Llew Summers 1947-2019


Llew Summers was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1947. He held his first exhibition in 1971 and since then has held many one-man shows as well as exhibiting alongside other artists including: Tony Fomison, Fatu Feu’u, Michael Smither, Tom Mutch, Peter Carson, Roger Hickin, Bing Dawe and Graham Bennett.

He believes it is the role of the artist to challenge: “if it’s not challenging, then, in some way, it’s not new”. His interest has been primarily in figurative works, and is celebratory of the human form, affirming the beauty of the human body. However, following a formative and revelatory overseas trip his use of religious symbolism has developed. Summers figures have a remarkable sense of lightness, movement, and harmony, despite their size.

What’s important to me is to get a balance between the physical and the spiritual in life. We’re given a soul and we’re given a body. Sculpture is a nice balance because works can be made which are deep and meaningful, but they require your physical body to produce them. Works must have soul, rather than being merely clever or smart".

Summers has been represented in ARTIS since 2012 and has participated in The Auckland Art Fair and numerous ‘Selection Shows’ at ARTIS. His work is held in corporate and private collections throughout New Zealand and in many countries overseas. Awards include the BNZ Art Award and the BP Art Award in the 1980s and the Arts Excellence Award (Community Trust, Christchurch) in 1997. 


Llew Summers died on the 1st of August 2019. His monumental sculptures in bronze, concrete and stone are highly visible in public spaces throughout New Zealand.