Sally Tagg

Botanical artist and sculptor, Sally Tagg is set to launch her new work, entitled, “When the last Kauri Falls,” in support of Women’s Refuge at the upcoming NZ Sculpture OnShore exhibition on the 3rd-18th November at Fort Takapuna, Devonport, Auckland.

Inspired by the majestic Kauri trees in Northland and the threat to their existance through Kauri Dieback, Sally wanted to create an artwork that would make people think how they would feel when the last Kauri falls. “As New Zealanders we know that standing amongst ancient kauri trees is a powerful experience. After witnessing the rate of Kauri Dieback in our native forests I knew I wanted to create something that spoke to the plight of the Kauri,” says Sally.

In the advanced stages of Kauri Dieback disease the Kauri “bleeds” and sheds all its bark scales, leaving only a ghostly silhouette which eventually falls. Reflecting this state, all elements of the work have been painted white. “It reflects the famous chalk hill figures found in Britain and Europe. These geoglyphs are cut into the landscape leaving a white ghosted outline that can be seen for miles as a mysterious homage to ancient forms of life gone before.

“Some of these majestic Kauri trees in Northland are among the oldest on the planet and as such they are under our care and we need to join forces to protect them,” says Sally.

Sally’s work has a strong botanical emphasis where she looks for layers of meaning and symbols in nature that support the work she is creating. Incorporating an essence of spirit, intellect and emotions into her work, Sally has integrated a stone totem alongside the fallen kauri skeleton in “When the last Kauri Falls,” as a form of blessing or prayer for the Kauri trees.

“In ancient times such sacred stones were buried or carefully concealed in the forest, acting as a shrine for the spirit-gods in whose care the forest was placed,” says Sally.

NZ Sculpture OnShore is a national biennial event presented at the spectacular Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve on Auckland’s North Shore. It is one of the largest supporters of Women’s Refuge and has donated over $1.7 million since its’ inception, helping women and children access safe places to stay, counselling and wrap around services. NZ Sculpture OnShore is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors, including Hesketh Henry, Harcourts Cooper & Co and Fisher Funds.

The 2018 NZ Sculpture OnShore runs from the 3rd-18th November at Fort Takapuna, Devonport, Auckland.Check out our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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Fisher Funds


Hesketh Henry

Harcourts Cooper & Co

Perpetual Guardian