Here be dragons


Among the dragons, legendary sea monsters, bull headed monsters, flying panthers and unicorns the shining, grey and grumpy-looking walrus seemed downright plain.

Not that you could call any of the mythological beasts created by Tamahere steel sculptor Marti Wong truly plain. Grey walrus perhaps only seems so by comparison to his more fanciful companions.

Tamahere steel sculptor Marti Wong with a personal favourite, Sagittarius
Tamahere steel sculptor Marti Wong with a personal favourite, Sagittarius

Others can decide where walrus stands – or hangs – among his memorable mates when Wong’s first exhibition in four years kicks off at Hamilton’s Soul Gallery this week.

Wong, who moved to Tamahere two years ago, may be best known for his huge sculptures such as the 250kg Swirling Red Bull pictured in this story during its outing at Inspirit Gallery two years ago.

The month-long exhibition at the Barton St gallery is made up of more home-sized sculptures. And one suspects homeowners will be lining up to pop a kraken (sea monster), a minotaur (bull head and all), a dragon or any of the stunningly distinctive creatures in the lounge.

Wong’s personal favourite is the half horse, half warrior Sagittarius,

The Mythologica exhibition is something of a family affair. Wong’s sons Leo and Sam have contributed, respectively, a praying mantis and a shield, daughter Lucy will be showing greeting cards and wife Kathryn Engebretsen will be exhibiting her delicate paintings on recycled board.

Kathryn Engebretsen's delicate artworks
Kathryn Engebretsen’s delicate artworks

It’s a long time since the two artists exhibited together but Tamahere has proved inspirational, Engebretsen said.

“We’ve settled in here now,” she said at their Tamahere Lane home. Fittingly the theme for her artworks is Home Sweet Home.

The couple’s artworks may be very different but both are strongly into upcycling, Wong with all manner of things metal and Engebretsen with her re-purposed, painted boards featuring such charming pictures as a goat teetering delicately on top of a pile of upturned tea cups.

Mythologica opens on Thursday, October 1 and runs for all of October.

2 thoughts on “Here be dragons

  • September 28, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    oooh! When does the exhibition open, Pip? I see it’s not showing up on the Soul gallery website.

    • September 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Thursday, October 1. (Last line of the story, Alison.)


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