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Christine Hellyar

One of New Zealand's most innovative sculptors Christine Hellyars work has, over the course of 30+ years, challenged the concept of traditional art. Her use of both natural and domestic objects into sculptural artworks has transformed the commonplace into thought provoking installation. Hellyar studied at the Elam School of Fine Art in the University of Auckland graduating with a Diploma of Fine Arts (Hons) in 1970 before commencing an extended period of travel, first through the South Island of New Zealand then overseas, visiting Europe, Egypt and much of the U.S.A before returning home. During her travels she visited many museums and galleries, places that would later inspire a great deal of her work. Hellyar's observation of objects collected in museums for the purpose of display gave rise to a series of installations known as 'Thought Cabinets' a collection of created 'artefacts' laid out in cupboards and trays. Hellyars’ works use a variety of materials, from 'found' objects like grass and stone to moulded pieces in plaster and clay through to fibre and latex. Her outdoor installations use cast bronze and carved stone to portray natural elements found in the natural landscapes of New Zealand. From 1981 to 1996 Hellyar was senior lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland before leaving to work full time as an artist. In 2003 Hellyar was awarded a Wild Creations Arts Residency from the Department of Conservation, this saw her spend six weeks living on the slopes of Mt Taranaki drawing and designing sculptures. Hellyars’ large body of work can be found in collections around the world from Australia, the U.S.A., England, Spain, Japan, Korea and more.