Our Artists

Jane Downes


I am a Sculptor/Designer working from my home workshop in Little River on Banks Peninsula, Canterbury.

My current practice consists of small, medium and large sized indoor and outdoor works made in steel.

My Sculptures are constructed from parts plasma cut and formed from sheet steel and profiles, rather than working in the 'full round' - I call this style '2 1/2D'.

This enables me to utilise scrap sheet metal and other discarded materials.

I exhibit at Galleries and major Sculpture events throughout New Zealand and undertake site and client specific Sculpture Commissions as well as selling my smaller works online.

My husband Mario, with his knowledge of materials, engineering and installation skills plays a large part in my work.



I am interested in feelings evoked by shape, form and pattern, how we react to scale and light and the influence this has on Art, Architecture and Design.

I use forms in my work that resonate with me, both natural and manmade. Often common or from childhood, sometimes delicate and fleeting objects from nature, sometimes robust geometric forms from popular culture and industry.

Specific themes in my work include colonisation, security and shelter along with more abstract themes commenting on the human condition, challenging preconceptions of purpose and beauty, valuable and lowly, masculine and feminine, permanence and the ephemeral. These dichotomies are also reflected in my use of recycled, found and industrial materials.

I believe in making my work accessible and so most of my pieces are unlimited editions.



Bachelor of Design majoring in Sculpture/3D Design - Christchurch Polytechnic 1999 – 2001

Certificate in Art, Craft and Design - Polytechnic Marlborough 1997

PDINZ - Professional Member of the Designers Institute of NZ (Inc) 2009 - Present

ISC – Member of the International Sculpture Centre 2012 - Present

In my early career I worked as a Cartographer and Draughtsperson for various organisations and freelance - Hand and Cad Draughting, Land Based GIS and Engineering.

Following my Degree I followed my passion into Architecture and Interior/Spatial Design alongside developing my Sculpture practice, living and working from a central city loft in Christchurch for several years. During this time I worked mainly in fibre, plastic and wearable art.

As well as frequent roadtrips for exhibiting and installing, our lifestyle also includes semi self-sufficiency and a small tribe of manx cats.



‘Holding Ground’ Auckland Botanic Gardens 2023

‘NZ Sculpture Onshore’ (Auckland) 2016, 2021 & 2023

Auckland & Christchurch Art Shows 2023

‘Arts Centre Sculpture Exhibition’ Christchurch 2021, 2022 & 2023

Peninsula Art Auction 2023

Rotary Club of NZ Fundraiser 2023

The Sculpture Park @ Waitakaruru Arboretum 2022/2023

Little River Gallery Exhibitions 2010 – 2022

‘Sculpture on the Gulf’ (Waiheke Island) 2015 & 2022

‘Sculpture on the Peninsula’ (Teddington) 2009 - 2022

‘RT Nelson Awards for Sculpture’ NZ Art Show 2022

              ‘St Margarets College Art Exhibition & Sculpture Garden’ (Christchurch) 2018 - 2022

‘Mount Pleasant Art Exhibition’ (Christchurch) 2019 & 2022 (Guest Artist)

‘Hohepa Art & Sculpture Exhibition’ (Christchurch) 2017 - 2022

Baradene Art Show 2022

‘Sculpture in the Gardens’ (Auckland Botanic Gardens) 2013/2014 & 2019/2020

‘Tirama Mai’ Christchurch 2021

‘Edge of the World Exhibition’ Catlins 2021 (Guest Artists)

Wild in Art ‘Pop Up Penquins’ Christchurch 2020/21

‘Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust Sculpture Exhibition’ (Christchurch) 2020 & 2021

Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition’ (Hawkes Bay) 2014 - 2020

