NZ Sculpture OnShore is one of Auckland’s premier art events. Held every two years, we welcome thousands of visitors from all over Auckland and wider New Zealand to come to experience both the art and the beauty of the stunning clifftop location of Operetu Fort Takapuna in Devonport.
We are very privileged and immensely grateful to local Iwi and the Department of Conservation for allowing us, every two years, to be the temporary custodians of this beautiful and culturally significant site overlooking the stunning Hauraki Gulf.
NZ Sculpture OnShore is New Zealand's largest and longest running outdoor sculpture exhibition. Originally held in 1996 in the private garden of David and Genevieve Becroft on the shores of Takapuna’ s Lake Pupuke, the event became so popular, that in 2004 it moved to Operetu, Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve on Auckland’s North Shore.
One of the rare times that the public can access both the historic underground fort and Officers Mess is during NZ Sculpture OnShore. The Fort, built in 1889, houses our schools’ art exhibition and we hold our indoor gallery in The Officers Mess.
Our exhibition features works from over 100 established and emerging artists nationwide, and provides a unique snapshot of contemporary sculpture practice in New Zealand. This includes monumental stand-alone sculptures, domestic and small-scale works, ephemeral projects, light and sound art works and many site-specific installations.
All of these artworks are for sale during the exhibition and the proceeds are donated to Women's Refuge New Zealand. To date, we have raised and donated over NZ$ 2.2 million to help Women's Refuge support the victims of domestic violence in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
NZ Sculpture OnShore is a grassroots community event. It is mainly run and organised by local volunteers. In this way we can keep our costs low and ensure that we are able to provide a sustainable source of income to contribute to the crucial work of Women's Refuge New Zealand, supporting victims of domestic violence.
NZ Sculpture OnShore Limited is wholly owned by Friends of Women's Refuges Trust.
About Operetu, Fort Takapuna
Operetu is the ancient name for the headland, occupied first by Māori and used by the New Zealand Defence Forces for over a century.
Fort Takapuna sits on a commanding position at the head of the Rangitoto Channel in the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and nearby Rangitoto Island as the backdrop for our outdoor sculpture exhibition.
The site has served its community diversely as a defence and lookout post, medical centre, and training camp that reinforced New Zealand’s involvement on a global scale during times of conflict.
Notable defensive features of the fort include twin six-inch disappearing guns, an underground magazine, and barracks.
The underground magazine is where we hold our schools' exhibition and our event is one of the very rare occasions that this building is open to the public.