Small, Sculptured Treasures for the discerning collector.

In New Zealand, over the past thirty years, a small number of extremely talented artists have quietly evolved their extraordinary skills into realms of expertise that are rarely seen in today’s commercial world.

These reclusive folk work intensively on their own projects, more often than not in the isolation of their own studios and seldom influenced by the plethora of popular conceptions, or more accurately misconceptions, by which others may choose to view the work.

The underlying energies common to these few is the commitment to first follow self. Evolve ones own excitement beyond the confines of the narrowly perceived criteria of ‘commercially acceptable’. From the roots of all that has been before us a distinct style of small, treasured sculpture has evolved which is proven to be globally unique in design and execution. Not unlike the distinctive, contemporary music New Zealand artists are becoming internationally known for. Our visual artists continue to quietly carve their extraordinary creations and are also building an international awareness of the creative energies flowing from the small South Pacific populous.
Environmental influences throughout life’s experiences are manifest and maturity is evident in the progression of subsequent works as if they are subtly guided by the subconscious realms.

Here is an illustration of just this with these early images of Owen Mapp’s beef bone carvings from the turn of the decade 1969, 1970.
The days when the local butcher would raise his eyebrows at the request for beef, thigh bones for carving rather than dog food!
Not so today. Contemporary beef bone carving is widely recognized throughout the country and often erroneously perceived to be originally initiated by Maori. Not really so…… there were no such ethnic bone carvers of that era. Either in bone or stone, including nephrite jade (greenstone).

Today Owen’s work reflects a much broader base of influence. Not only in his finely developed and exemplary use of hand tools, which have differed little throughout the decades, but also evident is the now finely developed sense of 3D sculptural form. Complexities in design execution, intimate knowledge of the media selected are beautifully illustrated with this wonderful, erotic sculpture carved from whale ivory.