Shaugn Briggs was born in l970, in Christchurch, New Zealand. From a very young age, a passion for art emerged. It was not until his early 20’s that he decided to pursue a career in the arts through painting and sculpture. An accomplished painter, he discovered Oamaru Stone sculpting in the early l990’s. At this time, Symposiums were all the rage in Christchurch and at one of them he picked up a off-cut from a piece of Oamaru stone to have a try. After working with the Oamaru, his skill became evident and very soon he was selling his work.
Not long after beginning to sell his sculptures, he was approached by a Community Park Committee who commissioned him to sculpt an original statue that incorporated a bird bath. His sculpture became a feature of the community park. Since this time Shaugn has kept very busy selling carvings through galleries and obtaining numerous private commissions.
His works became sought after and this lead him into another area – that of teaching sculpting. Shaugn has been involved in teaching adults for 12 years and is enormously satisfied by the joy that many students have received from carving. Students are often amazed at the work they can produce when guided through the process of beginning to know the tools through designing their own carvings.
Many of his works are about the human connection. The sculpture “Reflection” is a good example. It represents dealing with the devastating earthquakes that rocked Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. During this time so much loss was experienced that the sculpting of this piece was a way of releasing the built-up emotions. One head faces backwards, acknowledging the past sorrow and the other faces forward looking towards an unknown future and all the promise it holds.
A word from Shaugn:
“Sculpture has given me many things. It tests my intellect, supports a passion, has created many relationships, has made me a creative tutor and drives my love for the arts.”