A sculptural experience like no other: Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden

“Where did I learn to understand sculpture? In the woods by looking at the trees, along roads by observing the formation of clouds, in the studio by studying the model, everywhere except in the schools.” — Auguste Rodin

This March, visitors can admire, discuss and come to understand sculpture for themselves when Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden holds its 2024 Annual Autumn Exhibition.

ing Dawe A Landscape With Too Many Holes, Waiting For St Francis – A Gateway (2015)

Held over the first three weekends of March, the exhibition draws a variety of people, from art lovers and avid collectors, to seasoned gardeners and dog walkers, and from botanists and ecologists to lifestyle block owners looking for inspiration.

Held in a stunning outdoor native setting, it showcases work by some of New Zealand’s favourite sculptors and mid-career and emerging artists, all just 20 minutes’ drive from Christchurch’s CBD. This year, around 100 artworks will be on show, and for sale, including indoor and outdoor pieces, both small and large scale, sculpted in local stone, iron, steel, bronze, glass, ceramic, flax, and wood.

Visitors can also enjoy the growing permanent sculpture collection, featuring works by such stalwarts of New Zealand sculpture as Andrew Drummond and Marté Szirmay, while meandering leisurely through the one hectare of native bush. Permanent works include a 2.3 metre-wide convex dome of gold swallows, and a luminous Kotare feather soaring to 8.5 metres by Neil Dawson, life size bronze figures by both Alison Erickson and Sam Harrison, a large bluestone rock installation by Doug Neil, a gateway of native birds in bronze by Bing Dawe, a grove of jewel-like cast glass fertility goddesses by a handful of mostly unknown artists, and many more striking works.

Alison Erickson A room of one’s own (2023)

Curator Melissa Reimer has been working with garden founders Peter Joyce and Annabel Menzies-Joyce since 2013, taking great satisfaction in sharing the exhibition with the public, and bringing together artists in such an inspiring environment. In addition to the outdoor groves and paths, the Sculpture Garden boasts a Barn Gallery, where smaller works and sometimes fragile pieces are displayed.

Co-founder Peter Joyce, by Doug Neil’s Canyon (2022)

Whatever your penchant – nature, art, open air spaces, or wildlife, gather a group, pack a picnic and head to Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden’s 11th Annual Autumn Exhibition.


Where: 1/199 Cossars Road, RD 2, Christchurch.

When: Saturdays and Sundays, 2/3, 9/10 and 16/17 March 2024, 10am–4pm, or by appointment. Call 03 329 6662.

Entry: $20 per person. Free to 16-years-&-under. Online catalogue live Saturday 2 March.

2024 Exhibitors
Matt Akehurst, Gary Baynes, Graham Bennett, Anneke Bester, Tony Bond, Ivan Clayden, Bing Dawe, Moira Crossman, Anna Dalzell, Neil Dawson, Tim Main, Siene de Vries, Alison Erickson, Fiona Garlick, Julie Ross, Natalie Guy, Sam Harrison, Nathan Ingram, Virginia King, Rory McDougall, Annabel Menzies-Joyce, Tony O’Grady, Josh Olley, Oriah Rapley, Jenny Reeve, Rebecca Rose, Hamish Southcott, the late Llew Summers, Greg Tuthill, Debbie Templeton-Page, Roger Thompson, Johnny Turner, James Voller, Robyn Webster, Steuart Welch, Jane Whales, Matt Williams, Cheryl Wright, James Wright, Jorge Wright, and more.

Graham Bennett None So Blind (2015)



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