Sculpture by Otago artist Odelle Morshuis

Steel sculpture by Odelle Morshuis

Sculpture by Central Otago artist Odelle Morshuis will feature at the Ivy Box gallery this Spring 2021. 

Based in Bannockburn, Odelle has exhibited her paintings and sculptures around the world. 

“I’ve always been a bit of a quiet kid, just doing my own thing. Drawing and painting was something I enjoyed as a kid, so it was natural to do that in high school, then continue afterwards,” explains Odelle. 

About artist Odelle Morshuis

Odelle Morshuis sculptor and artist

When she was 18 years old, Odelle Morshuis held her first art exhibition in a café in Dunedin, but she says she wouldn’t have called herself a professional artist at that point; 

“It wasn’t until I went overseas when I started to take things seriously. I got myself a studio in London and thought: right, I’ll give this a good shot. I was 28 when I made that decision to go full-time. Before that, I was doing jewellery, graphic design… all sorts of periphery stuff!” 

Odelle hit lucky right away, meeting an art consultant early on in her London studio days. 

“She’d ring me and say: ‘what have you got?’ I’d tell her and she’d say ‘yep, I’ll take them all’. She had really good avenues for buyers. I felt very lucky for that to happen. If you spend a lot of time scrambling around making no money, it’s hard to stay on that pathway.” 

Exploring sculpture 

Odelle’s experience creating jewellery helped her move into sculpture. At first, she tried to create 3D sculpture designs on the computer, until a friend showed her how she could easily cut the metal herself, enabling Odelle to work more intuitively. 

Metal sculpture in misty field

“I got the equipment and that opened up a whole new world for me. That was four years ago. 

“Now they feed each other; sometimes the paintings feed the sculptures and vice versa. I’ve recently started painting onto the sculptures, so the two forms are melding even more. I enjoy playing with negative space in my sculptures and the shadows this casts.

“I use mostly mild steel and I try to repurpose. Every now and then I do need to purchase new material, but I prefer to use something with a story, something with history. 

“I found a big pipe in a valley near here and I think it’s 100 years old – it even has the earth imprinted in its skin. I left the moss on it, it was so beautiful. Steel will rust and change and that’s part of its beauty.”

Now based in Bannockburn, Central Otago, Odelle has a studio at the cellar door of Dicey wines – the vineyard is run by her partner James and his brother, Matt. You’ll also find a selection of Odelle’s wonderful sculptures at the Ivy Box, 134 Park Street, Queenstown.