Piled in the entryway of an underground tunnel at a historic military site; Lang Ea’s cement heads – eyes closed, without ears – were for me the most powerful work at NZ Sculpture OnShore. Lang Ea came to New Zealand from Cambodia as a child, and this work, ‘Listen’ resonates with the imagery of Cambodia’s brutal Khmer past.
On the other side of a small glade, in another underground room, Sam Harrison’s ‘Gretchen’ leans against a wall. Exhibited at an event which raises funds for Women’s Refuge, this work inevitably suggest a strong emotional response, yet many visitors have been moved by the simple beauty of her form.
Ramon Robertson is a Scottish artist now living in New Zealand. His work often features plaster and concrete figures – apparently mass produced, yet somehow unique. The title of this work comes from French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s statement “only in the context of the world we inhabit do we know who we are and what our purpose is.”
In contrast to the human forms depicted in the other artists’ work, Taranaki-based sculptor Anna Korver allows the garment to represent the form. She has developed a considerable body of work based on “the dress.” This piece in basalt is one of three that was exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore.