Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chris Booth sculptor


Another big, fat john dory on the beach this morning.... yum, a ready made breakfast fresh and organic.
I was given a book by NZ sculptor Chris Booth for my birthday which follows his lifes' work from knocking on Barbara Hepworths door in St Ives Cornwall in 1966 when he was 19 to his biggest achievement, being asked to install a sculpture in the grounds of the Kruller Muller museum in the Netherlands. Perhaps my most favourite museum in the world (well in the restricted sense of my world!) it took a team of five, ten months to complete with a budget of a million dollars. He is very sympathetic to the history of the sites and the stones he uses and works a lot with the indigenous people to create works that sit well with them.
I have always enjoyed his archway towering amongst the pohutukawa trees in Albert Park, Auckland but when he revealed in the book that the top half is fabricated in aluminium because of engineering difficulties it made me wonder if the real appreciation came from his sheer ability to get heavy rocks up in the air, not in the artwork itself. Who am I to critisize one of NZs' leading sculptors but by publishing a book of his lifes work, as in a retrospective, one can better see his philosophy and take away the engineering feats and working with local people does the piece stand alone as an exceptional piece of art (does it have to?). A lot of the time I don't think it does as in the photo above.

2 comments:

Hopper said...

yeah... this piece of art is definitely more than just the stones it's made from... i mean... how the hell did he get it together in the first place... and the setting... so far from concrete and all where you'd normally see what us yuppies call "modern art"... i'd love to see it in person...

I've actually always been fascinated with New Zealand and the culture there, though I'm a bit of a lummox as far as what that actually entails... I'm aware that there are two main islands... the more northern being the home of the Maori (did i spell the peoples name right???)... like i said, I'm quite unawares (as is most of the west) other than what i could deign from the movie "Once Were Warriors"...

actually part of my background is aboriginal from here in Canada and it's one of my major interests (aboriginal culture)... a group called the Inuit who inhabit the far north and parts of labrador... have a very distinct style of art as well...

anywho... just stopped by for a hello and looksee... keep in touch eh???

cricket...

L.M.Noonan said...

Fong and I are fans of Chris's work. The sculpture pictured is ab fab.