SCULPTURE IN THE GARDENS: 2014, Group exhibition Auckland Botanic Gardens (Biannual)
Oliver Stretton-Pow excites the imagination with his castle-like series of ‘follies’, inviting people, especially the young, to lose themselves inside. Influenced by icons of folly and rook-like towers in his family history, Stretton-Pow sees this concept as an investigation into longevity, steeped with references to family, resources and environment.
“The material and location of the archetypical sandcastle tends to limit its life-span to a maximum of 12 hours. It is not possible to hold on to a sandcastle and try to preserve it – building a sandcastle is an exercise in letting go.
“Ultimately though, the work’s most important role may simply be to serve as a distraction for young people from the insanely complex adult world.”
Oliver Stretton-Pow grew up surrounded by antiques and #8 wire contraptions in the Stone Store in Kerikeri, where his father was the last proprietor of the store and museum. He produced his first sculptures in the blacksmiths forge behind the Stone Store tea-rooms at the age of 14.
Stretton-Pow graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a Master’s degree in 2004. He has held four solo exhibitions in Auckland and been involved in many large outdoor events.
He was artist in residence at the Central Institute of Technology in Perth which he credits as the start of recent series in polyester resin.
Stretton-Pow has a studio and art foundry on Waiheke Island where he does mould-making, casting and restoration projects. He has been an ornament specialist in Israel, a metalwork technician and foundry technician, and a props maker for Peter Jackson’s production of ‘The Hobbit’.
Oliver Stretton-Pow lives and works on Waiheke Island.
View a video of Oliver and his sculpture here