Sculpture in the Gardens

The latest season of this hugely popular community arts event closed last Sunday with record numbers of New Zealander’s and international visitors once again attending.

Organisers say more than half a million people visited this wonderfully curated show since it opened in late November last year. A wonderful achievement, and shows the quality of New Zealand sculpture and the high level of interest from the public in this art form.

Jamie Pickernell’s quirky ‘Keep’ was the supreme winner for 2016 with his work purchased by the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens for NZ$55,000. This is the second time Jamie has taken out a major prize at Sculpture in the Gardens. In 2012, he won the People’s Choice Award for ‘Bird Lady’ which has been a key feature of the park since.

Other winners included well-known New Zealand sculptor Marte Szirmay for her intriguing work ‘Seek’.

While it’s hard to select a favourite, our People’s Choice Award vote went to Samantha Lissette’s beautifully executed bronze ‘(Big Bird) Egg Chair’ which related humorously to the origins of the show. Back in 2007, organisers had to try very hard to convince people to attend because the Auckland Botanic Gardens were only famous then for one thing – duck ponds.

Now the growing collection of sculpture is one of the main drawcards to the park, with people of all ages and from all walks of life calling in to enjoy the art.