Bluff sculptor's whale bone a winner

'He really deserves it'

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2013
Allen Hartnett
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Bluff artist Allen Hartnett shows off his prize-winning work, Wahaika.

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An artwork exuding a sense of history has won the top award at the provincial pride awards.

Bluff sculptor Allen Hartnett took out the Southland Art Society Inc McIntyre Dick and Partners Provincial Pride Members premium award, with his work Wahaika.

Hartnett, who began sculpting 10 years ago and usually works in jade, bone and stone, crafted his winning piece from a section of sperm whale jaw bone.

However, he loved his design so much he had Ross Wilson, of Marton, cast it in bronze for the exhibition, he said. For winning the premium award, Hartnett received $800.

Judges Gina van Wichen and Kirk Munro said Hartnett's Wahaika was a well-made piece that expressed "a sense of history and environment skill".

City Gallery co-ordinator Kathryn Blomfield said Hartnett had joined the art society only about a month before the awards, bringing some of his sculpture in to show her what his work was like. "I said, ‘wow, you need to be putting this in the awards' . . . and then he won. He really deserves it."

Hartnett could be seen at the Christmas at the Races, she said.

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- The Southland Times

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