Celebration of Waitaki art
A CORNERSTONE of Oamaru’s homegrown arts scene, the Oamaru Stone Symposium will this year run throughout the inaugural Waitaki Arts Festival.
From September 21 to October 8 carvers at the symposium will transform blocks of Oamaru’s celebrated limestone, weighing up to two tonnes, into finished works.
Symposium site manager Matt King said while the biennial event, which started in 1998, was not themed, he predicted several angels to be carved for this year’s symposium exhibition.
Roseanne Sheridan, of Oamaru, approached the symposium earlier this year, hoping to commission a sculpture to be installed at the Oamaru Lawn Cemetery’s Baby Garden, also known as the Rainbow Cemetery, and the Waimate Carvers collective had answered the call and would this year create a piece for the cemetery, Mr King said.
He thought the work, planned to complement an Oamaru stone sculpture installed by Oamaru churches in 1998, would be ‘‘lovely’’.
‘‘This will give all those people a touchstone, if you like, to go and remember their children,’’ Mr King said.
‘‘It just all came together — as these things do. That’s part of the whole symposium process, I think — you sort of gather all these threads together and away we go.’’
Rather than the usual ‘‘people’s choice’’ award with goldcoin voting, people at this year’s festival would be asked for donations to pay for the work to be installed at the cemetery.
Divine inspiration . . . While the Oamaru Stone Symposium has no theme this year, symposium site manager Matt King (pictured) says he expects to see a few angels created over the 18day carvers’ meeting. The Waimate Carvers will create a commissioned piece to be installed at the Rainbow Cemetery at this year’s symposium.