New Wood For Old Iron

Tim Wraight

26 June – 27 July 2021

Tim Wraight is a musician and artist from Marahau. He works primarily in carved wood, a medium he has loved since childhood. As a child he was surrounded by works created by his great-great-grandfather John Henry Menzies of Menzies Bay on Banks Peninsula.

In 1990 he was offered the opportunity to train with traditional Maori master woodcarver John Mutu, who he worked with for the rest of that decade. He still works for iwi in the Nelson/Golden Bay region making traditional works for their marae and public art installations.

This has influenced the way he works since, and although his personal art practice has moved away from the traditional, the methods and way of making reflects this background.

The works for this show “New Wood for Old Iron” at Little River Gallery take old iron and steel tools and gift them new intricately carved and decorated handles. This is his way of honouring the role these hand tools have shaped our places and environments in the past, when hard work with simple but effective tools made our places and grew our food. It is also a rejection of the ease with which we now alter our landscapes with massively powerful machinery and the damage we can so easily inflict on our fragile environment.

Tim learnt to use these types of tools from his grandfather, an old-time farmer who also lovingly crafted wonderful handles for his tools. This show also honours those who worked with muscle power and honed skills to do what was needed with these tools to sustain their lives.

Tim has a record of significant public artwork gracing our shared spaces, marae, and schools. He has also been the recipient of the Sculpture on the Peninsula Award, his works are part of many collections both in NZ and overseas.

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