Thursday, 14 February 2013

Waiheke Island - Headland Sculpture on the Gulf

Matiatia Bay - Waiheke Island the start and finish
of the sculpture trail
It is a thirty to forty minute ferry ride across the glorious Waitemata Harbour, from downtown Auckland,  to  beautiful Waiheke Island.  Waiheke is a laid back kind of place with golden sand beaches, wineries, olive farms and a number of resident artists who give it a slightly bohemian vibe. It is easy to see why it is so popular with Aucklanders becoming, in recent years, a holiday home destination of choice for the wealthy. Despite this the islanders have  managed to maintain their bohemian roots and proudly support  the artistic community which the island has long been known for. A relaxed island feeling hits you the moment you step close to the city and yet so far away.  No wonder it is a popular place!
Beyond Good and Evil -  by Konstantin Dimopoulos
Shrine for the Sea, Soil and Sky
by Terry Stringer

 Every second year for the last ten years a local committee has worked hard to present the three week long  Headland Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition, inviting sculptors to display their work along a two and a half kilometer walk.  The walk winds around a headland taking in some magnificent scenery, passing above pristine waters and, yesterday, when I did the walk, affording views of cavorting orcas in the bay. The Headland Sculpture Trail has  become world renowned attracting 32,000 visitors in 2011. It is a leisurely one and a half to two hours walk with, this year, 30 art works to enjoy.
Every Home Should Have One -
trompe l'oeil by Peter Lange

Temporary - by Delicia Sampero
Most of the sculptures are installation works and are generally thought provoking. Strolling the trail is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours on a glorious summer's day,  enjoying the stunning natural panoramas and pondering the art works interspersed along the way.

Wildfire - by Sarah Brill

At the cool, airy Pavilion, base for the exhibition, are a bar a restaurant and a shop selling art works.  Live music is played each day and visitors can attend talks by the artists or just relax for a while before catching the ferry home. If there is time it is easy to explore the main town on the island, Oneroa, a short walk away, which has an excellent  Community Art Gallery, a number of  restaurants and
shops and a beautiful, sheltered beach for swimming.
Although I have holidayed at Waiheke many times over the years this was my first visit to the Waiheke sculpture exhibition.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and intend to make it a "must do" for the future.
Part of the headland with the art work, Pavilion Structure - by  Gregor Kregar,  just visible in the distance

Death Row - by Regan Gentry
This is a tribute to a dearly loved local store which was destroyed by  fire

...and at the end of the walk a crisp glass of local wine in The Pavilion
while listening to cool jazz...what a great day out!