Sean Crawford is an internationally acclaimed New Zealand sculptor known for having a multi-layered approach to his art.
Whether he is weaving stainless steel into contemporary forms, pursuing what he calls the new ‘Pacific Modern', or exploring ideas about landscape and history in meticulous multimedia, the works speak for themselves.
Sean now lives in rural Carterton, north-east of Wellington, where his studio looks onto the foothills of the Tararua mountain range.
Art and the great outdoors were features of Crawford’s childhood. He could draw before he could walk, or so the family story goes! Growing up in Wellington and holidaying in the Wairarapa, he spent his summer holidays helping out on local farms with livestock and pest control.
His first career was plumbing - a trade that taught him to further think and create in three dimensions. After his apprenticeship he spent five years traveling overseas, returning home with a renewed passion for art and design.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Design in 2003, and has been a full-time sculptor ever since.
Crawford uses a variety of materials ranging from laser-cut steel to taxidermy.
The sources of his inspiration are just as varied - the Wairarapa bush or the vibrant cultures of Central America, the woodworking techniques he learned from his boat builder father, the contradictions of New Zealand’s colonial past, the stories of Edgar Allen Poe and the paintings of Bill Hammond.
One of the highlights of Crawford’s career to date was the 2015 commissioned sculpture ‘Waiting for Hammond’, a two metre tall Huia bird set on a headland overlooking the Irish Sea. It’s a sign that his ideas, although largely home-grown, are just as relevant on the world stage.
‘It is not the object that defines us – it merely implicates us’ Sean Crawford.