Poison Creek Sculpture
Temple of Poetry by Terry Stringer. Photo Jan Hawkins

Central Otago has many hidden treasures, and the Poison Creek Sculpture Project, above the worry line in the Queensberry Hills, must count as one of our best.

The brainchild of Sunny Collings and Selena Henry, set in a 15-hectare property of rugged former farmland, is an amazing collection of work by some of New Zealand’s best established and emerging sculptors.

Made even more special by the stunning background of our mountains, the discovery of the art in the wild is just a delight at every turn.

This is the second summer of the project being open to the public, and this year the title of Antidote, seems appropriate.

“This is our offering of an antidote to our difficult times,” says Sunny, adding, “We are not trying to be a formal gallery. We have established Poison Creek as a place of solitude for selected sculptors and other artists to exhibit and for us to support them to sell their work.”

The word ‘project’ is also deliberate, as the idea is that it will be constantly evolving, with new works being placed in situ, with their own platforms and dry walls.  Sunny and Selena’s living quarters double as a space for showing the smaller works and maquettes.

Some of the sculptures are part of the growing permanent collection, some are loaned by collectors, and others are available for visitors to ‘fall in love with and take home’.

Artists represented include Richard Mathieson, Morgan Jones, Oriah Ripley, Tanya Ashken, Ben Foster, Stephen Mulqueen, Anna Korver, Marte Szirmay, Terry Stringer, Yannick Fourbet, Marita Hewitt, Andrew Drummond and Elizabeth Thomson. New this summer is a unique collection of Rick Rudd’s sculptural teapots. The Poison Creek Sculpture Project has an artists residency where artists are given a chance to connect with the environment and gain new perspectives and inspiration.

Open days are planned between now and Anzac Day, and details can be viewed on line as follows: poisoncreeksculptureproject on Facebook and Instagram; and poisoncreek.nz website.

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