I was up at Matakana last week for work and decided to stay on for the weekend, to get out-of-town and relax. I have always wanted to go to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, it’s one of those things that you intend to do, but because it’s a little bit of a drive out of Auckland, you kind of push it aside and wait until you’re in the area. So last weekend was the perfect time to explore.
Brick Bay showcases contemporary sculpture by established and emerging artists, which is set amongst spectacular landscape of native trees, palms, wildlife and bird life and of course the Brick Bay vineyard. Sculptures presented are new works selected by a curatorial panel and all works are for sale. Exhibits change regularly as sold works are replaced.
We received a map of the trail on arrival and proceeded to walk the track…from end to start, just to be different. You really do need the map as there are a couple of sculptures on the trail that you would miss otherwise. For example, Liz Earth’s ‘Nest (Fall of Grace)’. I actually walked straight past this piece, it wasn’t until I realised my partner had stopped to look at it that I saw it. It’s camouflaged as part of the landscape, a giant nest fallen from a tree with a broken egg inside it. Liz was inspired by the nest-building skills of the thrush for this piece.
My favourite pieces on the trail were by Seung Yul Oh, Leon van den Eijkel.
Above: Seung Yul Oh, Round Around. Steel and epoxy paint.
The images of Seung Yul Oh’s work above is very deceiving. These are actually flat pieces of steel that have been painted to look like cubes, it’s an illusion. As you walk around the pieces they change perspective and shape, and you soon realise you are not seeing what you think. In this installation he is exploring illusion and perception, questioning how we visually receive information from an object to understand its physicality, mass and volume. I have been following his work for about 4 years now, I first saw some of his paintings in Art News NZ and have loved the way his work has evolved over the years. His pieces are more slick and polished compared to some of his earlier works which were more rough-looking. One thing I love about his work is that humour is the unifying theme in all his creations.
Above: Leon van den Eijkel, The Memory Windmills
In Leon’s piece, The Memory Windmills, he wanted to recall his childhood and the joy that he found in nature and the elements. Walking around the trail and coming across these was a sight that made me laugh a little. Huge playful windmills in the middle of a farm, it’s such a shame there was no wind the day we were there.
I would recommend visiting Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, if you haven’t already. It takes about an hour to walk the trail. Afterwards we spent time in the glass house reading some of the artists portfolios and other books they have on display. It was a great way to spend a morning in Matakana.