Chris Booth- Sculptor

Rainbow Warrior Memorial, by Chris Booth, Photo from here.

Rainbow Warrior Memorial, 1988-1990, by Chris Booth.
The Rainbow Warrior propellor is in the centre of the sculpture, surrounded by an arch of large basalt boulders recovered from a local beach.
Photo from here.

I keep finding new and inspiring artists, and Chris Booth is no exception. Have a read on his website and a look at his sculptures, and you will soon see it for yourself! The text below was taken from part of what he has written on his website.

“Chris Booth’s empathy for people, his ability to relate to their culture, and his underlying respect for the environment have enabled him to create memorable works that sit respectfully in the landscape’.
‘…… which wait patiently, quietly expecting due reverence from the observer’.

Ken Scarlett OAM, World Sculpture News, 2000.

Chris Booth gives a bit of an explaination to what is behind some of his work:

Once a site is identified and approved for a specific land art work I look closely at, for example, the origins of the land, itʼs flora and fauna, the spirit of the land, the social history and land use from ancient times to the present day. Also, my materials are researched and sourced locally. To me this is holism. By way of explaining this further, sometimes in the past I chose to ʻpoint fingersʼ in my work such as showing my opposition to the testing of nuclear devices in the Pacific Ocean, the destruction of indigenous forests in Northland, NZ or the exposing of injustices such as racism. At first these works had the desired effect of alerting others to the problem or adding to the voice of objectors. But, as I became more known, my work became more ʻcollectableʼ and, instead of achieving my original objective, these works became collectable commodities with a monetary value for investment! In 1986 I made a major shift back to holism (my first explorations into holism were carried out in the early 70ʼs using scale models and drawings). Gateway 1986-1990 and the Rainbow Warrior Memorial 1988-1990 were the first major public art works of mine to use this holistic approach. – Chris Booth (All sourced from www.chrisbooth.co.nz)

ARTISTS as ACTIVISTS: Fighting for our environment

Sam Mahon - “Escape”

Sam Mahon – “Escape”

This was an exhibition (late 2010) that I stumbled across while surfing the net, and thought was really interesting. It also fits in perfectly with the topic of this blog.

The exhibition consisted of paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture by some of New Zealand’s leading artists, all of whom use their art to express their passion for our environment and sometimes to protest against its desecration.

It included works by Michael Smither, Don Binney, Nick Dryden, Grahame Sydney, Sam Mahon, Ian Hamlin, Dean Buchanan, Jane Zusters and members of the Academy. With poems by Brian Turner.

“As far as I know, this is the first time the work of so many of New Zealand’s leading artists has been brought together around the theme of environmental activism, protest and political ideas.” -curator Ian Hamlin

The idea of artist as protester is nothing new and the artist’s readiness to communicate the unspoken, to think beyond his or her own experience, to attempt to push the audience out of its comfort zone, and speak for those who do not dare, has created some of the most powerful artworks in the world. Here in New Zealand, artists are seldom far away from controversial issues and in recent times, the environment has been a particular driver for protest.

(read more here)

New Zealand Sculpture ON Shore III raises money for Woman’s Refuge

Artist, Joe Kemp's sculptural piece 'Matau A Maui'.Photo by Howard Williams.

Artist, Joe Kemp’s sculptural piece ‘Matau A Maui’. Photo by Howard Williams. Photo sourced from New Zealand Sculpture ON Shore Facebook page.

NZ Sculpture OnShore is an outdoor exhibition that happens every two years and is based in Auckland’s North Shore.

New Zealand artists from all different artistic backgrounds joined in to be a part of this event in 2012.

Money raised from this exhibition went towards Women’s Refuge.

Lake Rotorua artist Joe Kemp’s piece entitled Matau a Maui (the fish hook of Maui), took six weeks to make. The artwork represents the strength of women.

He said he was proud to support women and had chosen the fish hook as his main piece as legend states Maui made the fish hook used to bring up the North Island from his sorcerer grandmother’s jaw-bone. The theme of this year’s exhibition was the beach or the Year of the Menagerie, which the fish hook fitted well with, Mr Kemp said.

Read more here. See the gallery of artworks here.