Artists

Neil Adcock

Work History

Tiki /1
Tiki /1 (2020)
Tiki 37 B4
Tiki 37 B4 (2021)
Tiki 32
Tiki 32 (2021)
Tiki 40 B7
Tiki 40 B7 (2021)
People 05
People 05 (2020)
Tiki 36 S3
Tiki 36 S3 (2021)
Tiki /5
Tiki /5 (2020)
Tiki 38 B5
Tiki 38 B5 (2021)

Artist Information

When looking at a work of Neil Adcock’s, be it a pounamu figure or an amber and gold ring, it is clear that they have been crafted by an artist intimately engaged with his materials. For Adcock, form does not follow function, but follows the features of the stone, amber, or metal he selects for each piece. The reflection and translucence, malleability and density of each physical element is accentuated and balanced by its proximity to another.

Using the most basic of forms, Adcock’s sculptures tap into a history of human representation that goes back millennia. The works rely on an innately human desire to recognise the familiar in the abstract: heads and bodies emerge from irregular slices of stone to coalesce into ur-humans. The dense interior structure of the pounamu is on full display in these works, revealing mineral inclusions and colour-shifts that glow as light filters through the stone.

In Aotearoa, the significance of pounamu runs deeply through the cultural histories of te ao Māori; connected to the natural and spiritual worlds, all pounamu has its own whakapapa and mauri. Kāi Tahu narratives tell of the kidnapping of Waitaiki by the taniwha Poutini, and the attempts of her husband Tamaahua to rescue her. In order to keep Waitaiki forever, the taniwha transformed her into pounamu, and laid her in the riverbeds of the Arahura River (1). Adcock treats this precious material with care and respect, and his totemic sculptures capture its gravity and consequence.

Neil Adcock came late to his craft, deciding in 2015 to pursue a career in jewellery and sculpture after decades as a creative director in the advertising industry. Drawing upon his initial training at the Wellington School of Design in the 1970s, Adcock taught himself the skills needed to work with stone and metal. He has established an art practice that has seen his works exhibited in London, Milan, and Paris, as well as in contemporary galleries throughout New Zealand.
 
1. https://ngaitahupounamu.com

Group Exhibitions