Connection to the land, the majesty of nature, and a fascination with themes universal to all ‘first nation’ cultures; these are the greatest influences on Anton Forde’s work.
Forde began carving when he was aged 18 and studied art under such influential sculptors as Paul Dibble, Gary Whiting (Cliff Whiting’s son) and Paul Hansen. While Forde was at Massey University, Shane Cotton founded the Māori Visual Arts Programme there, which served to further validate his chosen path.
Growing up in Te Anau and Southland, Forde’s earliest memory is of experiencing the natural elements firsthand with his father who was the engineer on the Milford Road. The overwhelming power of nature firmly embedded itself in his young mind, and continues to do so today.
Forde has since spent extended periods living in his Nanna’s (Taranaki – Ngati Ruanui) part of the country, with the majestic Maunga Taranaki ever-present, and in Ireland where he discovered ancient inspirational art themes. He now calls Waiheke Island home where he, his wife Karle and their son Te Kōmako, and daughter Tui can be close to their family.
Anton creates carvings, installations and sculptures made from recycled railway sleepers, Waiheke jetty’s, Waiheke fenceposts and Waiheke power poles.