Joe Sheehan

Joe Sheehan

Joe Sheehan (1976) studied contemporary jewellery at Unitec in the mid-1990s, and since then has worked in carving studios throughout New Zealand and visited nephrite-jade deposits around the world.

Sheehan’s practice explores the contemporary relevance and position of stone carving by playing with social and cultural contexts and by making objects that speak first about their object status and second about their material.

His work has included traditional forms of jewellery as well as meticulously rendered ballpoint pens, AA batteries, a working lightbulb, and a New Zealand pounamu (jade) cassette tape which plays a recording of the river where the stone was found.

Sheehan writes: “I am trying to shift my work away from something that looks like it has been slowly worn away by a hand rubbing with stone on the edge of the river, into something that acknowledges the industrial nature of the process and the industry. This interests me because of the changes I am seeing in the tourism industry as well as the craft/art world. It seems to speak of the way that both our country and our idea of identity is developing.”

In November 2006 Sheehan was one of the inaugural recipients of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand’s prestigious New Generation Awards. In 2008 he was invited to represent New Zealand in the 28th Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil. In 2010 he received an Antarctica Fellowship.

Joe Sheehan lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand.

Artist Portrait: Aaron Burgess

Stockroom

Key, 2018
  • NZ Pounamu / Various Jades, oxidised silver chain
  • various dimensions
  • Open Edition
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1lb, 2019
  • New Zealand Pounamu
  • 90mm dia x 30mm H
  • OPEN EDITION
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Key, 2019
  • New Zealand Pounamu, sterling silver
  • 58mm H x 26mm W x 3mm D (32mm dia)
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Key, 2018
  • New Zealand Pounamu, oxidised silver chain
  • 60mm H x 28mm W x 3mm D
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Deep Field 1, 2017
  • archival pigment print on Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper
  • 415mm H x 295mm W
  • Edition: 3 + AP
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Deep Field 3, 2017
  • archival pigment print on Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper
  • 415mm H x 295mm W
  • Edition: 3 + AP
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Personal Space 5, 2017
  • Coromandel basalt
  • 175mm H x 92mm W x 10mm D
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River 2, 2017
  • Russian Nephrite Jade
  • Dimensions variable (640mm H x 200mm W as pictured)
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Personal Space 6, 2017
  • Coromandel Basalt
  • 162mm H x 92mm W x 10mm D
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Hold Point, 2016
  • Coromandel Basalt
  • 140mm W x 90mm D x 110mm H
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Mono, 2010
  • Granite
  • 165mm L x 60mm W 40mm H
  • Edition: 3/8
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Shhhhhh..., 2010
  • Coromandel graphite
  • 360mm H x 360mm W x 360mm D
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Screenshot 4, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 1270mm H x 1270mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Bowl #02, 2016
  • Argillite (Colac Bay)
  • 100mm L x 70mm W x 45mm H
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Screenshot 7, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 1270mm H x 1270mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Screenshot 15, 2014
  • Chromia photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 430mm H x 430mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Screenshot 16, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 430mm H x 430mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Screenshot 13, 2014
  • Chromia photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 430mm H x 430mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Bowl #28, 2016
  • Chert (Wellington)
  • 280mm L x 70mm W 25mm H
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Screenshot 6, 2014
  • Chromia photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 1270mm H x 1270mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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The Quick and the Dead #149, 2013
  • Argillite (Waima River)
  • 130mm H x 45mm W x 20mm D
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Safety Glasses, 2004
  • New Zealand Pounamu (Haast), sterling silver
  • 40mm H x 145mm W x 185mm W
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Screenshot 14, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 430mm H x 430mm W
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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The Quick and the Dead: Suite #4, 2013
  • Graywacke, basalt, argillite
  • 15 pieces, various dimensions
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Bowl #24, 2016
  • Argillite (Colac Bay)
  • 200mm L x 200mm W x 90mm H
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Screenshot 2, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 1270mm H x 1270mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Screenshot 3, 2014
  • Chromira photograph on Fujiflex Crystal Archive
  • 1270mm H x 1270mm W (frame)
  • Edition: 3 + 1 AP
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Bowl #29, 2016
  • Argillite (Colac Bay)
  • 140mm H x 80mm W x 30mm H
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The Quick and the Dead #132, 2013
  • Argillite (Maitai River, Nelson)
  • 170mm H x 67mm W x 28mm D
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The Weight of the World 1, 2017
  • copper, pure silver
  • 205mm H x 80mm W x 25mm D
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The Weight of the World (Fragments 4), 2017
  • pure gold, 9ct rose gold, 9ct yellow gold, pure silver, sterling silver, bronze, copper
  • various dimensions
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Between Hunterville and Ohingaiti, 2019
  • Basalt (Greenhills)
  • 800mm H x 700mm W x 350mm D
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Porters Ave, 2019
  • Basalt (Greenhills)
  • 240mm H x 1280mm W x 280mm D
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Fall Hill, 2019
  • Basalt (Greenhills)
  • 280mm H x 490mm W x 360mm D
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