on people’s lives. In Awaiting Transportation the small Star of David on the suitcase is redolent with memories of the plight of the Jews in Europe during World War II. Here, awaiting transportation to an unknown destination is a proud married couple dressed up in their finery, literally putting their best foot forward. With a trusting innocence, believing Nazi propaganda, they have dutifully packed their belongings in readiness for a journey to ‘another place’.
Live Wire is exactly that – bright, electrifying and ‘alive’. This piece continues Mary Louise Browne’s fascination with highlighting the intricacies and complexities of the English language. Described as a sculptor of words, Browne explores the ways that meanings in language can proliferate. In her sequential carved works she walks us step by step, word by word, through the evolution of an idea, Body to Soul, Rain to Mist, Rape to Ruin. In her neon works she makes clever, pithy comments on language and on concepts, as she investigates the sculptural material and the visual power of language.
I love Jeff Thomson’s work (as you can see here in a previous post which features an image of the artist rowing this Dinghy!)
The enchanting Dinghy fashioned from corrugated iron is characteristically Jeff Thomson. The artist manages to transform this basic, cold material into an inviting work of art. Not simply a sculpture, this piece is an actual boat.
I could go on and on with images – the trail is full of wonderful pieces, but perhaps you should have a look at the website (here) if you’d like to see more.