Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jeff Thomson, Corrugated Iron, and New Zealand

Corrugated iron and Number 8 fencing wire are New Zealand's most popular material, and Jeff Thomson is an artist who made a career out of corrugated iron sculptures. Tim Wraight said he does all kinds of things to them, including (the one I remember) screen printing!

From the Manifest Sculpture Exhibition flier: "... (made of) Corrugated iron, water. Hellensville artist Jeff Thomson needs no introduction to New Zealand art loving public. A household name famous for his corrugated iron works, including the iconic Holden Kingswood stationwagon (sic) on display at Te Papa. Jeff has worked extensively in this material, using it in many different ways. Exhibiting his work in New Zealand and internationally, and well represented in public sculpture, he brings to Manifest three kinetic works incorporating corrugated iron, water and wind."

The day Tim did his talk was gusty and sunny one minute, rainy the next, so the floating objects were quite animated. There is a bar at the bottom of the barrel, and each object is attached to a weight, which is chained to the bar. I think I described it right.

Being an ex-Townie, I used to think anything made of corrugated iron was hidious, but it's part of the rural (and not so rural) landscape of New Zealand and a strange affinity has grabbed hold of me. If I lived on a farm, I would love to see this between the garden and the paddock at the start and the end of each day, coffee/whiskey in my had as appropriate, and just watch the sun/shadow/wind change the appearance of the piece.

Today it's blindingly sunny but the wind is gusting even more, so we're going back to look at these again, as soon as I turn the computer off.

Here's one of the first posts we did in NDP.


  1. I tremendously enjoy tis kind of artwork! Thanks for publishing!


  2. its really unique....and I envy you for this weather:)

  3. Saw one his pieces at the Oneroa Gallery on Waiheke - a corrugated iron kiwi, titled "Kiwis can fly" with the names of famous aviators/aviatrix (Richard Pearse, Jean Batten et al) engraved on the metal.

  4. I appreciate your covering the art scene for us (well, parts of it anyhow). Without you I would most likely never have seen this one. Thanks for being our eyes. (And I'm not going to comment on the weather!)

  5. Hello, everybody. Thanks for visiting.

    Lachezar, I heard of the Architect's Conference last week up in Auckland - I hope you enjoyed it!

    Zsolt, this morning, I saw a documentary on soccer/football in "Eastern Europe" under the communist regime. It was sad to hear about Hungary's loss to Germany in the 50's - it was a jolly good documentary.

    JB, nice titles! Ours were just called Float 1, 2 and 3, I think.

    Per, I've become somewhat obsessed with the weather when I lived in Minnesota, Per. Compared to there, Nelson is a picnic every day!


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