Belinda Farris wants to lift our spirits with Waihetia, The Goddess of Love, Joy and Happiness. Photos Michelle Barber

The biennial event, Sculpt Oneroa, is set to open on Friday 18 March with its eighth display in Oneroa Village. With 14 participating artists and the artwork of Waiheke High School students on screen in the Toi Gallery window, there will be a lot to see in Oneroa Village. 

Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia is the main organiser of the event and has been involved since the its inception: “The ethos of Sculpt Oneroa is to support local artists and businesses and to raise their profile and encourage emerging artists. With the introduction of Waiheke High School students, this project provides a gateway to mentoring and an opportunity to display in the public arena.”

The history of Sculpt Oneroa harks back to an idea Paora had in 2007 when he was visiting the Spanish town Xàvia to research participation in their international sculpture exhibition. 

“Their outdoor village show had some 20 works scattered through the township and the opening night had an audience of around 100 who walked from one piece to the next with a glass of wine in hand and led by a violinist and flautist. At each work we paused for the artist’s explanation and the occasional wine refill. So in 2012 the local Oneroa businesses held a meeting at the then Salvage cafe/restaurant with concerns of the summer visitors being corralled in the Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition and main gallery and dining tent at Matiatia. “

I had previously talked with Sally about this idea and decided to raise it within the meeting. From memory we had two months to organise this from logo/website/brochure/posters artists and sponsors who each contributed $500 (Ray White, Fenice, Oyster Inn, Sally Smith and myself). The first show had 18 art works.” 

This year there have been some restrictions due to covid, with materials and foundries having delays in production of cast works and the impacts of Omicron on staff. The artists participating this year are: Oliver Stretton-Pow, Daniel Johner, Veronika Evans-Gander, Philippa Crane, Belinda Fabris, Liz Harrop, Dorian, Maria Lloyd, Sally Smith, Paul Rhind, Manuel Cartasegna, James Wright, Hayley Maria and organiser Paora Toi-Te-Rangiuaia. 

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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