You are currently viewing Legging it to Waikino for 23rd annual art show
Artist Rod Hawkins with his surfboard sculpture, one of three pieces he will be entering in ARTWaikino’s exhibition this Labour Weekend. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Legging it to Waikino for 23rd annual art show

Waikino artist Rod Hawkins stands proudly in his back garden, next to a surfboard adorned with a pair of disembodied prosthetic legs. 

The unusual sculpture is one of his entries into this year’s ARTWaikino art show, taking place over Labour Weekend at Waikino Hall. 

“That surfboard, that’s my entry this year for the sculpture. Last year I entered those legs on a set of running blocks … I’ve recycled those again,” he said. 

“The sculpture category, that was originally my idea. I’ve been involved in Art Waikino since I got here 13 years ago.” 

As well as his sculpture, Rod will be entering a hand-crafted copper whale and a photograph, and he will also be opening his studio on Victoria St to the public. 

“I try to do lots of things,” Rod said of his work. 

“I get random inspiration. I just like to make things. I don’t do it for the money, I do it because I like doing it. And I like it when somebody goes, ‘oh that’s really nice, can I have one?’ That really strokes my ego.”

Rod’s works are mostly pottery, metalwork and woodwork – the retired builder said he prefers tactile mediums. 

I like doing the sculptural stuff,” he said. 

“I love working with copper, it just appeals to my brain. And wood. And clay. So everything really, so long as I can get my hands bruised and burnt.” 

His work is eclectic, he said, and he tries to inject humour into his pieces. 

“I made hundreds and hundreds of ceramic gnomes … for ARTWaikino [in a previous exhibition]. It was our first ever sculpture exhibition. I had them all lined up, ten rows of ten and then I poured sand over them so [they were only partially showing]. I wanted them to look like the terracotta soldiers because that was my original inspiration. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if they were gnomes? And then of course as soon as I thought it, I had to do it,” he said. 

Rod is also the chair of the Waikino Hall committee. ARTWaikino, the largest art exhibition in the Hauraki and Coromandel area, was conceived by former committee member Helen Wilson 23 years ago as a fundraising event. 

“The reason we have ARTWaikino is to have money for the maintenance of the hall,” Rod said.

“There was a time when the hall was the centre of the village. We want to ensure it’s maintained in a way that people can use it and it benefits the community.” 

The show has grown in the 23 years it has taken place. Last year over 200 artworks were displayed. Photo: SUPPLIED

This year, over 60 artists from Waikino and across the North Island have registered for the show. 

Their works will be arranged by category – painting and drawing, handicraft, sculpture or photo – with the winners of each section announced on Friday night. 

Every art piece is also for sale to the public, with a percentage of the sale price going back to the hall. 

Organiser Nola Boldy said the committee was expecting close to 800 people to pass through their doors over the weekend. 

“ARTWaikino is for everyone, young and old, and the place to visit if you are looking for a gift for a special someone – or even yourself,” she said. 

Rod said the art show was a platform for artists, and a place for people to find inspiration of their own. 

“Somebody may go into the exhibition and go, ‘ooh, I can do that’. So it’s like a catalyst to ignite that spark in just one person’s brain,” he said.

ARTWaikino, October 20 from 6pm-9pm and October 21-22 from 10am-4pm at the Waikino Hall. Gold coin entry; all artworks are for sale. 

By ALICE PARMINTER, Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air