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Talented local artists at Whangarei exhibition



Claire Nicholls-244Whangarei Quarry Gardens in the heart of the Western Hills in Whangarei, sees the return of Sculpture Northland from November 3-12. The event is biennial, and provides a wonderful platform for local artists to exhibit their work in the stunning natural landscape of the Gardens.

With over 40 artists contributing to the exhibition, it promises to have a hugely diverse range of works.

Mangawhai resident, Aaron Ellis-Smith will be submitting works in the Sculpture Northland 2017 exhibition. Aaron began carving in 2004 and has always loved timber. He carves most types of wood (and occasionally other mediums), but finds swamp kauri the most enjoyable timber to sculpt, drawing inspiration from its character, age and uniqueness to New Zealand.

“Perhaps part of the reason I love swamp kauri is, although it is a finite resource, it doesn’t require damage to, or the felling of our wonderful native forest.”

Aaron has recently started carving in Oamuru stone as well.

“Carving is something I enjoy doing, being a part of a pieces evolution into final form is something I never get tired of. I hope that those who see my work gain as much pleasure from the pieces, as I received creating them.”

Another Artist from the region is Waipu resident Claire Nicholls. Claire has been involved in two previous Sculpture Northland events but had a break the last two years to focus on her two preschool boys. She is excited to be able to once again get back to her art and be a part of this great exhibition.

Claire’s sculptures are an exploration of her passion for texture, patterns and experimentations with light.

Aaron Ellis-Smith-85“I love repetition. Although in each series of my work pieces are all similar and connected, each one is hand-made and unique if only by a small difference.”

Claire likes using natural materials, such as clay, wood and metals in her work and is fascinated with the transformation of these materials by torching, firing and lighting as well as chemical reactions.

Sculpture Northland gives artists like Aaron and Claire, a fantastic opportunity to show the greater community their diversity and passion and to demonstrate what a vibrant arts culture we have right here in beautiful Northland.

This is the major annual fundraiser for Whangarei Quarry Gardens. The Gardens are a labour of love and rely on donations and the hard work of volunteers, making it a true community project. n For more information go to whangareigardens.org.nz. Entry $5 pp or $10 per family (up to 4 people), doors open 9am-4pm Friday Nov 3–12. Check out facebook.com/SculptureNorthland.


CHARACTER: Aaron Ellis-Smith began carving in 2004 and has always loved wood.

HAND MADE: Claire Nicholls is fascinated by the transformation of clay, wood and metals.

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