Michel Tuffery, Povi Tau Vaga (The Challenge), 1999

Lissy and Rudi Wharenui Harikoa

Lissy and Rudi, Wharenui Harikoa, 2023. Photo: Samuel Harnett

International Sculpture Day 2024 — Aotearoa Artists Appreciation

Although we hardly need an excuse, this event is the perfect opportunity to promote local sculpture.

From internationally recognised artists, to well established and up-and-coming—clients, friends, and even one of our own—Tanker presents a curated selection of sculptural inspiration from Aotearoa.

If you’re a sculpture, collector or admirer make sure you take the time to promote this artform for International Sculpture Day with a like, share, tag, link or post.

All content used with artists permission.

Michel Tuffery, Povi Tau Vaga (The Challenge), 1999

Branded corned-beef tins

These four bulls became part of a major collaborative project between Tuffery and Patrice Kaikilekofe (Futuna/New Caledonia).

With this work, Tuffery comments on some of Polynesia’s major ecological and dietary problems resulting from increased modernisation. Changing eating habits, for example, afforded corned-beef the status of food staple and ritual gift.

The two larger bulls represented Polynesia and French Polynesia (Tuffery and Kaikilekofe’s respective regions), and were used as metaphors for social tensions within islander communities.

The motif of a bull or povi is a recurrent one, seen in many of Michel’s works.

Visit personal website: micheltuffery.co.nz

Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson-Cole, Wharenui Harikoa, 2023

Stainless steel, paint, Diameter 3000 mm

Lissy Robinson-Cole (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu), Rudi Robinson-Cole (Ngaruahine, Ngāti Pāoa, Te Arawa) have created a project which goes beyond the realms of traditional art, embracing social commentary, healing space, and a celebration of life. As you walk through the Wharenui, you’ll feel the warm embrace of a beloved nanny or motherly figure, the strength of their tūpuna (ancestors), and the joy of their people.

Their vision for Wharenui Harikoa is to travel with it across Aotearoa and beyond, sharing the essence of aroha (love) and the transformative power of art. They aim to connect cultures, heal hearts, and spread joy – one loop, one stitch, one community at a time.

Join us in celebrating the beauty of crochet, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unifying power of art.

Visit personal website: www.lissyandrudi.com

Chiara Corbelletto, 1001 Spheres, 2023

Stainless steel, paint, Diameter 3000 mm

This sculpture takes its name from the famous Kate Sheppard quote: We are tired of having a ‘sphere’ doled out to us, and being told that anything outside that sphere is ‘unwomanly’.

1001 Spheres celebrates the contribution of women in all spheres of life. An expression of infinite possibilities, the colourful spheres inside the sculpture are a starting point to imagine a world where we can all live, work and be in any sphere we choose, not limited by gender identity.

More Information: Auckland City Council Public Art

Tui Emma Gillies, Ngatu/Tapa cloth-covered spheres, 2024

As the University of Canterbury Macmillan Brown artist in Residence, Tui stayed at Sutton House. This photo was taken there with her ngatu/tapa covered spheres before they headed to Fibre Gallery in Christchurch for her first solo show, View from the Deep, exhibited 5 April – 24 May 2024.

Visit personal website: www.tuiemmagillies.com

Cat Fooks, Wanda Higgins, 2023

Mixed media, 505 x 210 x 210mm, $4,400

This sculpture was shown in Hamilton at the Ramp Gallery (WINTEC) in 2023. The exhibition was called Cake by The Ocean.

See More: Anna Miles Gallery

Sam Mitchell, Suprema, 2018

Lunch-sized Ceramic Plate, Signed and Dated, $850

This piece was inspired by the man behind Wonder Woman’s creation.
He invented the lie detector machine: fact and fiction

Maca Bernal, Pearl Molotov, jewellery object, 2022

246 pairs of DIY pearl earrings from Alibaba, glass bottle, bandana; $2,000

Carabineros de Chile (national police) spent 15 million pesos (27,000 NZD) in 18kt gold pearl earrings for female police graduates as part of their mandatory uniform. During one of several violent street confrontations in 2020, two ill-protected female police officers sustained serious burns from Molotov cocktails thrown at their pearl adorned young faces.

Visit personal website: Maca Bernal

Su Nelson, Hug In Bronze, 2023

Solid bronze pieces x 10, overall dimensions approx. 570 x 300mm
The cast negative space of a hug between the artist and her daughter. A future relic of the past, like a fossil you might see in a museum. An expression of love captured and treasured, weighty and solid. Available for exhibition, custom commission, or purchase.

Visit personal website: Su Nelson Artist

— Nicola Devine and Su Nelson

Chiara Corbelletto 1001 Spheres

Chiara Corbelletto, 1001 Spheres, 2023 Credit: Prosperosity

Tui Emma Gillies Artist

Tui Emma Gillies, Ngatu/Tapa Cloth-covered Spheres, 2024. Photo: Quynh Le


Cat Fookes, Wanda Higgins, 2023. Credit: Sam Hartnett. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery.

Sam Mitchell, Suprema, 2018

Maca Bernal, Pearl Molotov, jewellery object, 2022

Su Nelson Hug in Bronze

Su Nelson, Hug in Bronze (detail), 2023

About International Sculpture Day

International Sculpture Day is an annual event held on the last Saturday in April to champion sculpture worldwide.

The day (or week, month…?) aims to celebrate the community, the work, and the love of sculpture.

Anyone or any organisation with an appreciation and commitment to the field of sculpture is invited to participate.

International Sculpture Day includes a wide range of events, openings, educational and promotional activities around the world to include, but not limited to:

  • Open day at museum/sculpture park
  • Open studio tours
  • Demonstrations and workshops
  • Panels, talks, presentations, discussions
  • Parties and openings
  • Sculpture exhibits, shows
  • Tours of collections, private and public
  • Pop up shows
  • Exhibitions and more.

If you want to hold an event it does not have to be a big celebration. It can be anything that acknowledges Sculpture.

It can even simply be recognition of the date and inviting communities to come and celebrate Sculpture on or around 27 April 2024.

Celebration can also be posting, sharing, following, and including #isday on your social media posts.

If you want to be included social media posts using #ISDay #internationalsculptureday #ISDay2024 will stream live on April 27 on the sculpture.org website.

Don’t forget to include a link in your post as well:


Catherine Guevera

Catherine Guevara, Whisthleing Vessels / Vasijas Silvadoras, 2023. Prehispanic peoples made instruments like these in the Andes Mountains, allowing them to communicate with their ancestors and other species. www.facebook.com/CfromCat

Greg Tutil

Greg Tuthill, Nonagon Cross #3, 2023. Weathered corten steel on powder coated plinth. Stainless steel fixings. 1200W x 2400H x 500D  (including plinth height of 1200mm).. $15,000 inc gst. www.gregtuthill.com

Bev Moon Fortune 2021-22

Bev Moon, Fortune (A Knitted Yum Cha for my Mother’s 90th Birthday), 2021-2022. Mixed media. Approx. 2000 x 1500mm. Photo: Richard Ng. www.bevmoon.com

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