By Mick Jensen
Metal sculptor Stuart Mitchell has been recognised with an award at his first sculpture festival.
The Ashburton butcher won the best small sculpture section at the Kimbolton Sculpture Festival with his impressive Anzac soldier piece, Lest We Forget.
Crafted from recycled metal materials given to him, or foraged at car boot and other sales, the sculpture features the head and shoulders of a solemn and contemplative uniformed soldier.
A Ford diff cover was used for the soldier’s helmet.
The shoulders and neck have been crafted from old army munition tins.
The face is made mostly from a lawn mower disc and the chin from an old steel toe cap.
Mr Mitchell said he was delighted with the recognition his work had received at the festival.
He had been invited to the festival after organisers spotted an article on him in The Ashburton Courier.
“I went up to the festival not knowing what to expect, but to come away with a prize and plenty of positive comments is very satisfying.
“It shows that I’m on track with my ideas and what I’m doing and it inspires me to push the boundaries further.”
He also entered his Hare on the Run sculpture in the creative section and a large horse’s head in the NZ rural sculpture award section at the festival.
Mitchell has two commissioned horse heads to complete in the coming months and plans to display items at the Ashburton Society of Art’s Annual Exhibition, which runs throughout most of July.
His three sculptures from the Kimbolton festival will be on display at Ashburton’s Grace Gallery until the end of May. The gallery, on Dobson Street West near Smiths City, is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am until 2pm and by appointment.