Celebrated contemporary artist Tiffany Singh has had her art installation stolen at the Splore Festival hosted at the Tapapakanga Reserve over the weekend.
The stolen artwork is of the Singing Ringing Tree which was the result of a five year commitment and collaboration with a rural community in India, in an attempt to rejuvenate and bring awareness to the ancient craft of bell-making.
The theft has created an uproar in the art community, with several posts on Facebook expressing outrage.
Ms Singh, known for her visually spectacular orchestrations of repeated forms using colours and significant materials to transform the mundane to sacred, says in her Facebook post that she does not make art for money “but for the joy of sharing and creating meaningful experience and enabling fair trade organisations and other socially significant organisations to continue their work through my own.”
“This is what hurts the most. I guess to a few people it’s just ribbons and bells but the 700 bells and 3000m of ribbon were a rejuvenation symbol of a healing and collective space that the community can share and participate in.
“I do understand the risks of exhibiting in public space but also think it is necessary to foster faith in humans and provide opportunities for education and joy.”
In another post, the artist – who has had several exhibits at Uxbridge Arts and Culture and the Fo Guang Shan Temple, says: “To the people who stole my artwork at Splore please think about what you have done and give it back. What you have done is ruined five years work of a partnership between me and the artisan community of India. Not only have you broken my heart you have stolen at least 3K worth of materials.”
“Don’t you know how hard it is to be an artist in NZ?
“All we are trying to provide is enjoyable experiences for you and this is how you say thanks. Wow!”