ARTIS Gallery is the host gallery for Medal Art New Zealand (MANZ) – a group of New Zealand’s leading contemporary sculptors. This 2021 biennial exhibition has thirty-one artists presenting medals and /or small sculptures. A diversity is demonstrated in the works that make up this exhibition and is also reflective of the varied practices of the members of Medal Art New Zealand and the invited guest exhibitors.
The title A Place to Stand has initiated works based around issues of perseverance during crisis, recognition of loss, adaptation, reverence of cultural values, the power of transformation and new beginnings. A Place to Stand isn’t just physical, it can be your ideas your opinions, your dreams, your meditations, your sense of self. This is the time for the recognition of our place. To reinstate what is truly important. A Re-creation.
A compact art form, the medal can address history, commemorate an illustrious person, a significant event, or act as a personal memento. Regardless of the subject matter or technique, the contemporary medal demonstrates a concentration of the maker’s mind and a honing of information down to the essential – made for handling and contemplation.
These days a large variety of geometric shapes are acceptable forms for art medals, but the use or reference to the circle continues to be the most accepted or preferred. Traditionally, medals must be produced as editions and made of permanent materials, such as bronze, silver or gold. With technological advances, these materials are varied – steel, glass, marble/stone, ceramics, CAD engraved/etched sheet metal and 3D printed alloys for example.
The main requirement is that they are durable and they relate to the hand.