Sculptures snapped up on auction day

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Auctioneer Rodger Letham coaxes bids from the public on auction day in Ashburton Domain.

By Mick Jensen

Three quarters of the sculptures put up for auction at the 2016 Ashburton Stone Carving Symposium have sold and another successful event has been ticked off.

Sunday’s auction day attracted 26 registered bidders and a big crowd of sculpture admirers.

While the bidding was slow and some bids lower than reserves, hefty prices were paid for some pieces.

Stairway To Hawk by Moira Crossman sold for $4000, while Brent Holley’s combined limestone and bluestone piece, Balance, fetched $3950.

Tai Meuli’s impressive Korawai of the Alps topped the sales with a post auction negotiation price of $5000.

Ten of the 21 pieces sold for $1000 or more.

Sculptor and symposium organiser Brent Holley received the votes for the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Ashburton council, earning him a further $500.

Mr Holley said there had been negotiations for a number of sculptures post auction and many had now sold.

Negotiations were ongoing for the half dozen unsold pieces.

“Overall, many of the works have been sold, which is great. Prices were down a bit on what artists ideally wanted, but that could be due to the downturn of dairy, or even the impact of the Kaikoura quakes, we just don’t know.”

Mr Holley said public feedback on the symposium in general had been very, very positive.

The public had enjoyed the creativity of the event, enjoyed good conversation with the artists and had been impressed with the finished sculptures.

He said there would be a committee debrief on this year’s event and the symposium would likely return to Ashburton again in 2018.