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Artist protests damage to environment with Nick Smith dung sculpture

Thursday 29 Oct 2009 6:07p.m.

Artist protests damage to environment with Nick Smith dung sculpture
By Jeff Hampton
Cow dung has been hurled in political protests before, but now a Canterbury artist has found a new way to use dung to make a political point.

Sam Mahon has made a bust of Environment Minister Nick Smith entirely out of dairy-cow dung.

The cow dung bust was created as part of a campaign to stop the Hurunui River from being dammed for irrigation.

Mr Mahon is using his artistic talent to fight against Mr Smith, who Mr Mahon believes is working against environmentalists.

“The only way I can find to comment about this is to use the very medium that’s killing our rivers to sculpt his beautiful face,” Mr Mahon says.

The environment minister couldn’t resist taking an online peek at the cow dung bust.

“I think it’s a bit of a laugh, one of the more imaginative things,” he says. “Though I’d also say, excuse the pun, I’d call it ‘crap art’.”

The southern artist used the internet himself to line up his dung-muse.

“You just go to the good old internet and Nick’s all over it,” he says.

While the sculpture mainly consists of cow pats from a local farmer – which Mr Mahon put through a blender – beeswax and fibreglass resin were also added for solidity.

The bust is for sale on TradeMe and will go on display at an art gallery in Christchurch next week.

In the event of a non-sale Mr Mahon isn’t worried.

“I’ll just regrind it and spread it in the garden.”

3 News
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