The rural community celebrating creativity

The rural community celebrating creativity

24 February 2019

From calving to shearing to making sculptures, New Zealand farmers are whipping out the tools to create rural masterpieces for the Kimbolton Art and Sculpture festival.

For the second year, the Kimbolton Art and Sculpture Charitable Trust is celebrating the creativity of New Zealand farmers.

The highly successful festival started in the Manawatu in 2018 linking the value of creativity to the health and wellbeing of New Zealand farmers.

Trust spokesperson Tony Waugh says: “Last year was an astounding success with more than 100 entries from across New Zealand, from Timaru to Northland. And we had over 3,000 people attend.”

New Zealand farmers have one of the highest rates of poor mental health, with financial pressure, unpredictable weather conditions and long, lonely work days. A survey conducted by Farmstrong stated the number one issue for farmers is work-life balance and a further 30 percent having trouble managing stress and worry.1 Research has shown engaging in visual art activities has strong links to improving mental health.

“We want farmers to get out there and into the workshop and forget about commodity prices and weather forecasts and make something,” says Tony


Last year’s winner, mechanic Terry Hawkins, was inspired by the Haast eagle. “With the Haast eagle being extinct and native to New Zealand it fits well within the brief.” All sculptures need to be made from rural materials and Terry was inspired by the spare tools around him.

Winning felt “fantastic. It was stiff competition and I didn’t think I was going to win. I certainly encourage other people to get out there and do it”, says Terry, who put his prize money towards restoring his 1962 Fairlane. He is already underway creating his 2019 sculpture.

The festival carries a total prize pool of more than $15,000 and is on in Kimbolton on Saturday, 6 April. Each sculpture has to showcase and capture the essence of the New Zealand rural landscape, its nature and communities. The free festival features creative sculptures, live music, delicious food and craft stalls, plus the opportunity to participate in creative challenges and ride in vintage cars.

The Kimbolton community is a tight-knit unit of roughly 250 people. “I’ve lived here for 28 years and the community all try and get together at the bowling club, rugby club or the swimming hole. Everyone is very helpful and cares for the upkeep of the town,” says Terry.

Further information about the Kimbolton festival can be found at

Farmers wanting further wellbeing information or support can drop in to their nearest Farm Source store, call 0800 RURAL HELP or visit any of the below websites.