Shane Woolridge, Sculpture Artist
Born in Cheltenham in 1959, Shane attended Gloucestershire Technical College and qualified as a stonemason. With over 30 years of masonry under his belt, and a creative side needing to be explored, Shane started looking for different applications for stone. But it wasn’t until a move to Queenstown and the discovery of the beautiful local schist stone that the desire to create art was fuelled. Shane has always been fascinated with forms and began to experiment with the idea of shaping schist to create large installations that are expertly engineered –some seeming to defy gravity.
“There is always an element of surprise with each three-dimensional piece, depending upon the position the sculpture is viewed from as well as the landscape it is situated in,” says Shane.
In 2008 his first serious commission The Split Apple, created for a local collector, required 4 months of intense high-quality work with a demanding design to push the boundaries of convention and bend the stone into this organic form.
He has now sold pieces to passionate buyers in NZ, Australia, and Europe. Working out of a studio in Arrowtown, in the Queenstown Lakes District NZ, Shane uses schist, slate, and is currently producing small and large carved & polished pieces.
His slate and schist Missing Link large-scale sculpture featured in an exhibition at Rippon Vineyard.
The largest and most significant piece: the 2014 public commission Thru Link To Peak is on display along the Kelvin Heights Loop Walkway in Queenstown.
As an artist, the freedom that comes with solitary, creative endeavour is all-important to Shane. How a piece relates to the landscape is key. The installing of pieces on sun-drenched, expansive properties with views that look like painted backdrops is his favoured place.