Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden

Donna Marie Patterson

Donna Marie Patterson

Christchurch-born Donna Marie Patterson spends her time between Kaimata on the West Coast and Christchurch. She commenced her career in accounting, but decided on arts to enrich her soul. 

She completed a fine arts degree with honours at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture, and also took art history and geology papers. She was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award in 2015 and several other arts scholarships since and is now undertaking her Masters of Fine Arts.

Patterson’s 100 acre Kaimata property, beside a hydro power station, was previously gold mined and farmed. The land is now naturally regenerating into forest, providing a wildlife sanctuary. This environment provides constant inspiration for her work as a sculptor. 

She finds expression through repetitive forms and in a limited range of materials, mainly Greywacke stone, salvaged Rimu, fluorescent Perspex and has recently started working in resin. These works are intended to raise questions about the precariousness of the environment and material values.

Botanical Paradise (2018), Patterson’s work for Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden’s 2018 exhibition, references the highly visible irrigation throughout Canterbury's farmland and questions the idea of software driving these systems run autonomously. 

She wonders "what would happen if Artificial Intelligence took control of the irrigation systems and interfaced to create new botanical species? Beautiful or not. Harmless or not?"

The sculpture was cast within irrigation piping and hosing.

Patterson first exhibited in 2014 in group shows through the University of Canterbury and then in 2015 at Sculpture on the Peninsula.

In her spare time she enjoys running, tramping, skiing and spending time with her daughters, husband and dogs.