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Te Kupenga Biennial Stone Sculpture Symposium 2012


Boulders turned into works of art

Stone sculptures are carving out quite a reputation on New Plymouth's waterfront.

The impressive works of art are thanks to the Te Kupenga Biennial Stone Sculpture Symposium 2012.

Set on the coastal walkway, both national and international sculptors have carved local andesite boulders into everything from gumboots to dresses.

The public have been able to watch the daily progress as boulders become works of art. Now the last stone has been carved and the sculptures will remain on display until this Saturday, when a public auction will be held.

The symposium is run by stone sculpture society Te Kupenga, which was started in Taranaki with the aim of reviving and promoting the art of hard stone sculpture in the region.

Te Kupenga's chairwoman, Claire Sadler, said huge crowds had been down looking at the 45 works.

Mrs Sadler said a lot of the international work stood out to art lovers as it was of quite a different style.

"It's quite exciting for us to take what we do, to the people.

"We're very lucky to have that space on the foreshore," Mrs Sadler said.

Auckland sculptor Anna Korver was one of many who had travelled to present stone work in New Plymouth.

She said the event was the best of its kind in New Zealand and on a par with international stone symposiums.

Her work, titled Figure on Spiral Stairs, had taken more than a week and a half to complete.

"It's a dress without a figure and it's supposed to feel like she's alive and coming down the stairway," she said of the piece.

Miss Korver said stone was hard work to carve, but as a material it was quite satisfying.

"It's less of a conversation than with wood, it's more permanent. Especially with the boulders, you have to go with it a little bit and deal with it as a natural material as well as a sculpture."

Miss Korver, who has been carving wood since she was four and stone for 10 years, will be at the auction on Saturday and she hoped her work would go for more than $5000.

Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Zaharia has donated a stone work created during the symposium to help Christchurch rebuild.

Titled Mt Taranaki the sculpture will be sold by silent auction with bids closing this Friday at 5pm.

The top bidder will be advised that night with all proceeds to Earthquake Relief in Christchurch.

Other works will be auctioned at 2pm on Saturday.

Spatial Thoughts on Sculpture by Bill West
Phone bidding and Absentee bidding will be available.
Please contact Claire at or M: 027 7660036
What a show, lots of carving talent all in New Zealand... My only regret is that I'm not there, maybe in 2014!

Gheorghe Zaharia sculpture
"mOUNT tARANAKI" by Gheorghe Zaharia

Howard Tuffery sculpture
Symposium Sculpture by Howard Tuffery