• Chauncey Flay

After a period of living in Europe and the Pacific, Chauncey Flay has returned to his hometown of Ōpunake, Taranaki, to continue the development of his sculptural practice. Flay is an artist absorbed by the history of the natural materials with which he works, along with their ability to tell stories in freshly transformed forms and compositions. He has worked with a range of materials, including obsidian, greywacke, brick, marble and coral.

Emerging from the artist’s ‘Inversions’ series, the title Osterns Inversion references the Waikato quarry site from where the greywacke stone was lifted, along with the concept of inverted space. Both notions are intrinsic to Flay’s practice, which has a careful focus on chronicling the transformation of a buried rock form, the negative space left behind in the earth and the reconstructed object with a reclaimed life.

He has noted: “The observation of stone being quarried, creating a vast negative void in the landscape, and then creating new structures from that material, is a meditation on the temporality of all things and an exploration into mortality.”

Flay’s frequent use of greywacke is emblematic of his strategy to reuse and repurpose. Though commonly used as a roading material, greywacke has an intrinsic beauty which is showcased in the numerous rough and polished surfaces within this sculpture. This is a result of Flay’s meditative process of splitting, faceting and polishing the stone. Through this process, and in the observation of contrasting textures, the element of time itself is built into the artwork. After each stone has been individually sculpted, the act of building a tower recalls the human to earth connection experienced by ancient cultures in building shelters and structures, along with the development of architectural forms. Finally, the stainless steel frame is pierced into the stone, gradually shape-shifting as the viewer moves around the sculpture and encounters it from multiple viewpoints.

As Flay explains, “In all my works there is a physical process of breaking and putting back together. The language of geometry references architecture as a healing and rebuilding process. The faceting of stone is a slow and meditative reductive process that expresses the relationship between matter and time.”

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  • 17 Arabella Lane
  • Snells Beach 0982