Bridging culture and beauty: Art Fetiche

There’s a knack in creating artworks that captivate, to capture meaning in a way that empowers and educates.

From the 420sqm ‘Man Cave’ so impressive it left mouths agape, to Kauawhi, the two-koru heart-shaped sculpture in support of the Māia Health Foundation, Art Fetiche has proved countless times their commitment to their craft and communities.

The latest project in the works, a waharoa (gateway) for the local Te Maire St Francis of Assisi Catholic School in St Albans, is a demonstration of that commitment. Combining their skills and that of master carver Fayne Robinson, the team has created a cultural feature that blends the school’s special Catholic and cultural character to boost the school’s identity, to welcome visitors and be cherished by generations to come.

Art Fetiche director Brent Brownlee says there’s so much significance to the work they produce, and Fayne agrees. “My influence for design was acknowledging the school values, the Catholic charism and the environment in which the school sits through the many koru representing the growth, not only of the school but the environment. Integrated within the artwork is the connection to the dove, which is a prominent feature acknowledging the faith and the holy spirit,” says Fayne.

A vapour-blasted concrete pathway reaches up to the corten steel gateway, resulting in a uniquely personal waharoa for the school. The unveiling will be held with a blessing to officially open the entranceway, one that’s sure to result in a school community proud to be greeted by their waharoa each day.

The Art Fetiche team continues putting its stamp on communities across the South Island, with an impressive track record of projects under their tool belts. Between sculptures at the new AgResearch location in Lincoln, vapour-blasted works decorating Clutha’s Beaumont Bridge, and installations across many schools and Otago University, there’s a consistent focus on the communities they serve. Blending a passion for design with cultural significance, the team continues to create artworks that hold mountains of beauty and meaning.


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