Marte Szirmay uses two spaces during this exhibition period. In the Sculpture Court she is producing three new stainless steel works. In the Studio Gallery she is displaying the Working Drawings, evolving the series of sculptures and a central piece for the space.
After graduating from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1968, Szirmay went to teacher training college. Very soon after this she won the first public commission for an aluminium sculpture in Newmarket. Fortunately Szirmay has continued to be successful in being able to produce a large number of commissions for public spaces, including work recently for the Chase Plaza and the NZI Building.
Also early in her career she received the Frances Hodgkins fellowship at Otago University. She held this fellowship for two years when she recalled ‘I worked incredibly hard for two years. Heaven opened up for me and I knew that this was my life. If I had not had that break I don’t know whether I would have kept up the rigorous programme I had set myself.’
She continues to teach and is now head of the Art Department at Glendowie College. Szirmay remarked of her works ‘casting, making moulds - it is an involved process. Industrial materials are expensive and there are no discounts for artists. The realities are touch to face - but our circumstances as New Zealanders are a blessing for making us strong individual artists.’
Her series of Working Drawings return to the subject of the shell as a starting point of exploration. These display the development of an idea and its interpretation into sculptural form. There is a richness in the simplicity of the drawings as a complete unit in themselves.
→ Marte Szirmay, 1988, exhibition card