The biennial Oamaru Stone Symposium is under way at the moment, having started on 2 November and going through 17 November. Every two years, stone carvers from all over congregate in Oamaru for two weeks, carving blocks of Oamaru’s iconic limestone (universally known as “Oamaru stone” in New Zealand) and turning them into amazing artworks.
This year’s event is being held at Friendly Bay, adjacent to Oamaru’s historic harbour and the weekly Sunday farmers’ market. This means that it’s much more visible to visitors, who almost all make it at one point or another to the historic precinct, especially now that there is also the new Steampunk playground there for kids of all ages to enjoy.
The stone is donated to the event by Parkside Quarries, and the works that are created are sold at a silent auction that is held on the final weekend. There is also a sort of raffle going on, in which visitors can vote for their favourite artist by putting a cash donation in the artist’s slot in a collection box. At the end of the event, the cash will be counted, and the artist with the most donations will have their artwork purchased for public display.
If you take a look at the images below, you’ll see that there are some amazing works in progress, so if you have the chance, be sure to pop by and see for yourself.