Jim Wheeler

What inspires your art practice?
At university I studied Art alongside Botany in the Northern Hemisphere. On my very first day in NZ I was astonished by seeing the unique, dinosaur-era ecosystem here. After decades of personal investigation I began to make intuitive choices of native plant forms which I use to stimulate a heightened perception of NZ’s natural treasures.

What materials do you work in?
Bronze, stainless and mild steel, cast iron, wood, stone, concrete, sterling silver, gold, ceramics, paper, plaster, recycled timber, paint, plastics, found objects, architectural materials, fabric, rope and organic material.

Briefly describe your artwork for NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018.
Standing at 2.2 metres Standing Idol- Fierce Lancewood is an emphatic cast bronze Guardian of our Native Bush - New Zealand’s National Treasure! Millions of years of evolution have produced NZ’s forest ecosystem which exists nowhere else on Earth. Contemporary values need to shift to embrace the true importance of Nature’s interconnections between all life forms. This interplay is priceless. Without our understanding and support, our very existence is threatened. My Standing Idol Fiercely declares!

Where are the public most likely to see your artworks outside of NZ Sculpture OnShore?
Artis Gallery Parnell, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail Snells Beach Warkworth, 280 Queen St Atrium, James Wallace Arts Trust at Pah Homestead, Auckland Museum, other group sculpture shows and in private collections.

Where did you study?
University of the South, Sewanee, Tn., University of North Carolina @ Greensboro, NC, Johnson Atelier, Princeton NJ, USA.


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