Stone ready, sculptors set to start

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Brent Holley selects bluestone from this Timaru quarry.

The stone has arrived, the sculptors are due and work will begin on Saturday in the second Ashburton Stone Sculpture Symposium.

Fifteen of New Zealand’s top sculptors will turn blocks of Timaru bluestone and Mt Somers limestone into works of art over the next two weeks, working in the open space of the Ashburton Domain near Walnut Avenue.

The event will begin with a powhiri at 10am on Saturday, followed by the sculptors selecting stone for their work. Carving is expected to begin on Saturday afternoon.

Work will have to be finished by Friday, November 11. The pieces will then be moved on to the long lawn in the domain, near the West Street layby, where they will be on show until they are auctioned on Sunday, November 20.

Symposium organiser Brent Holley is one of the sculptors along with returning artists Joyce Pratt, Rory McDougall, Ruth Killoran and Debbie Templeton-Page.

New artists include Allen Harnett, Moira Crossman, Jackie Margaret, Anna Korver, Tai Meuli, Oriah Rapley, Alan Axten, Trevor Nathan, Rex O’Brien and Davey McGhie.

As well as watching the sculptors at work and talking with them, the public will be able to see smaller examples of their work at the Ashburton Art Galley during the symposium. The public will have a chance to vote for their favourite piece at stalls which will be set up around the auction area. The Ashburton District Council has donated $500 to the winner of the people’s choice award.