Enjoy New Zealand's first Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition and award – a not to be missed, free summer event, just 35 minutes from Downtown Auckland. Sculpture on the Gulf is set to become New Zealand’s largest and most prestigious outdoor exhibition of contemporary sculpture with the recent selection of 28 artists, some of this country’s most pre-eminent sculptors, to participate in this inaugural event.
New Zealand’s premier sculpture award has gone to 31-year-old installation artist Lyndal Jefferies.
Jefferies' piece The Cymatic Field - a vibrating 'sound pool' on a 3.5m sq tank of polished stainless steel - won the Waiheke artist $10,000.
The award - presented on January 23 by Dame Catherine Tizard - was the top prize at the inaugural Sculpture on the Gulf, an outdoor exhibition along two kilometres of Waiheke coastal walkway.
The biennial show, acknowledged as the country's foremost award for sculptors, attracted 65 entries from artists all around New Zealand.
Judges Gregory Burke, Tim Walker and Alexa Johnson selected 25 for the walkway, including acclaimed sculptors Virginia King, Jeff Thomson, Paul Dibble and Phil Price.
But it was Jefferies work, which features 'low frequency sounds vibrating through a watery field overlooking the ocean', that most pleased the judges.
Alexa Johnson told a 300-strong gathering for the show’s official opening on Thursday that they had been 'totally convinced by the quality' of The Cymatic Field.
She praised the installation of 'something so delicate on such an overwhelming site'.
'The kinetic quality of the work appealed to us. We saw the movement on the water before we heard the sound that was creating it.'
Cymatics is the science of wave vibration in matter and was founded by Swiss scientist Dr Hans Jenning in the 1960s.
Jefferies, who told the crowd she would spend the winnings on a driveway for her Waiheke home, and on new studio facilities said she was 'shocked by the win and felt all of the participating sculptors were deserving winners'.
She and friends had been working 'from 6am until 12.30 at night for the best part of a week' to get the artwork, with its levels absolutely correct, in place.
Jefferies grew up in Auckland before studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts completing her Masters degree at Goldsmiths College in London.
She has also won Australia's Samstag Award and in 1996 was artist in residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2000.
Meanwhile, two of three minor awards in Sculpture on the Gulf also went to Waiheke sculptors, despite stiff competition from mainland artists.
Aiko Groot won the $1500 Cable Bay Vineyards Waiheke Artist Award for Gravity Dreams, a two-metre tall 'wheel that rolls but doesn’t get anywhere'. Kazu Nakagawa’s seaside installation 'Dreams' dreams, won him the $1500 Creative Arts Trust Site Specific Award. Auckland artist David McCracken's aluminium and steel piece Plumb - a floating, spinning sculpture anchored to the seabed at the mouth of the Matiatia harbour - was awarded the $1500 Lou and Iris Fisher Charitable Trust Emerging Artist Award.
Dame Cath called the opening of the show 'a notable day not just for Waiheke but for New Zealand'.
Sculpture on the Gulf runs until February 9 and can be accessed from the island’s ferry terminal at Matiatia Bay.