Bernie Harfleet & Donna Turtle Sarten

What inspires your art practice?
Bernie Harfleet & Donna Turtle Sarten are known for their social-political art practice. Often working in collaboration, our work examines aspects of society that sit outside the comfort zone of many. Recent work has focused on poverty and aspects of depression and anxiety. We often include community participation as part of our work, terming this ‘Community activated art action’. Sarten and Harfleet were the winners of People’s Choice in 2016 at New Zealand Sculpture OnShore.

What materials do you work in?
Our material choices and approaches to work vary depending on subject matter and contextual thinking. This can mean starting from scratch to make objects, or manipulating found objects. We often use statistics to inform works and present numbers of objects on mass. Work is often kinetic, with both movement and naturally generated sound.

Briefly describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018.
This time around our work speaks directly to the work and concerns of New Zealand Women’s Refuge. The work takes pre-made objects and manipulates them to create a whole environment that sees visitors become part of the work as they interact with it.

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZ Sculpture OnShore?
Sarten and Harfleet’s works are seen in outdoor sculpture shows, regional galleries and museums and in private collections.

Where did you study?
Sarten has a MFA from Elam, and Harfleet is self taught

Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the generous and on-going support of our sponsors.
To find out more about how these organisations help us to help Women's Refuge NZ, click on the logos below.


Fisher Funds


Hesketh Henry

Harcourts Cooper & Co

Perpetual Guardian