Monday, April 18, 2011

Home and away

When it was announced that sculptor Natalie Stamilla was making a $300,000 bronze sculpture of Michael Jones scoring his iconic try, the news hit the front page of every paper in the country. No reason why it shouldn’t, even if the work is not exactly a revelation - see our OTN selection of dismal rugby sculptures worldwide. 

This sort of media attention to sculpture would make you think that if a major commission worth $NZ6 million were completed by a New Zealand artist in Sydney (the biggest public art work ever commissioned in Australia), that it might be worth a few column inches too. But unfortunately not, unless you count the Northern Advocate (which took the Northland-artist-makes-good line).

Sculptor Chris Booth must surely wonder what happened to the home crowd. His work is a large rambling sculpture in worked stone and it is located on a magnificent site on the lawns sloping down to the water from Government House. Booth's extraordinary accomplishment has caused not a ripple in the NZ media although it has certainly made a positive impact in Australia. As well as media coverage, the work has attracted many visitors to the famous Royal Botanic Gardens to clamber over the rocky surface and look out across Sydney Harbour.