Stone Sculptures in Nature

This file was prepared by Max Darby in April, 2010

The following exhibition of stone sculptures found in the natural environment (see below) is located beside Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand (the photos take a few seconds to be loaded).

It is located beside the lake in an area where thousands of rocks of various sizes can be found. Visitors to the lake, after seeing what others have constructed from the found rocks, make their own sculptural arrangements. These ‘unacknowledged artists’ take their ideas seriously. It is interesting from an artistic perspective to see the ways rocks have been aesthetically arranged. These are not simple ‘piles of rocks’ and people have engaged in some stunning arrangements that are reminiscent of the works of modernist sculptors. There are, perhaps, over 200 such constructions found there beside the lake. Numerous additional stone sculptures were found beside the main road well away from the lake area about 20 kilometers away on the road to Queenstown (a small number of these have also been included).

This exhibition idea could easily be introduced as a class activity to students in the primary and middle school years wherever examples of natural materials can readily be found. Practical art-making activities could be directly related to research and investigation into the works of Andy Goldworthy and Australian artists such as John Davis and John Wolseley who interacted directly with the natural environment. It is important to keep in mind that teachers have a responsibility to ensure that damage to the environment doesn’t occur.

Please feel free to comment below and/or to send me photographs of work undertaken by you or your students. These can be included as additional exhibitions (joint or individual). If you would like to have an exhibition from your school alone included on this website, that can be easily arranged.

The images may take a minute to download since they are of variable size. Click on the arrows to the left and right of the main image to forward or go back.

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5 Responses to “Stone Sculptures in Nature”

  1. max says:

    Yes, Marilyn, I’m still interested if you can find them. Life is far too short, I agree. I’m now teaching in Fiji! Cheers Max

  2. Marilyn says:

    Hi Max,
    Long time no chat. Sorry I didn’t follow-up. I am organizing years of digital files. Will search one of my old harddrives if you are still interested.
    Life is too short and strange!

  3. max says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    What you’ve been doing with your students sounds really interesting…Maybe you’d like to send me photos of some work that your students have done…or will do.
    It would be great to share it with a worldwide audience. If you wanted to I could put you in touch with some schools worldwide and you could share an online exhibition here. Let me know. My email address is a quicker way to get onto me –
    Anyone else out there might like to do something similar and send photos to me to include on your own exhibition site here?
    It’s all for art education and to help us all improve what we do and how others see what we do.

    How’s the ‘other work’ going that we both know you’re doing? Life’s strange, eh?



  4. Max says:

    Thanks for your response Marilyn. I’d love to see some photos of the works done by your Middle School students if you still have access to them. The works done at Macedon Grammar (see my Artist in Residence site – sadly no photos yet, but still hopeful I can find them) seem similar in some ways.

  5. Great images … suggestive of some of environmental artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, James Pierce and Richard Long, etc.
    I did something similar with middle school students visiting a park in Singapore. Any found materials (sticks, leaves, grass, stones, etc) were allowed. Obviously nothing could be picked. The photos were printed as colour A4 and exhibited.
    I suggest adding a slideshow prompt for visitors. Reminds me that my website not only needs updating, but redoing. Thanks

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