Wood and rock creations are starting to take shape at the 2016 Sulphur Lake Sculpture Symposium and are attracting onlookers.

The theme of the symposium is 'The Energy Within'.

It opened last Friday , with 17 sculptors taking part, including eight local artists.

The artists will spend nine days carving, moulding and chipping away at their sculptures on the grounds of the Rotorua Arts Village.


Local artist Jamie Pickernell said he was making his sculpture out of two rocks which would be precariously balanced one on top of the other.

He said it was about listening to the energy within the stone and his sculpture was being made to be understood through touch as much as any other sense.

The holes in his sculpture were almost like vents which blew off steam, he said.

Mr Pickernell said his sculpture was coming along well, on track for the completion date.

He said he enjoyed getting together with other like-minded sculptors, sharing ideas and having a laugh.

"It's really nice to be carving in your hometown and it's an opportunity for the artists to share with the public."

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Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser Marc Spijkerbosch said the event had been "absolutely superb" so far and stunning work was coming together.

He said there had been even more public interest than at the last symposium and they were expecting quite a crowd during the weekend.

Mr Spijkerbosch said people should check out the symposium because it was a unique experience for Rotorua.

"Although it's a competition what I'm experiencing is we have a lot of high-calibre professionals on the same team and it's been a privilege working with these artists."

Once complete, the artworks will be judged and the winner's creation will become a permanent part of the Rotorua public art collection.

Up to a further four pieces will be considered for selection to enhance the new boulevard in Kuirau Park. All remaining work will then be installed at the Sulphur Lakes Sculpture Trail.

The works would also be for sale at prices set by the artists and any sold from the sculpture trail would be replaced with alternative pieces.

A family day is being held at the symposium tomorrow .

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket, enjoy watching the artists make the finishing touches to their artworks and then wander around the sculpture trail to get a last look at the works before they are removed.