Tamahere man Marti Wong creates glorious works of art from scrap metal.

Tamahere man Marti Wong turns scrap metal into glorious works of art, which will be on display throughout June.

What started as a hobby during a wielding course course 20 years ago has become a fulltime job, and he has been preparing for the Menagerie exhibition for the past three months.


To be held at Soul Gallery on Barton St, Hamilton, the exhibition will feature an eclectic mix of sculptures.


The works will be on display at Soul Gallery in Hamilton throughout June.
The works will be on display at Soul Gallery in Hamilton throughout June.

"Once it's all set up in a gallery it looks really different to when it's in the garage, you can't really appreciate it in the garage but it looks really nice with a blank white background," said Wong.


"I've sort of got the image in my mind of it being a nobleman's private zoo or trophy collection, I even have the throne for the lord to sit on with all the animals around him.


"Like his own collection of crazy animals," he said.


Kathryn Engebretsen's paintings will also be on display at Soul Gallery.
Kathryn Engebretsen's paintings will also be on display at Soul Gallery.

He titled the exhibition "Menagerie" which means a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition, or a strange or diverse collection of people or things.


Before the exhibition, his latest work included the chandelier and gargoyles at Embassy Park in Hamilton where the famous Riff Raff statue stands.


His partner Kathryn Engebretsen has her paintings featured in the exhibition as well, and his children made some small butterflies and dinosaurs from the same material he uses.


The exhibition is a family affair, with Wong's partner joining the exhibition.

The exhibition is a family affair, with Wong's partner joining the exhibition.

"It's a real family affair which I think makes it more special," he said.


He began working as a fulltime artist 15 years ago.


"What I really love is transforming something that was just an old piece of discarded scrap in the bottom of someone's bin and turning it into a beautiful art, " he said.


He often gets requests for animals and creatures.

He often gets requests for animals and creatures.


His sculptures are made from his double garage, but they are scattered around his home and property.


He gets a lot of requests for giant dragons, life-sized dogs, insects, creatures and all sorts of animals.


The Menagerie exhibition of Wong's work is running until June 30 at Soul Gallery, 300 Barton St Hamilton.


More of his work can be seen on his website.


Images and article by Emma James/Fairfax NZ

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