"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece," said Claude Monet, the French impressionist artist famous for his landscape paintings.

A masterpiece of art, impressionism, landscape and gardens - possibly not as Monet might have imagined - comes together at the Whangarei Quarry Gardens this week for Sculpture Northland 2017.

The fifth exhibition of its kind, more than 100 sculptures by 43 Northland artists will add to the charm and beauty of the subtropical trees and gardens, walkways, stream banks and lakeside in the former quarry, in Russell Rd.

The sculptures have been placed in sites chosen to enhance them and their settings.

Sculpture Northland is ready for public viewing, between 9am and from tomorrow until Sunday, November 12.


Project co-ordinator Dorothy McHattie, whose job it is to choose which sculptures go where, said artists between Mangawhai and the Far North were invited to take part.

Their works are made from many media - steel, clay, stone, wood, copper, aluminium, iron, cement and even papier mache.

Kiln fired and raku items range from terracotta, highly glazed earthen and stoneware.

Timber pieces include sculptures, plaques and carvings from rimu, beech, macrocarpa, totara and ponga.

Visitors can expect to find many delightful as well as serious artworks - friendly dragons squatting in shrubbery, huge chrysalii hanging from branches, a clutch of raku and kiln fired rabbits, a white heron of steel which moves like a windwand, a Terracatta army, a hanging school of ceramic fish and a giant mortar and pestle.

Many of the exhibitors are regulars, while Kerikeri clay artist Alan Thomas is exhibiting for the first time.

His pieces are three glazed terracotta sculptures, each placed on a corten steel plinth/table.

Thomas usually throws his clay pieces on a wheel; the slab works in Sculpture Northland started out as maquettes, or preliminary models for larger sculptures.

He was one of many setting up their exhibits at the Quarry Gardens earlier this week.

All works are for sale, with proceeds above the artists' prices going to the gardens.

On Saturday in conjunction with Sculpture Northland, the popular Whangarei Quarry Gardens' plant sale will also be held.

A wide range of plants and seedlings have been readied for the event by the dedicated team of volunteers who have also chalked up countless hours of weeding, pruning and other garden and path maintenance.

A ticket-only gala opening - an exclusive preview and chance to buy artworks, whetted by bubbles and finger foods - will be held tonight.