Connection to the land, majesty of nature, and a fascination with themes universal to ‘first nation’ cultures; these are the greatest influences on Anton Forde’s work.
Forde began carving when he was aged 18 and studied art under such influential sculptors as Paul Dibble, Gary Whiting and Paul Hansen. While at Massey University, Shane Cotton founded the Māori Visual Arts Programme there, which served to validate his chosen path.
Forde has since spent extended periods living in his Nanna’s (Taranaki- Ngati Ruanui) part of the country, with the majestic Maunga Taranaki ever-present, and in Ireland where he discovered ancient inspirational art themes. He now calls Waiheke Island home where he, his wife Karle and their son Te Kōmako and daughter Tūī, can be close to their family.
Forde has exhibited both as a solo artist and as part of group exhibitions, in numerous places both in New Zealand and in Ireland and in San Francisco. He has pieces in public and private collections both in New Zealand and around the world. Over the last two years he has concentrated on his sculptures and his installations.
Photographs by Jake Legge