Keep by Jamie Pickernell

Sculpture in the Gardens opens to the public

Jamie Pickernell takes out the McConnell Family Supreme Award

The fifth biennial Sculpture in the Gardens exhibition opened today at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa.  

One of New Zealand’s most outstanding sculpture events, featuring twenty outdoor artworks on a 1.8km trail through the magnificent gardens, Sculpture in the Gardens runs between 29 November 2015 and 6 March, 2016 and is free to the public.  

At the exhibition launch last night, Rotorua based artist Jamie Pickernell was presented with the McConnell Family Supreme Award, for Keep. This $10,000 non-acquisitional award is selected by the independent curatorial panel of Rachel de Lambert, Richard Mathieson and Linda Tyler.  

“This prestigious award is a great recognition from industry professionals that I’m on the right track and reaching a wide range of people,” Jamie said.  

 Creating works that visitors can engage with is a passion for Jamie, and he loves the public interaction that Sculpture in the Gardens invites. “To have it out there, and for people to enjoy your work is really the appeal, and this show runs for three months – so it doesn’t get better than this.” 

Mayor Len Brown welcomed attendees to the exhibition and acknowledged the contribution of Sculpture in the Gardens to creating a beautiful, culturally rich and creative Auckland that is loved by its people.  He was joined by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Maggie Barry who officially declared the exhibition open.  

“This exhibition really gets people going. It has consistently drawn more people through the gates and deeper into the lush gardens each time, with the last exhibition attended by almost half a million people - many of them first time visitors - from all over Auckland,” the Mayor said.  

“At a time when the pace in our city is constantly quickening, when people have less free time and less disposable income, it is heartening to see visitors from all walks of life taking time away from the hustle and bustle.”  

 When announcing the McConnell Family Supreme Award, Linda Tyler, from the Sculpture in the Gardens curatorial panel said, “Like all the sculptures in this year’s exhibition, Jamie Pickernell’s Keep gets you thinking about the forces of nature and the impact of culture, and how structures alter your perception of a place, giving you a fresh perspective on how the world works.”

 The Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens president Bill Burrill also announced the acquisitions of James Wright’s Ratiti Mya and Marte Szirmay’s Seek for the Gardens’ permanent collection.

 “With each exhibition the Friends selects works to remain at the Gardens. This is a wonderful legacy of the exhibition – of which we are very proud,” he says.

 “The Friends selection committee felt that Ratiti Mya provided the perfect introduction into the Gondwana Arboretum, the Auckland Botanic Gardens’ most expansive plant collection. 

 “Marte Szirmay has long been regarded as one of Auckland’s most accomplished artists, and the Friends are delighted to add one of her sculptures to the Gardens’ permanent collection.”  

 Visitors can take their time to stroll through the Sculpture in the Gardens exhibition which runs for three months. It’s a free event and all works in the exhibition are for sale. Proceeds from sculpture sales fund future sculpture purchases, enriching the permanent collection and visitors’ experiences.

 Sculpture in the Gardens is promoted by the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Auckland Council with support from the Manurewa Local Board and many valued sponsors (such as Foundation North, formerly the ASB Community Trust) and volunteers.