Incandescence, translucency, shadow and latency are all central to Culbert’s long and prolific oeuvre of sculpture, installation and photography. Storing solar energy by day and alight by night, his Kaipara work tantalises viewers during the day with its silent symmetric form.
But as the light slides from afternoon, to sunset through dusk into nightfall, the work shifts from pale pillar to silhouette to beacon. The form is also rich with local associations being made from nylon canisters designed to keep flares dry while at sea, and titled after the Cabbage Tree which has proved the most resilient of all natives cultivated on this wild coast.
Born in Port Chalmers, in 1935, Bill Culbert left New Zealand in 1957 to study at the Royal College of Art, London and has since then exhibited widely in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The predominant theme in his work is light which sees him working
across the disciplines of sculpture, installation and photography, using a range of materials that include light bulbs and boxes, lampshades, fluorescent tubes, plastic bottles, wine glasses and suitcases. He represented New Zealand in the 1990
Biennale of Sydney and in 1999 collaborated with Ralph Hotere in Toi Toi Toi a joint exhibition between the Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland and the Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany. He lives and works in the South of France and in London.