2 - 22 AUGUST 2022.

Sculpture in the Gardens 2021/2022

Dec. 2021 to April 2022.
Sculpture in the Gardens has benefited visitors to the Auckland Botanic Gardens since its inception. Held over the summer months, the exhibition encourages exploration, connection and feeling of belonging with the Gardens, while providing access to high-quality art for free. The Friends’ vision for the event is ‘Sculpture for everyone’, removing barriers to accessing quality sculpture, and widening the demographic of visitors to the Gardens. As a result, between 300,000 and 400,000 people visit the Gardens during the exhibition. The associated community programmes further enhance this engagement.

It is believed that Sculpture in the Gardens has the highest number and most diverse range of visitors of any sculpture exhibition in the country. Market research from the exhibition reflects the positive views of visitors with 91% of those attending ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with Sculpture in the Gardens

Sculpture in the Gardens 2017-2018

Nov. 2017 - March 2018.

Golden Bough (Revisited). Cast Bronze & Gold - (765x605x570mm) on 3.8m wooden post, 2017. Unique.

The Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens were pleased to bring you Sculpture in the Gardens 2017-2018.


February 6 - May 8, 2016.
This exhibition looks to the past, present and future practices of an impressive group of 33 medal artists. With over 200 medals on display, the exhibition celebrates the 25 year journey of the Medal Artists of New Zealand (MANZ). The works represent contemporary medal art, which embraces freedom of design including choice of subject, material and composition.

The exhibition has been developed around three core ideas:

Regroup to include and acknowledge past and present members, by the display of a small number of works by each artist. Reflect individual and collective achievements, trials and tribulations on the national and international stage. The experiences gained and lessons learnt. Regenerate, celebrate and be inspired by the progress by members and that of their peers, pointing toward the future of New Zealand Medal Art.

T J McNamara on the arts. NZ Herald

Saturday Aug 22, 2015.
Silver Beech Icon by Jim Wheeler.

T J McNamara on the arts

NZ Herald Saturday Aug 22, 2015

What: Nature as Metaphor by Jim Wheeler
Where and when: Artis Gallery, 280 Parnell Rd, to August 31
TJ says: Sculpture, mostly bronze, of tall monumental shapes and wall works of carefully studied branches of leaves show admiration for the life force they represent.
The sculpture exhibition by Jim Wheeler at Artis Gallery is explicitly titled Nature as Metaphor. The artist, renowned as a medallist, is here working mostly in bronze although cast-iron and stainless steel are also used. The works all have plant forms and the metaphorical element is the relationship between human activity and the natural world.

This is exemplified in a work that stands at the door. It is a 2m high version of the peculiar leaf of the lancewood standing tall, almost like a human spine. It has a green patina except for the centre where the principal vein is polished bronze and falls the length of the piece like a flow of water. The title is Standing Idol. The natural form is to be honoured like a forest god.
Most of the work inside the gallery is of branches of native trees based on the artist's response to our native bush. The range is wide. A cast-iron work, Kauri Branch - Drought, has a burned, rust colour with heavy monumental leaves and a seed cone that is a hope for re-birth.

In contrast to the weight of this work is Autumn Wreath, a delicate bronze circlet of the seeds of the five-finger plant woven into an intriguing dance. Most of the sculptures are sprightly wall works. One is substantially over size. The huge branches of APEX - Pacific Kauri reach out like giant antlers.
On the floor are versions of a concept the artist has made his own. He uses old spades and garden forks or their handles and adorns them with plants in bronze. Plants and vines spring forth in a more homely and native version of the medieval legend of polished wood growing miraculous leaves, so the reference is redemption and renewal. It all makes for a very attractive show embodying invention, skill, observation and thought.

By T.J. McNamara

Nature as Metaphor

11 Aug.- 31 Aug. 2015.
Solo exhibition by Jim Wheeler @ Artis Gallery, 280 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand. Photos courtesy of © 2011-15 Sait Akkirman, including all photographs.

