Waves of heat and dust, doused by steaming rain, signify not just a week of summer in Whangarei but the making of another successful Sculpture Symposium on the Hatea River's grassed shoulder.

New Plymouth sculptor Claire Sadler disappears in a dust cloud generated while carving a slab of Taranaki andersite. Photo / John Stone
New Plymouth sculptor Claire Sadler disappears in a dust cloud generated while carving a slab of Taranaki andersite. Photo / John Stone

The fifth symposium of its kind is under way at Whangarei's Town Basin, with sculptors from all around New Zealand and some from overseas shaping the "Migration" theme from lumps of stone, steel and wood.

The public event always attracts visitors, with its location on the Hatea loop walk, commonly used by walkers, runners and family groups, adding considerably to the passing traffic this year.

The organisers, Creative Northland, describe the theme of migration as relating to "intrinsically connected elements, a sense of place and sense of belonging - a movement."

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The symposium is taking place over 10 days, from Monday until March 9. On the final day there will be a closing and award ceremony, which will include music and food, with an auction in the early evening.

One selected piece will be bought for $6000 or more by Creative Northland and installed in a public space somewhere in the Whangarei district. A $500 People's Choice cash prize will also be awarded.

All remaining sculptures will be auctioned on-site with a 25 per cent commission to Creative Northland.