Artist Profile: Darren Wise

Ngati Maniapoto

I am of Maori and European descent – a father of two, a son, a brother and an uncle. I have been inspired by the love and support of my family and my life experiences. Raised on a dairy farm and living next to the Waipa river gave me an affinity with the land and nature. I moved into the dairy industry as a stainless steel welder building dairy factories for cheese, butter and milk powder in both New Zealand and Australia. As I worked with stainless I could see possible images and forms that could be developed into sculptures and my creative urges grew over time to where it is today.

A stint as a tourism owner operator with Wiseway Canoe Adventures on both the Mokau and Waikato rivers gave me more inspiration as it fed my desire to get closer to nature and particularly to the river. The Waikato River has a major impact on the lives of every individual, as water is a necessity of life.
I have a desire to create works that reflect the beauty of nature and the river.

Stainless steel is a difficult material to work with and at times it can be unyielding and unforgiving. In my pursuit to develop sculptures that touch the lives of others, working with stainless steel has been a journey of self-discovery. It is reminiscent of the ebb and flow of life, which can also be unyielding and unforgiving as we struggle to come to terms with the difficulties that one experiences along life’s pathway.

Despite the difficulties associated with overcoming life’s challenges, there is beauty at the end of the journey if you have passion, persistence and perseverance. My sculptures allow me to participate fully in life and to share the beauty of nature in a medium not well known to people.