Albert Square was a hive of activity as eight sculptors tirelessly created artworks in public last week.

The inaugural Hastings Seed Sculpture Symposium, organised by Arts Inc Heretaunga, was held over four days from Wednesday and ended with an auction on Saturday afternoon.

Hastings Community Arts development manager Pitsch Leiser said unfortunately the auction failed to sell any of the works but this did not detract from the event.

It was a great way to bring more art into the city and had received positive feedback, he said.


The plan would be to run the symposium annually and organisers would look at ways to encourage successful auctions such as spreading the word to more people who had the money to spend on quality artworks ranging in price from about $700 to $1000.

"Some of the artists actually sold quite a few works during the symposium.

"I would like to increase numbers to 15 artists next year and I want to involve more local artists."

The space worked well and there was a steady stream of viewers throughout the duration of the symposium.

"It was great. It was really encouraging to see how it worked within that space, a beautiful inner-city setting.

"The feedback we've had from the public was really encouraging."

Artist Chris Elliott, who spent his time sculpting a birdbath, said he had enjoyed the challenge of working to a deadline.

Another artist, JiL of Aotearoa, spent her time working with pal tiya (an all-weather sculpting material) to create wildlife affected by agriculture.

"It's been fun. I've been allowed to just play all day."

Stephanie Drew worked with Oamaru stone to create a sculpture of a tui on a tree stump.

"It's been a great experience," she said.

"I think it's gone really well, it's great for Hastings.

"There's a variety of talent and it's been interesting seeing the different mediums being worked in."

The event was aimed at adding vibrancy and character to the CBD as well as bringing art to people who might not usually have access to it.

The eight artists included Sean Geenty, Kay Bazzard, Stewart Brodie, Jil of Aotearoa Sergeant, Stephanie Drew, Chris Elliott, Fran Obers and John Gisborne.

They worked in a variety of media including Oamaru stone, wood, clay, acrylic and cardboard.

Each artist created a minimum of one artwork during the four-day event, working a minimum of six hours per day on site.

The event is part of an overall strategy aimed at revitalising the Hastings inner city and encouraging the growth of the arts in the region.