Grafting 2004


10 elements of varying dimensions, approx. 1400 to 2200 mm high

Edmiston Trust Collection, Auckland Domain Sculpture Walk.

The ten elements of Greer Twiss’s sculpture can be found on the lower level of the fernery. All are presented on a tripod form similar to those used to support a young tree as it grows.

Nine of the elements are native birds and the tenth element is a pear tree. The missionary Samuel Marsden introduced pear trees to New Zealand in the early 1800s. The sculpture is representative of change and transition and the cohabitation of native and non-native species.

The title Grafting refers to the horticultural technique where tissues of plants are joined to enable them to growth together.

Each element features a label typical of those used for specimens. The pear tree label simply states it is a pear and it is on this label Twiss has signed his name. For each bird the label provides their Latin, Maori and common name.

Label details:

Ninox novaeseelandiae

Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae 
Parson Bird

Larus dominicanus

Apteryx australis
Brown Kiwi

Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
Wood Pigeon

Sula bassana serrator

Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus
Swamp Hen


Rhipidura fuligiosa

Pear Tree

Part of a project initiated by Outdoor Sculpture 2001 Incorporated to mark the new millennium with a sculpture walk in the Auckland Domain.

Gil Hanly photographs courtesy of Urbis magazine.

Greer TWISS b. 1937

Born in Auckland, Greer Twiss attended Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland from 1956-59. Between 1960-63 he attended Auckland Teachers’ College.

Since holding his first exhibition in 1964, Twiss has exhibited work regularly in both group and solo exhibitions throughout New Zealand and internationally.

He has undertaken a number of large-scale commissioned works locally and in 1988 participated in the Seoul Olympics Sculpture Park.

Through out the 1990s a number of his installation works toured major New Zealand public galleries.

Twiss was an associate professor at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, becoming Head of Sculpture in 1974, until his retirement in 1998.

In 2002 he was made an officer of the order of merit (ONZM) for services to sculpture. A major survey exhibition of Twiss’s work was held at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2003 and in 2004 two new public sculptures by Twiss were installed in Auckland, one at the Viaduct (awaiting relocation) and one in the Auckland Domain.

In 2011 Twiss was named an Icon Artist by the Arts Foundation.

His work is represented in major public and private collections.

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