The Arts Promotion Trust (Northland) and several sponsors supplied Oamaru stone and large totara tree logs to fifteen gifted sculptors. They were given ten days to create works that reflected the stories, history and cultures of the area around Whangarei, particularly the Hatea River and Mt. Parihakat. The sculptors worked outdoors in Elliot Park on the shore of the Hatea River. At the end of the ten days, one piece of sculpture was selected by a panel of judges to be permanently displayed at Elliot Reserve. The other pieces were auctioned to the public.
We were fortunate to be within easy walking distance of Elliot Park, and could watch the sculptors at work as part of our morning walks. The artists first removed large chunks of extra wood or stone, using chainsaws or stone saws. It was fascinating to see the use of chizels and wooden mallets to remove slivers of wood and areas stone to form the shapes, and then to inscribe the wood and stone with fine lines and textures. Some of the sculptures received a final sanding and polishing, and some even some paint or metal patterns.
We were able to talk to the artists as they worked, and to hear their ideas and thoughts about the creative process in which they were engaged.