By Mick Jensen
The results of hours of hard work and creativity by artists attending the Ashburton Stone Carving Symposium have been laid for all to see in an impressive exhibition on the Ashburton Domain’s long lawn.
Sculptors completed their works on Friday, after two weeks of shaping, hammering and chiselling away on raw Mt Somers limestone and Timaru bluestone.
Completed works include a mix of figurative, abstract and expressionist pieces.
Fifteen artists have completed 21 pieces this year, up from 11 artists and 15 pieces that featured at the inaugural symposium in 2014.
Titahi Bay sculptor Davey McGhie said artists had enjoyed the Ashburton experience.
There was an obvious “creative underbelly in Ashburton” that he hadn’t known about previously and he had enjoyed good interaction with the public and also some great hospitality.
Finished sculptures came in a variety of sizes and had great natural colouring.
Many of the sculptors had shared their artistic journey, backgrounds and inspiration at an artist talk evening at Ashburton Art Gallery, he said.
Tinwald sculpture and symposium organiser Brent Holley said community support for the event now needed to extend to the buying of pieces.
“We just need two people to love every piece. The success of the symposium will ultimately be judged on sales.”
Mr Holley said a symposium committee had decided on the layout of the finished sculptures and the Ashburton Domain was a perfect setting to showcase them.
He urged the public to come along to a public auction and family fun day in the domain on Sunday (November 20) that would run from 11am until 3pm.
The auction kicks off at 1.30pm and the public will have a chance to vote for their favourite piece. Ashburton council has donated $500 to the winner of the people’s choice award.