Bernie Harfleet & Turtle Sarten

Bernie Harfleet & Turtle Sarten

“And then they kissed me”

Materials: Found objects, Pallets, Mirrors, Blankets, material

Dimensions: Various

Price: Not for sale

What inspires your art practice?
We have a social art practice that looks at the darker and less discussed aspects of society and community. Themes explored in our work include mental health, poverty, war and family harm. While these themes sit outside the comfort zone of many, art offers a different way to present and engage with community members who in turn bring their own thoughts and experiences to the discussion. With this in mind we are particularly interested in making work that is activated in some way by the audience terming this a ‘Community Activated Art Action’.

What materials do you work in?
The materials we use vary depending on the project. This can mean using found objects, or completely creating objects from scratch. We have a long history of being
in NZSoS and generally always present work that talks about NZ Women’s Refuge work or concerns. This year our work will reference these previously shown works and materials. “And then they kissed me” talks to the experience of those women and children that NZ Women’s Refuge serves and supports.

Describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2021
We were humbled for NZSoS 2018 to have our work “Why don’t you just leave?” chosen by NZ Women’s Refuge as their footprint on that show. We are therefore honoured to find ourselves again in the role of NZ Women’s Refuge’s artistic voice in this show that supports their important and much needed work.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” (Anaïs Nin)

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZSOS?
You would most likely find our work in group shows including the upcoming Sculpture in the Gardens. Our social artwork ‘Give a Kid a Blanket’ is ongoing, having started in winter 2015. Now a registered charity it remains for us part of our art practice.

Where did you study?
Harfleet is self taught
Sarten is a Masters graduate from Elam School of Fine Art.

Sculptures by Bernie Harfleet & Turtle Sarten

NZ Sculpture OnShore Returns 2021

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