Jim Wheeler interviewed on StandingRoomOnly

9 August 2015.
Jim Wheeler
2:54 PM. Jim Wheeler's sculptures represent his two big passions... bronze casting and botany. He's lived in New Zealand since emigrating from the United States back in 1981. Jim learnt his trade as an apprentice working with master craftsmen. He loves this country's flora, casting sculptures of our native flowers through to lichen. Jim's also made a name for himself as a maker of medals. His exhibition Nature as Metaphor opens at Parnell's Artis Gallery on Tuesday and is represented at the New Zealand medal makers exhibition at the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Auckland.

Eye Contact. NZ Sculpture OnShore review.

16 Nov.2014.
"Jim Wheeler’s delicate stainless steel sculpture Epiphytes almost looks invisible when suspended from the branches of a tree that faces out to sea, and one is not up close. An enlarged replica of a native lichen that gains its sustenance from the air the work appeals for botanical reasons (its strange habitat) as well as being a fine line drawing in space with various nodes, strands and swellings. The plant’s linear configuration is rich in associations. It could be mistaken for forked lightning or a zigzagging detail from a rural road map. It is an extraordinary object to look at." John Hurrell

Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial

Outside the Square

8 – 20 November 2014.
Group Show: Outside the Square
8 – 20 November
Opening in the Main Gallery
Saturday 8 November 2 – 3.30pm

Mathematical or metaphorical!
Divine or diabolical!
Emotional or abstract!

As part of the Devonport Arts Festival, 19 artists will each exhibit 3 works that encourage the audience to think ‘outside the square’. This opportunity brings together artists who are established conceptual thinkers and have diverse cultural involvement with their communities. The mediums artists will explore are painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and installation.

Featuring: Jo Barrett, Katherine Batchelor, Barbara Cope, Beatrice Carlson, Carole Driver, Erin Forsyth, Linda Gair, Robyn Gibson, Bev Goodwin, Diane Halstead, Jude Hoani, Sally Lush, Prue MacDougall, Dugald Page, Peter Raos, Mandy Thomsett-Taylor, Jeff Thomson, Graeme Thompson, Jim Wheeler

Depot Artspace
28 Clarence Street, Devonport, Auckland 0624
09 963 2331

What A Difference

16th August - 14th September 2014.

Discovering Form

1 - 16 March 2014.
16 Stancombe Rd, Flat Bush, Manukau.
Tuesday - Sunday from 9am - 5pm.

A number of New Zealand sculptors will showcase their artwork within the tranquil grounds of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple. The surroundings of the temple and existing gardens provide the perfect environment for the sculptures and also add to the contemplative atmosphere of peace and serenity for visitors.

"Enchanted Gardens"

15 - 28 February 2014.

Sculptors from the Gardens

4 Feb 2014 - 24 Feb 2014.
Sculptors from the Gardens
Date: 4 Feb 2014 - 24 Feb 2014

Gallery artists currently participating in the sculpture show, Sculpture in the Gardens, at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.


18 December - 26 January 2014.
Exploring New Zealand's unique rural environment.
Percy Thompson Gallery
Miranda St

Sculpture in the Gardens

9 November 2013 - 16 Feburary 2014.
This Summer at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, 102 Hill Rd., Manurewa, Twenty-three contemporary sculptures by top New Zealand artists in a unique garden setting.
FREE ADMISSION Free entry, open 7 days from 9am to dusk .


12 February - 10 March 2013.


10th - 14th July 2012.
FIDEM XXXII Art Medal Congress and Exhibition.


12th June - 2nd July 2012.
Group sculpture exhibition at Artis Gallery.


5th April - 7th May 2012.
Small sculpture prize exhibition at Waiheke Art Gallery.


10th - 18th March 2012.
Outdoor exhibition at Tawharanui Sanctuary.


September 2011.
'Object of Devotion' was purchased for the permanent collection of the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa. Each year the Botanic Gardens host a four-month exhibition of large-scale outdoor sculpture set amid the gardens. 'Object of Devotion' is pictured in situ at the Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre in the Botanic Gardens.
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