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Scoop Images: Waterfront Sculptors In Early

Artists working as part of the Stone Symposium at Frank Kitts Park on Wellington’s Waterfront were out early this morning, after last night’s rain cleared to reveal a chilly, gloomy Wellington morning.

The artists can’t afford to dawdle, the Symposium only lasts a month, finishing on 18 February. In that tight timeframe, they create large-scale sculptures for a constantly changing audience of curious onlookers. Most work with relatively soft Oamaru limestone.

Cuan Forsyth-King, a sprightly and enthusiastic sculptor/artist from Great Barrier Island is back at the Sculpture Symposium, after taking part at the previous event two years ago.

Cuan’s approach to the blocks of stone he’s faced with at the Symposium is unorthodox – he’s keeping the shape of the block, painting the surfaces, and carving on the inside, revealing only glimpses of human form through cracks in the stone.

painted surface

Peeking through the surface

“It’s about playing around with surfaces – what is revealed when we break through things,” says Cuan.

Cuan excitedly extends the metaphor of diving into water to illustrate his point. “The moment before you dive you’re in air, gravity. You break through a skin that’s hardly even noticeable, then you’re in a totally different world,” he says. “The only time we can leave that weight [gravity] is in water.”

Cuan chips away

When he’s not carving stone, Cuan is interested in environmental sculpture, creating “total environments” use plants and the environment as a sculptural medium.

Cuan works full time, all over the world. He says he has worked in London and the United States, and is off to Thailand for a commission later this year.

Iosefa Leo at work

Iosefa Leo, originally from Letoga, Samoa, has been living in New Zealand since 1987, and sculpting since 1989.

Iosefa says the piece he’s working on for the Symposium, a figuarative work featuring a mother reading to her child, has a social message. “I want to give something for the country, especially the young couples.”

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