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Shapeshifter – a prestigious sculpture exhibition

Shapeshifter – a prestigious national sculpture exhibition in the Hutt

Shapeshifter – Essential New Zealand Sculpture is an exhibition of outdoor sculpture by leading New Zealand artists. It is the first of what will become a biennial event, alongside the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Tim Walker, Director of leading Hutt City gallery The Dowse, has selected the 40 significant works from over 60 proposals. “Many of New Zealand’s leading sculptors, including Paul Dibble, Terry Stringer, Graham Bennett, Charlotte Fisher and Bing Dawe, sent fantastic proposals,“ says Tim.

“Alongside beautiful works by leading craft artists such as Doreen Blumhardt, Rick Rudd and Garry Nash are several works by younger artists who are not yet well know but are destined to become so.

“This is a rare opportunity to view and purchase some of the very best three-dimensional work being done in New Zealand. To see the works together in a beautiful outdoor setting at historic Frederick Wallis House is itself a great experience.”

Limited tickets are also available for a gala opening on Saturday 6 March. The exhibition will be opened by Governor General Her Excellency Dame Silvia Cartwright.

Shapeshifter is a fundraising initiative of the Rotary Club of Hutt. All proceeds will go towards operating expenses at Te Omanga Hospice, a new indoor arena for Riding for the Disabled and extensions to the Dowse. Rotary spokesperson Ian Orsborn says that support for these organisations will help meet a range of needs in the Hutt area. “These organisations enrich people’s lives. They are also all respected national leaders in their own areas of service delivery,” says Ian. “We are supporting excellence with an event that also focuses on excellence.

“Judging by the enthusiastic response from artists and the three thousand hits on our website it is going to be a very successful event,” says Ian

Shapeshifter is presented by Bank Shoes in association with Rotary Club of the Hutt, Frederick Wallis House, the New Zealand International Festival and The Dowse.

The Rotary Club of the Hutt also thanks the following sponsors for their support: Boffa Miskell, Brocklesby, Harbour City Subaru, Clublife, L.J. Hooker and Chris MacKay Financial Planning.


Frederick Wallis House, Military Road, Lower Hutt

7-14 March 2004

Open daily 10am to 4.30pm

Adults $8, children $2

Gala Opening

2.30 Saturday 6 March


A brief introduction to some of the Shapeshifter artists

The following artists have work included in Shapeshifter – Essential New Zealand Scupture. Installation of all works will take place on Friday 5 March. Many artists will be installing their own works. This list is not complete but gives an idea of the breadth and quality of work.

Hutt Valley

Jonathan Campbell’s work ‘Rain’ is based on the various forms a raindrop takes on its fall from cloud to ground. The bronze work is nearly three metres tall and weighs 150kgs.

Campbell Maud’s ‘Nikau Garden Light’ is practical as well as beautiful. A very fitting inclusion for an exhibition at Festival time.

Wellington area

Tanya Ashken from Island Bay is excited about the her sinuous work ‘Aphrodite’ appearing in the beautiful outdoor garden setting of Frederick Wallis House.

The work of celebrated artist and educator Doreen Blumhardt, who will celebrate her 90th birthday during the week of Shapeshifter, will be represented by a ceramic water feature. Doreen’s work is also the feature of an exhibition, Creative Life, at The Dowse.

Kingsley Baird’s cross shaped work is called ‘Navigator’. Kingsley says that the word navigator can have many meanings. Visitors will find themselves find their own meanings in his work.


Gary Baynes work ‘Orb’ is a partial sphere made of 160 identical cogs. He says the work can be rolled around at intervals so that its owner can enjoy a different view.

Graham Bennett’s ‘Rites of Rights’ is seven steel towers of varying height each with 17 compartments that house a coastal stone.

Bing Dawe’s work ‘The Draining’ is steel and painted ceramic. It is a formal composition of an eel and hoop.