‘Kings College Art Sale’ (Auckland) 2019

‘OPp Art’ Digital Exhibition Auckland Art Week 2019

St Andrews College ‘Spring Fling’ (Christchurch) 2019

Bryce Gallery Solo Exhibition (Christchurch) 2018

‘National Small Sculpture Prize Exhibition’ 2011 - 2018

‘Just Dirt Art & Sculpture Exhibition’ (Christchurch) 2018

‘Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award’ 2018

‘Art in a Garden’ (Flaxmere) November 2009 - 2017

Winter Group Show, Gallery De Novo (Dunedin) 2017

‘Cleveland National Art Awards’ (Dunedin) 2017

‘Tahuna Beach Sculpture Walk’ (Nelson) 2017

‘Sculpture on the Point’ (Diamond Harbour) 2016

‘Shapeshifter’ Dowse Art Museum (Lower Hutt) 2012 – 2016

‘Kaipara Coast Sculpture Garden’ 2015/6 & 2016/7

‘Wharepuke Sculpture Park’ (KeriKeri) 2015/6 2016/7

Waiheke Art Gallery Group Exhibitions 2013 - 2015

'The Great Harbour Basin' Tin Palace Group Exhibition (Lyttelton) 2015

'Flower Garden' Form Gallery Group Exhibition (Christchurch) 2015

‘Summer Exhibition’ Owaka Museum Gallery (Caitlins) 2014

‘Welcome Home’ Kereru Gallery Group Exhibition (Tasman) 2014

‘D Day’ Scape Sculpture Park (Kapiti) 2014

Ellerslie Flower Show Sculpture Garden (Christchurch) 2012 - 2014

‘Sculpture in Central Otago’ (Wanaka) 2011

Birdwoods Gallery 2011 Solo Exhibition

‘Hybrids’ (CoCA Gallery) Solo Emerging Artist Exhibition 2002

Globe Cafe' 2002 16 Days @ 1:12 Solo exhibition 2002

WOW Awards 1997 – 2001



Winner Artwork for Katikati Sculpture Competition 2022

Highly Commended ‘RT Nelson Awards for Sculpture’ NZ Art Show 2022

People’s Choice Award Sculpture in the Gardens 2020

Winner Kumara Chinese Reserve Sculpture Competition 2018

People's Choice Award Tahuna Beach Sculpture Walk 2017

People's Choice Award National Small Sculpture Prize 2015

Runner up People's Choice Award Sculpture on the Gulf 2015

Joint People’s Choice Award Sculpture on the Peninsula 2013

Finalist in WOW Awards 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 & 1997

‘Homade’ commended in Journeys Section and purchased by WOW Historic Collection 1999

‘Brunch Coat’ purchased by WOW Historic Collection 1998



‘Dendriform Installation’ Sky City Horizon Hotel, Auckland 2024

‘Arboresque Panels’ Elms Hotel, Christchurch 2023‘

‘Cabbage Trees’ Broadoak Gardens, North Canterbury 2022

‘BeeHaven Sculptures’ Auckland Botanic Gardens, Auckland Gardens School, Postage Stamps Wines, Waiheke Island and Cairnhill Gardens, Taranaki 2021-

‘Nikau Vessels’ Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, Nelson, Auckland & North Shore 2021-

‘Nikau Palms’ Christchurch, Napier, Auckland, North Shore & Waiheke Island 2020-

‘Dendriforms’ Christchurch, Auckland and San Franciso

‘Stop the Clock Installations’ Nelson, Christchurch, Wanaka, Clyde, Kapiti, Martinborough, Napier, Auckland, Waiheke Is & Virginia 2014-

‘Dandelion Silhouettes’ Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, Lower Hutt, Auckland & North Shore 2015-

‘Leaf Mandelas’ 5th Street Restaurant, Christchurch, Banks Peninsula & Havelock North 2018-

‘Flax, Palm & Cabbage Tree Panels’ Little River Café, Christchurch & Auckland 2019-

‘Bespoke Gates’ Christchurch, Blenheim, Nelson, Wellington, Kapiti, Napier, Auckland & North Shore 2009-

‘Kiwiama’ Pop Up Penguin, Christchurch 2020

‘Nikau Palm Downpipes’ Christchurch 2019

‘Shovels’ Kumara Chinese Reserve 2017

'Flower Gates' The Giant's House, Akaroa 2016

‘Poppy Wheel’ Break Free on Cashel Hotel 2015

‘Pascha Flowers’ Pascha Retreat & Hello Sunday Cafe, Christchurch 2012

‘Rain Curtains’ Malabar Restaurant, Hanmer 2010 & Te Waonui Hotel, Frans Joseph 2009

‘Life Cycle’ Our City O-Tautahi, Christchurch City Council 2005

‘Trefoils’ Christchurch Arts Centre 2003

‘The Sixth Element’ Multi Sensory Unit, Christchurch City Council 2001