Jim Wheeler Auckland, New Zealand
I was born in the USA, studied art and biology at university graduating with a BA cum laude in Studio Art. This was extended by an apprenticeship in sculpture foundry practice at The Johnson Atelier (1979-80).
Immigrating to New Zealand in 1981 I helped re‐establish bronze casting in NZ, completed fine art commissions, worked in film industry and lectured in sculpture at Manukau Institute of Technology (1995-96).
First exhibiting professionally in 1979 I have made works ranging from the handheld to architectural commissions. Sculptures and drawings are in public and private collections including: The British Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum at The University of Cambridge, England; New Zealand Ambassador’s residence, Paris; University of North Carolina Vice Chancellor’s Purchase Collection, USA; Auckland Museum, Auckland Botanic Gardens, James Wallace Collection and The University of Otago.
Member of Medallic Artists New Zealand, The Auckland Drawing Group, NZ Artists Alliance; Federation Internationale de la Medaille, (Paris); Tri-State Sculptors and The International Sculpture Center (USA).
The core theme for my sculpture is the contemplation of Nature in its largest sense and to see our role within this Whole. In essence my sculpture is a spiritual practice; to engage in finding clues to human nature in the natural world.
I feel that visitors to Aotearoa and indeed locals as well are unmindful of the unique, dinosaur era forests that surround them. Part of my mission is to intuitively discover botanic structures and interconnections in the environment to convey my own sense of wonder. Nowhere else on Earth does this ancient environment exist: wake up!