Sculpture spins people’s wheels

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Visitors to the Waitakaruru Sculpture Park have ensured emerging artist Sam Tuimauga is a winner by voting for his intriguing, interactive sculpture in a people’s choice award.

Sam Tuimauga's popular sculpture

Sam’s work in the Autumn: call and response exhibition allowed people to engage with it by turning a handle, which set gears in motion and propelled weighted ping pong balls through the air in waves.

Autumn: call and response was curated by artist and visual arts lecturer Kim Paton whose vision was to answer the question, “what can an artist add to this site that will be more beautiful, more interesting or more engaging than what is already present in the natural environment.”

In a shift from previous exhibitions held at The Sculpture Park, emerging artists only were invited to exhibit. The 35 artists were asked to create new, site specific works – sculpture, installation, ephemera, performance or conceptual – that wrestled and engaged with the physical environment, environmental issues and/or the conceptual environment of The Sculpture Park.

As part of the submission process, six artists had the opportunity to win an ‘Ebbett Prestige Environmental Award’ and to receive financial assistance to create their work. Visitors voted for their favourite work throughout the exhibition so that one artist would win ‘The People’s Choice Award’ sponsored by Calder & Lawson House of Travel.

The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum, 207 Scotsman Valley Road, Tauwhare, part of the Scene Between art trail that includes Tamahere, has successive exhibitions and is open every day. The current exhibition is the Winter Collection. Visit the park website for more information.

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