The Auckland Regional Botanical Gardens hosts a biennial Sculpture in the Gardens. This free event is a great opportunity to see large-scale artworks from New Zealand’s best-known and up-and-coming sculptors on a 2km sculpture trail throughout the Gardens. It is really well planned so that you get to amble around the gardens and appreciate all the new developments that have happened since you last visited whilst you enjoy the sculpture exhibits (20 new ones and many permanent sculptures that have been purchased from previous exhibits).
It has become something of a tradition for Mum and I to visit the Sculpture in the Gardens usually early in the new year. We usually go early-ish to avoid the crowds and the heat of the day, spend an hour and a half or so wandering around exploring, and then end up at Cafe Miko for a coffee and perhaps a treat.
My personal favourites are always ones that have a ‘nature’ theme (and particularly as that is most fitting for the Gardens’ setting). This year I most enjoyed ‘BeeHaven’ (that was made by Jane Downes from mild steel and discontinued plastic honey jars) followed closely by ‘The Head of John Doe’ (made by Sean Crawford, also from steel with amazing detail of huia birds). There was also a sculpture called ‘Hand in the Dirt’ by James Wright who ran a workshop that my sister-in-law Bronnie and I attended some years ago when we tried our hands at concrete sculpture.
Some of this year’s other sculptures:
Some of my favourites from the permanent collection and around the gardens themselves: