Dave Goodin lives as an artist and sculptor on Stewart Island. He offers classes of Jade (New Zealand greenstone) carving. It is a journey into the 3D realm. „I like to show my students the third dimension which they experience when they carve a piece for themselves. It is a remaining jewel, some art from the south of New Zealand. And whenever you rub greenstone it comes alive in your hands.“
Talking with Dave about his life: „As a young man I was logging trees in New Zealands North Island until a falling tree injured me. I could not work anymore. As soon as I recovered from the accident I wanted to change my life. All the time I was interested in Maori art and I began to study it at a community college at Hawke’s Bay. This was back in the mid 1980s. In my second year of college I taught children lessons in Maori art. In the meantime I developed my own style, my own pieces of art. At that time I used cow bones.
For the next 4 years I lived in London where I had my first exhibition in 1997 with my pieces of carved stones and bones. As a bread job I worked as a porter in a hospital. In 1999 I lived for a while in China as an English teacher. Still I continued my art. I liked living in China, the country and its culture impressed me.
Back in New Zealand in 2002 I got a job with Sir Peter Jackson, producer of the Lord of the Rings movies. As a sculptor I worked on the movie setting. I entered a magical world. In total I worked for him for 4 years.
Also I participated at the production of the movie King Kong. I was responsible for everything in the movie which looked green: plants, trees, landscapes. The next film production was The legend of Zorro, with second-unit photography in Wellington.
In 2014 I came to Stewart Island to visit a college friend. I felt in love with the place and I never left. Why? Because of its amazing environment, the few people here, no pollution and because of the weather which always is a surprise.
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Distant peaks glow in the low evening light. A new sunrise is masked by a turbulent sky, deep purple crashes against angry blue, water pours from the heavens, the land hidden by the silvery veil.
A dramatic landscape, delicate and fragile, harsh and unforgiving and timeless. And the history written in the hills, whispered by the rustling leaves, shouted by the roaring wind? These remote and seldom visited waters have much to tell and many secrets safely locked away.
Ginney Deavoll at Southland Museum Invercargill.
I am in a destroyed city. Destroyed by 3 earthquakes in 2010, 2011 and 2016. There are lots of ruins, lots of wounds between houses. They are now filled with art and the brains of artists. The shops are not there anymore, but instead there are containers. Really fancy containers.
I feel almost in Utopia. The people decided to fight, for their lives, for their futures, for their well beings. I am in New Zealand, almost at the end of the world. In Christchurch. And I am too astonished to talk about this. It takes my breath away. I brought to you some pictures. Look at them and then you will understand what I mean. And I am in love with that city …
Photo: Enric Boixadós
Fotos: Enric Boixadós
His idols are Henry Moore, Fernando Botero and Auguste Rodin. Joe Xuereb was 19 years old when he created his first limestone sculpture. At this time, in 1973, Gozo was a less developed island in the Mediterranean. The time passed there much slower than on the big sister island of Malta.
I met him in his studio in the small village of Ghajnsielem on Gozo.
Everything started with Mary Claridge from the UK. The lady opened a crafts center on the island at the end of the 1960s. „My sister was sewing clothes for her. Therefore I came as a delivery boy to her house“, says Joe, who was born in 1954. „I saw her working with stones.“ It was the first time he touched them. Her stones. „My father was a stone dresser but I have never been interested in that material“, he admits today. He saw the encounter with Mary as a challenge. A real challenge! „I wanted to prove myself.“ He created a coffee table out of 2 stones with an elaborate design on top.
Mary also encouraged the locals to make in art. „And she sold my table within 3 weeks.“ She told me not to work with ornamental designs but rather with smaller ones.
More and more he got inspired by the prehistorical sites of his homeland. He created fertility goddesses and repeated the process again and again. The stylized female figure has acquired symbolic stature as an expression of fertility and sexual power in an equal measure. Today he is proud of starting as an autodidact.
Female forms and women figures belong to his main work. „I go in my studio when I feel I have to. I am working every day, even on Sundays, most of the times for more than 4 hours“, he states. And he is a real local from Gozo. „We always had a different mentality than the people from neighbouring Malta. We use simple tools until today, we always had to think how to survive.“
A French Magazine referred to him one time as the „Botero of Gozo“. I mention this and he is a bit proud. Of course, he can be proud of this comparison. His works are found in private collections all over Europe, in the US and Australia. His art is also represented in various exhibitons all over the globe.
Photos: Enric Boixadós