Artist Profile: Alex Sands

Ngati Kahungunu, Wairoa


Alex Sands was born in Hamilton in 1994. He spent the early part of his life in China. He was given the opportunity to learn from one of the ‘master jade carvers’ at the age of 13, and has since then gained his diploma in Maori wood carving.
Alex was also interested in archaeology as a child. He admires ancient carved and sculpted works.

“My work has always been about me stretching my limits, doing the things that were said to be too difficult or impossible, but always continuing to reach and learn more.”

Alex likes using one material to complement another, whether merging stone with bone or simply the colour of the cord used with a pendant. Natural New Zealand materials allow a diverse range of colour, character and use – jewellery, weapons, tools or musical instruments. Changing their intensity with age.

Alex is currently living in Hamilton and has been carving pounamu and bone for over four years. He is working towards a carving degree and has completed his second year as a tauira (student) in whakairo rakau at Te Wananga o Aotearoa campus in Huntly.