David Trubridge's stainless steel The Strands of Life is the art work for today's Hawke's Bay Wine Auction. He chats to Mark Story.

Tell us what went into preparing/designing The Strands of Life.

Lots of time and work! This is an ambitious piece because it is like nothing I have ever done before, particularly in working with braided stainless steel wire. So, long before we started to build, we had to do lots of experimentation and the final form evolved out of what the material and process taught me.

You can have all the clever ideas in the world, but they need material resolution and invariably the material has its own dictates that you can only learn by experience. These will divert you into all sorts of directions you may not have anticipated. That can be both good and bad! Weaving has long been a key ingredient in my work: many of our lights reference woven forms such as hinaki or fish traps.


What does it represent?

Superficially, a tree, but in essence it depicts how all the strands of life are interwoven. Nothing stands alone, especially us human lot. The thick bundles of wire at the base bifurcate several times as they rise up the form and these strands are increasingly woven together.

In the Māori world weaving has great practical importance, but it also has a metaphorical role: several words used for the warp and weft of weaving are also used for the interwoven lines of ancestry. So it also represents a korowai or cloak, an enveloping garment that keeps us warm and wraps the spirit of our ancestors around us.

Empathy and emotion play a big part in this auction for Cranford. Does that help or hinder the creative process?

All art is tightly wound up with empathy and emotion so of course these play a big part. I want people to empathise with the art and as a result feel some emotion. Empathy is also a key component of the creative process: you are stirred up enough by something you feel to want to express it in some way.

Do you have personal links with Cranford yourself?

No I don't ... yet!

Do you think there's a symbiosis between wine and the arts?


I am sure that there is a mutually beneficial relationship: warmed and loosened by fine wine you will open your heart to the art; and a challenging artwork can definitely drive you towards the nearest bottle. The appreciation of each is enhanced by the other.

Less flippantly, I would say that maybe it is more of a close association rather than a symbiosis. Winemakers and artists share a similar process and set of ideals which were expressed in a recent video of a conversation between me and Chris Scott from Church Road winery.

* Readers can see the video at www.facebook.com/david.trubridge/videos/church-road-winery-journeys-of-discovery/10156059995367772/