Mark Whyte marble work ‘Rod 2004’ is the result of his current interest in the phenomenon of rods – thought by some to be life forms undetected by the naked eye.


Peter Nicholls’ stainless steel tree is perfect for the setting at Frederick Wallis House. Peter has visited the site to choose a tree for inspiration. He returned to Dunedin with leaves from the ancient Tulip tree.

Emily Pauling’ is an emerging artist whose work is about security and comfort. Her padded pink caravan is sure to be a surprise. And a hit.

Nelson and Blenheim

David Carson’s work ‘Bellybutton’ is a vessel made of recycled bandsaw blades

Blenheim artist Iosefa Leo’s tender works are like love carved from Oamaru stone

Palmerston North

One of New Zealand’s best known outdoor sculptors Paul Dibble will be installing a work featuring birds and a giant flax pounder. The work is a tribute to the Manawatu, its people and its heritage.


Artist Andrea Gardner’s small terracotta works of fanciful, fantasy creatures called ‘Small-bodied Tales’ will be exhibited inside at Frederick Wallis House.

Matt Pine’s spherical work features kiwis. The work, ‘Kiwi Kapers ‘04’ is of varnished rusted steel.

Aaron te Rangiao’s work ‘Te Maangi Toru’, ‘The Third Eye’ represents “the world we live in and the power we are all given”. Water and fire spiral in a stone vessel.

‘You’ is a collaborative work by Jim Dennison and Leanne Williams. It is a three dimensional life size scupture of a grazing sheep, constructed of glass and metal with a sheep head and feet cast of lead and fleece made of nearly 1,000 individually cast glass roses.

Rick Rudd offering is titled ‘Waterwork’. It is a 1.2 metre water fountain of black earthenware.

Hawkes Bay

Angela Singer was inspired by Picasso’s painting ‘Women Running on the Beach’. Her work is ‘Possums Running on the Lawn’. The possums have no skins and have flowers attached to their backs. Angela describes it having a sense of freedom and exhilaration.

Martin Selman’s marble cloth is a realistic portrayal of cloth or drapery in cararra marble.

Para Matchitt ‘s work is titled ‘Pura Pura Whetu’

New Plymouth

Don Driver’s minimalist painted aluminium work ‘Prismatic’ reflects its environment

Auckland area

Lyndal Jeffries from Waiheke was the Premier Award winner at Sculpture on the Gulf. Her work uses sound, which she composes herself. Her ‘sound pools’ show a myriad of constantly changing patterns on the surface of water. Visitors will see patterns emerge and move like synchronised swimmers.

Denis O’Connor from Waiheke is sending SALTMURMURING, a monumental triptych of black slate.

Garry Nash combines glass rocks and river pebbles with glass flowers in an installation called ‘Herbicide Resistant Plants’

Terry Stringer’s work ‘Private View’ offers just that. From a distance the work appears as a pregnant Virgin Mary. But when the viewer looks down through the halo, the figure transforms into the head of Christ as a boy.

Charlotte Fisher’s work ‘Woodwork’ is of bronze logs with startling detail that is bound to make visitors look twice.

A collaborative galvanised steel work by emerging artists Donna Hanson and Colwyn Hanson from Muriwai is titled ‘Layar’ after the Indonesian work for sail. Visitors will see why.

Barry Lett is almost a Hutt City hero. His stone covered dogs were, for many years, almost mascots at The Dowse, standing guard at the front door. His 2.5 metre work for Shapeshifter is also a dog, but of a very different kind.

Sam Ireland’s work ‘The Code Book’ is an interactive glass sculpture.

A dart 2.5 metres tall and made of corten steel? David McCraken has been waiting for an opportunity to show off this idea.

Peter Oxborough, from Warkworth, is inspired by boats with the bronze dinghy oar he is sending to Shapeshifter.

Gregor Kregar’s three small dogs are chromed bronze that weigh 30-40 kgs each.

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