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Your Host, Kerry Turner

23 May

Kerry Turner, 2013

Kerry Turner, 2013, in the Carol Lay throne.

Kerry Turner, sheep farmer and more, has hosted events on his farm since the late 1970s. Some of these events such as the ANZAC bike rally and the biannual Tahora Folk Festival have catered for hundreds so the amenities are good. The sheep farm, forests, lakes, rivers and high-country views are something else. And there were sheds full of raw materials and piles of stuff for the artists’ use.
THIS sign by Jersey (UK) Rotorua-based signwriter Barry Vincent

THIS sign by Jersey (UK) Rotorua-based signwriter Barry Vincent

Sonja van Kerkhoff coordinated THIS inviting artists for 5 days to work on location, making sculpture or land art or installations. On the final two days, the open days, over a 150 people including the Macro school, travelled out to the farm to view the sculpture.

Links to two news items: Cutting edge art from backcountry farm, Taranaki Daily News, 27 Feb 2013
Artists express themselves in high-country sculpture event,
Taranaki Daily News, 6 March 2013
Watch the 4 minute THIS 2013 video on youtube.

Veils no. 2 by Michelle Backhouse

Detail of “Veils no. 2” by Michelle Backhouse.
Click on the photo for a larger view.


"Oratory for Tahora" by Sen McGlinn

“Oratory for Tahora” by Sen McGlinn

Michelle Backhouse built a 2 metre wall extension from the side of the farm house out of wire. Some of the wire came from the farm.

Sen McGlinn built a circle of nine seats by recycling wood and dead trees. The wooden stumps, left over from a recent wood chopping competition that had been hosted on the farm, were now formed into three-piece ‘venus’ forms to function as seats.
This ring of 9 seats was covered with a canopy created by 5 relocated tree branches. The numbers were conscious choices relating to Bahai and Islamic numerology systems for unity and humanity.

Detail of Matt Pine's work

Detail of Matt Pine’s work

Matt Pine brought existing works inscribed with texts on themes related to the environment and our relationships with this.

He also made new sculptural interventions with materials from the farm which became part of a suite of ten sculptural arrangements of wood, banners, and farm equipment arranged up the hill and around the farmhouse and garage.

Encompass by Bryan Ramage

Encompass by Bryan Ramage

Bryan Ramage‘s drawings on wood were arranged in several locations on the farm. Here four of his ‘Tree Tracings’ formed the sculpture, “Encompass.”


"Rig no. 3" by Deborah Stewart

“Rig no. 3” by Deborah Stewart

“Rig no. 3” by Deborah Stewart was created out of materials used for two earlier rig constructions used in drilling for gas in the area. Kerry’s farm is full of materials that would otherwise be left to rust elsewhere.

Detail "Caravan from Istanbul - Tahora" by Sonja van Kerkhoff

Detail “Caravan from Istanbul – Tahora” by Sonja van Kerkhoff. Beyond on the hill, is one of Matt Pine’s ecological interventions made with farm equipment.

Sonja van Kerkhoff worked with Sen to build the “Oratory,” as well as installing a few existing works and two new sculptures. “Caravan from Istanbul – Tahora” is her herd of origami elephants created from newspapers from locations she has travelled through to and from Istanbul since 2011 (See “Caravan to Istanbul” ). The video “Kainga a roto” was played on a monitor outside the shearer’s quarters. “Tool” was suspended from a cable between two buildings and “Fable” – 3 buckets, a pile of too many plastic lids, and a table with stencils and stencilled text was arranged near the driveway. Each bucket contained traces of materials. In one was hay, in another broken pieces of wood and in the third a brick.

Watch the 4 minute THIS 2013 video on youtube.


Deborah Stewart

25 Jan

Deborah StewartNew Plymouth, Taranaki,
Aotearoa | New Zealand.

Born and bred in Taranaki, Deborah graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT).

The phone book installations are about these things that we have all been so familiar with which with the changes brought about by new technologies are no longer useful, such as the redundancy of the yellow pages.

Recycled Phonebooks

Recycled Phonebooks

Detail of an installation made out  of old telephone books.

Detail of an installation made out of old telephone books.

So now these serve no function but to sit collecting dust.

Her sculptures and installations are often created out of recycled materials which then form new ideas or associations for the viewer.

>> The Location
>> What + When

Michelle Backhouse

16 Dec

Detail of "The Veil" by Michelle Backhouse, building paper, paper mache, wire, fencing.

Detail of “The Veil” by Michelle Backhouse, building paper, papier mache, wire, fencing.

1964, Otaki,
Aotearoa | New Zealand

B.F.A. Sculpture, Ilam School of Arts, Christchurch

Generally she works in paper pulp and building paper. A recent series of works concerns sculptural objects made out of strips of building paper of near extinct animals.

She and her painter husband, Edward Walton manage
the Backwal Gallery,
99 Atkinson Ave, Otaki

Open Sundays 11am – 4pm
and any time by arrangement.

>> The “THIS” Artists
>> The Location
>> What + When