Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden is an evolving sculpture garden and native regeneration project.
Our mission is to support contemporary sculpture practice in New Zealand and to enhance native biodiversity in Canterbury.
Since Autumn 2010 over 8000 native trees and shrubs have been planted. Our aim is to recreate a podocarp forest of totara, matai, and kahikatea. The garden is also home to rare or threatened native plants of Canterbury. Just 20 minutes from the Christchurch CBD, this once bare one hectare paddock is thriving. It is a sanctuary to native birds and sculpture lovers alike.
The Garden opens to the public for exhibitions, with the major event being the Annual Autumn Exhibition held over the first three weekends in March. You can also visit the Garden by appointment outside of the major exhibition.
Entry is $10pp and free to 16 years and under during the exhibition (first three weekends in March).
All are welcome and onsite parking is free. The Garden is pram and wheelchair friendly. All tracks are grassed and the terrain is mostly flat. Picnickers are welcome during open hours.
The Garden may be visited by groups outside of exhibition times by arrangement with the owners (Annabel Menzies-Joyce or Peter Joyce, 03 329 6662).
Peter Joyce is the co-founder and head gardener of Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden.
Since his retirement in September 2016 he is able to spend considerably more time on these roles. Before retirement, Peter worked as a doctor in the Canterbury Health system for nearly 40 years, including 19 years as Professor and Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine, and 11 years as Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch.
His lifetime passions began with cricket, then chemistry/biochemistry, and then mental health research. His research focused on bipolar disorder, depression and eating disorders; and explored treatments, causes, genes and prevalence. Since retiring he is now able to spend more time on his late life passion for native biodiversity and sculpture.
Peter is available to show visitors around Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden by arrangement.
Artist & Founder
Annabel Menzies-Joyce is co-founder of Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden. She grew up on a family farm at Menzies Bay, Banks Peninsula. This stunning natural environment led to a respect for the land that influences her every day actions and shapes her practise as an artist.
Annabel trained as a nurse before embarking on the obligatory ‘Overseas Experience’. Upon her return to Christchurch she completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury. Hankering for more, she then completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. Three daughters later, she returned to painting, and exhibited in a number of galleries. Over the past decade Annabel has worked in cast glass and is realising a new sculptural language. She exhibits at Form Gallery in Christchurch, various pop up shows and in Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden’s Annual Autumn Exhibition.
In her spare time she likes to tramp and to visit remote landscapes such as Fiordland, Campbell Island and Antarctica. Annabel has always loved animals, and is currently the mother or grandmother of three dogs and a great brood of chooks.
Melissa Reimer is a writer, editor and curator. She has worked in Christchurch galleries CoCA and Chambers 241 Gallery and curated a number of pop up exhibitions in Christchurch pre and post 'quake.
Melissa undertook her formal studies at the University of Canterbury, majoring in English Literature, and Art History and Theory. She completed her Doctorate in 2010, with a thesis examining the influence of modern art on writing and music at the fin-de-siècle. Her particular fields of interest include the life and literature of Katherine Mansfield, Impressionism in the Arts and NZ sculpture. She has published and presented her findings here in New Zealand and internationally. Melissa is committed to the arts in Christchurch with a strong desire to see more sculpture in public spaces and private residences throughout the city.
Gerrard Thomson holds Bachelor degrees in Commerce and Landscape Architecture. His mission is to provide sustainable design solutions for clients. This means designing spaces that meet the practical and aesthetic needs of the people they’re designed for, respond to the climate, and complement the natural environment.
When he’s not at his desk, Gerrard spends every hour he can enjoying the outdoors: on foot, on skis and on water. Professionally, he’s committed to improving Christchurch’s urban layout. He envisages open green spaces for people, more pedestrian-friendly zones in the city centre, safe and convenient cycle ways connecting neighbourhoods with popular spots and amenities, and public sculpture throughout the city.