Brent Holley is an award winning New Zealand sculptor, with works created and held in collections around the world. Brent has been creating sculptural forms since 2012, starting out in soft stone, he now works in hard stone, wood and steel.
Brent was born in Rangiora in 1969 and grew up in Ashburton a rural town in the South Island of New Zealand. It wasn’t until a fateful tour of Europe in 1998, that the artist to be re-discoved a passion that he first encountered in his old art curriculum. While in Lucerne, Switzerland, he chanced upon the Lion Monument , or the Lion of Lucerne, a rock relief designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn.
It was a significant discovery for Brent, who credits this moment as the one that ultimately fuelled his eventual art career.
Brent moved back to Auckland in 1999 and worked in logistics management, IT development and design. He met his partner and fellow sculptuor Grace Henry in 2005. In 2009 Brent and Grace decided to change their direction and moved with their children to Rarotonga, Grace’s hometown, for a year where they opened a small Sushi takeaway in the village of Muri. They returned to Ashburton at the end of 2009 where Brent studied ecological and biological building. In 2012, Brent finally picked up a hammer and chisel and answered the call he had encountered in Europe.
“The form is everything. I use local materials when possible and enhance their natural beauty within the form. This should be a journey, following the lines and shadow, discovering the essence and true form along the way. Often my work is only a snapshot or part of the story that invites the viewer to complete the picture from their own experiences.”
Brent, Grace and their children, returned to Rarotonga to live in 2019.