10 November 2021

Delve into the wonderful world of sculptural art

Now a permanent fixture on the Ōtautahi arts calendar, The Arts Centre Sculpture Festival is back after its inaugural success last year. 

Between the 12 to 26 November, Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre will come alive with 40 well-known New Zealand artists showcasing around 250 unique and surprising works for sale, including ceramics and jewellery. Spread across the western end of the site, smaller works will be displayed in the Great Hall, while larger pieces will be installed in the North Quad.

During opening weekend 12 - 14 November (including Canterbury Public Anniversary Day) there will be free artist talks in the Great Hall. Artist demonstrations by ceramic artist Jane McCulla and mixed media artist Nicholas Duval-Smith will be held in the Maker Workshop, along with a range of ceramic, weaving, stone sculpting and felting workshops. Entry to the Sculpture Festival is free, and tickets can be purchased for the artist demonstrations and creative workshops.

The appeal of the Sculpture Festival is intended for a broad audience with a mix of price points. “The stage is set for people who are new to art, but also caters to those who are seasoned art collectors” says Arts Centre Director Philip Aldridge. “For this year’s event we established a curatorial theme around wellbeing and how arts enrich people’s lives, this has been particularly evident in recent times”.

Festival Curator Koji Miyazaki is grateful to see the Sculpture Festival come to fruition during the pandemic when many similar events have been cancelled or postponed. “Curating a larger festival this time has been challenging but incredibly rewarding. Many artists made the most of the opportunity lockdown offered as it carved out time for uninterrupted focus and productivity, and artists are now looking for opportunities to show.” It’s so important to honour artists and creatives who sustained us during lockdown with their fresh, fun, and engaging creativity. “Although Covid has been tough for everyone, it’s been especially difficult for artists, and now is the time to come out and support them.” says Miyazaki.

Participating artists were given a lot of creative licence to respond to the wellbeing brief. Miyazaki has gathered a range of local and national artists including ceramic artists John Parker, Fiona Tunnicliffe, Peter Collis, Chris Weaver, Rick Rudd and Katie Gold; jewellers Ryan Dewsbury and Elfi Spiewack; glass artists Graeme Hitchcock and Dominic Burrell, and mixed media artists Tim Main, Anneke Bester and Nicholas Duval-Smith.

The festival will operate a mixed financial model, as The Arts Centre attempts to make art accessible and cover its costs. All sales from the Sculpture Festival will benefit both the artist and The Arts Centre.

The Arts Centre Sculpture Festival is supported by the Farina Thompson Charitable Trust, proudly managed by Perpetual Guardian.


Key Festival Details

Venue: Great Hall & North Quad, The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, 2 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch.

Open daily: 12 – 26 November, 10am to 5pm.

Opening weekend: During opening weekend, Friday 12 – Sunday 14 (including Canterbury Public Anniversary Day), there will be free artist talks and videos to watch. Jane McCulla and Nicholas Duval-Smith will be providing artist demonstrations, and there will be a range of creative workshops such as ceramic, weaving, stone sculpting and felting on offer. The festival is free entry. Tickets for artist demonstrations and creative workshops are sold separately, prices range from $15-$30 per person.

Full programme details www.artscentre.org.nz/whats-on/sculpture-festival/

The venue is wheelchair accessible.