Chris Bailey (artist)

Chris Bailey (born 1965) is a Māori sculptor and carver.[1] Bailey studied Māori language and Māori material culture at the University of Auckland under Dante Bonica.[2] He lives and works on Waiheke Island.[3]

Gravitating towards the harder stones of basalt and granite Bailey developed form driven stone works in a larger scale while also developing his carving skills working in totara alongside carvers of Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island.


Bailey has exhibited both nationally and internationally, winning the 2014 Wallace Arts Trust New Zealand Sculptor Award for his Bondi Points at the Bondi Beach, Sculpture by the Sea.[4][5] He has received financial support from Creative New Zealand to produce works.[6] In 2010, Ringa Whao a documentary about Bailey's practice was produced by Rongo Productions.[7] In 2011, he completed a public commission of carved pou situated outside Britomart Transport Centre in Auckland.[8] Recognised for starting the pou (carved timber pallisade post) movement on Waiheke Island in recognition of the islands Māori history which saw other sculptors take up the art form in later years.

  • Bondi Blades, Winner James Wallace Trust New Zealand Sculptor 2014 for Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, Australia
  • Pou Tu Te Rangi, nominated for IAPA International Public Art Award for South East Asian Region, 2014
  • Toi Iho, life time status granted in recognition of the quality of his stone work.

Selected exhibitionsEdit


  • Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, New Zealand


  • Imago Mundi: New Zealand Collection exhibition, Treviso, Italy.
  • Sculpt Oneroa, Waiheke island, New Zealand


  • Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Australia
  • Show and Tell, Milford Galleries, Dunedin, New Zealand


  • Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia
  • Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Australia
  • Te Toi HouContemporary Maori Art, Northart, Auckland, New Zealand


  • Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
  • Mini Masterworks 4, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Canada
  • Whatumanawa, Toi Gallery, Waiheke, New Zealand
  • Auckland Art Fair, FHE Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand


  • From A Distance group show, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Matariki, Toi Gallery, Waiheke, New Zealand
  • The Review, Milford Galleries, Dunedin, New Zealand


  • Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, New Zealand


  • Moko Suite – Marti Freidlander/ Chris Bailey, FHE Galleries,


  • Auckland Art Fair, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 53rd Venice Biennale – St Maddalena Church, Venice, Italy
  • NZ Room. Collaboration with Creative NZ. June – November
  • 6x6 International Carving Symposium, Lake Serraia, Baselga de Pine, Italy, August
  • Mini Masterworks III, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Canada, October


  • Mana Whenua, The Lane Gallery, Auckland, March
  • Mini Masterworks II, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Canada, March
  • Te Kahui o Matariki, group show and book launch,
  • Motuaarairoa Solo Show, FHE Galleries, Auckland, June
  • Tiny Treasures, De Young Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA,
  • Sculpture Onshore Sculpture Symposium, Takapuna, New Zealand, November


  • Maori Mark, The Wellington Event Centre, Wellington
  • Mini Masterworks, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, August


  • Chris Bailey – New Works, Waiheke Community Art Gallery, January
  • Art Out There Exhibition, Waiheke Island, Sculpture in the landscape,
  • Creative NZ Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan, November
  • Pacific Edge 2006 The Art Bungalow, Kerikeri, February
  • Taatai Tupuna, Matariki exhibition Waiheke Community Art Gallery,
  • APEC, virtual exhibition, August 2006 – 2007


  • Toi Maori – The Eternal Thread Exhibition, Yerba Buena Centre for Arts, San Francisco, United States,
  • Toi Iho Exhibition, Te Papa, NZ National Museum, New Zealand

Selected CommissionsEdit

  • 2016—Kia Piritahi, Part of carving team to help complete the carvings of the traditional Maori meeting house/wharenui, Piritahi Marae, Waiheke, NZ
  • 2014—Mata Kupenga, Public sculpture for Auckland City Council at Waiheke Public Library, Waiheke Island, Auckland.
  • 2011—Pou Tu Te Rangi, Public sculptural installation for Britomart Art Trust, Britomart Precinct, Auckland, NZ
  • 2010—Ringa Whao, film documentary biography on Chris Bailey.
  • 2009—Commissioned by CNZ to provide works for the NZ Room, 53rd Venice Biennale – St Maddalena Church, Venice, Italy

Personal lifeEdit

Bailey is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hako, Ngati Pāoa, Te Aupōuri and Irish descent.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Chris Bailey Artists". FHE Galleries. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Tooled up to learn". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ Gifford, Adam (2012). "Blowing on the embers". The New Zealand Herald.
  4. ^ "The Wallace Arts Trust New Zealand Sculptor Award". Wallace Arts Trust. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Artist Bio". Spirit Wrestler Gallery. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Funded artist showcase". Creative New Zealand. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Ringa Whao". Rongo Productions. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Pou Tū Te Rangi". Britomart. Retrieved 8 January 2015.

External linksEdit