Artist pooh-poohs Nick Smith

19:57, Oct 29 2009
Nick Smith, Sam Mahon
BIG HEAD: Artist Sam Mahon with the head of Environment Minister Nick Smith he sculpted out of cow dung.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has been immortalised – in cow dung.

Canterbury artist and campaigner Sam Mahon created the manure sculpture as a protest against water pollution in the region.

He is selling the artwork on auction website Trade Me.

Mahon said the cow manure was the perfect medium for a sculpture of Smith, who he believed was doing too little to protect New Zealand's waterways from dairy farm pollution.

"The sculpture has a hollow head, which is very fitting. It is highly polished and sits on the stand slightly to the right of centre," he said.

However, Mahon said his feelings about the minister influenced the final sculpture, which is titled "Nick Smith in the s...".


"Usually, you have to love the subject you are working on to get the detail, so this is not a detailed piece."

Smith laughed off the barbed tribute.

"Excuse the pun, but I would describe it as crap art. I have had far worse things in politics in the past. I take it all in good humour."

Dry cowpats were collected from an organic dairy farm in Waikari, ground through a coffee blender, mixed with a polymer resin, and pressed into a mould to set. The finishing touch was a beeswax polish.

Mahon said the resin meant the sculpture did not smell, and should "keep forever".

Last night, the sculpture had attracted 78 bids on Trade Me and had reached $2020.

The Press