Penguin carving for town

Oamaru Stone Carving Symposium committee chairman Matt King with the winning People's Choice ...
Oamaru Stone Carving Symposium committee chairman Matt King with the winning People's Choice carving from this year's symposium. Photo by Andrew Ashton.

Organisers of the 2013 Oamaru Stone Carving Symposium hope a home can be found somewhere in Oamaru for a new public sculpture.

A total 15 carvers took part in the two-week symposium at Oamaru Harbour, which finished with a silent auction on Saturday.

Oamaru Stone Carving Symposium committee chairman Matt King said although sales at the auction were ''a little light'', the work was of such a good standard that sculptors were happy to take it home with them.

He said about $200 was raised through gold-coin donations made by people voting for the people's choice award to buy a carving of two penguins, created by Allen Harnett, from Bluff.

Although the going price for the work was $600, the symposium committee decided to waive its commission on the work, and would now approach the Waitaki District Council, to see if a location could be found to display the carving permanently in Oamaru.

''We had lots of votes and support and this is our way of thanking the people of Oamaru.''

The committee would be ''fairly keen'' to return to the venue again for the next symposium in two years time, he said.

''We loved the venue and it was really obvious that both the people of Oamaru and tourists were loving it.

''It was just fantastic, really, and everyone was agreed thatit was the best one yet, or ifnot the best one, then close to it.

''Lots of people [were] passing through in a fantastic venue, although we were a bit lucky with the weather.''

Mr Harnett also achieved the highest price of the auction, for a second carving, of two dolphins.

It was sold to a private bidder for $950.

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