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by Alexia Johnston

Sculptures are rising from the dust in the Ashburton Domain this week, where 15 sculptors – including Timaru’s Debbie Templeton-Page – are working.
The artworks have been taking shape since October 29, made from various materials and mediums.

Face value . . . Timaru sculptor Debbie Templeton-Page makes progress with one of her works during the Ashburton Stone Sculpture Symposium. Artists will work on site until tomorrow. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Face value . . . Timaru sculptor Debbie Templeton-Page makes progress with one of her works during the Ashburton Stone Sculpture Symposium. Artists will work on site until tomorrow. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

Mrs Templeton-Page, of York Street Gallery of Fine Art, has been sculpting her masterpiece from a large piece of Timaru bluestone, which weighed about 3tonnes. Last Saturday, her creation was already showing progress, with a face emerging from one side and one of her signature designs adorning another.
Just how long it takes each participant to complete a work depended on their material of choice and the creation they had decided to sculpt, she said.
“I’ve been going hard out. Everyone keeps saying ‘Are you finished’, but I’m not,” she said.
“I’ve got all the outlines, but it still needs tweaking and sanding.”
Mrs Templeton-Page, who is staying in a caravan on site throughout the symposium, said she would only create the one work, while others would produce more. One artist was already on to their second work when The Courier visited the site last week.
The biennial Ashburton Stone Sculpture Symposium, organised by Brent Holley, is into its second year. Mrs Templeton-Page also took part in the first one.tc10sculptor3
This year’s symposium is open to the public to admire from a distance, in an area dubbed Cook Strait after it was discovered the sculptors had unintentionally separated into North and South Island groups on either side of the viewing walkway.
And, so far, everything has been plain sailing. Even last week’s late night storm was not enough to dampen the spirits of the sculptors, some of whom had to cover their work to shield it from the rain.
Mrs Templeton-Page said the overall experience had been an enjoyable.
“It’s just really interesting to see how everyone works and how everyone can start with the same medium and can create something individual.”
A public auction of the works will take place on November 20, at 1.30pm, which will incorporate a family fun day in the domain from 11am to 3pm.