A fantastical three-metre-high yellow giraffe, a flock of fibreglass sheep and a gigantic aluminium fur seal are taking up temporary residence in Lower Hutt.
These creatures and 50 other artworks will transform Lower Hutt’s Civic Gardens into an enthralling sculpture garden with the return of Banks Shoes shapeshifter, a major fundraising event and New Zealand’s premier sculpture exhibition.
The cornerstone visual arts event of the New Zealand International Arts Festival, shapeshifter sculptures are being exhibited opposite The Dowse in the Civic Gardens where they will be displayed outdoors amongst the trees and flowerbeds, and indoors in the conservatories.
Civic Gardens opposite The Dowse Art Museum, Laings Road, Lower Hutt
25 February – 18 March 2012
Daily 10am – 5pm, late night Thursdays till 10pm
$5 entry and accompanied children free
All works for sale with proceeds to charity
There are guided tours at 2pm every Sunday that are free on entry, and magical illuminated evenings on Thursdays till 10pm. Picnickers are welcome.
Lower Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace believes the fifth shapeshifter will be even more popular than previous events.
"Past shows have attracted tens of thousands of visitors, with the sculpture exhibition providing excitement and inspiration for both young and old alike. We are very keen as a council to encourage and support events which highlight arts and culture within Lower Hutt."
Well-known sculptors exhibiting include Tanya Ashken, John Edgar, David McCracken, Campbell Maud and Greg Bloomfield, the latter whose bright yellow Giraffe sculpture is set to delight visitors of all ages.
Dunedin artist Hamish Jones presents a single handcarved black sheep from rimu, and a flock of fibreglass white sheep; a comment on cloning, genetic engineering and New Zealand’s rural commodities,.
shapeshifter artistic director and director of The Dowse Art Museum Cam McCracken says, “shapeshifter is an important showcase for New Zealand’s most highly-regarded sculptors, and this year we are thrilled to welcome some incredibly talented newcomers who make up half of the selected artists.”
“I’m buoyed by the number of high-calibre emerging artists who have submitted work. The breadth of work will make for a really interesting snapshot of contemporary outdoor sculpture.”
Emerging Kaikoura artist Ben Foster brings a magnificent fur seal to life in aluminium in his work Kekeno. Foster says, “Kekeno’s angular service echoes that of the rugged seaward Kaikoura Mountains with their triangular peaks and snow-filled basins. Kekeno continues to push my sculptural approach through re-interpreting forms from nature.”
All works are for sale, with proceeds going to local youth charities as well as Te Omanga Hospice, The Dowse Foundation and the Gillies McIndoe Foundation.
The Tutukiwi Gallery in the Civic Gardens features the Daily Display: an opportunity to grab an art bargain as the shapeshifter artists offer supplementary works of art for sale. The Dowse also curates this changing exhibition, with new sculptures going on display as artworks are sold. Be quick because this art sale is first in, first served!
The exhibition is organised by The Rotary Club of Hutt City, in partnership with The Dowse Art Museum and Hutt City Council.