Otago Polytechnic

A playful yet serious examination of masculine stereotypes, Otago Polytechnic’s latest campus artwork, Four Daves, has been turning a few heads since being installed this week.

The installation continues Otago Polytechnic's Four Plinths Project, which aims to showcase student artwork in the quad on Harbour Tce, providing an opportunity for graduates from the Dunedin School of Art to have their work shown in a public setting.  

Crafted from concrete, wood, metal and fibreglass, the latest sculptures have been created by Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate Richard Budd, who hopes Four Daves will encourage people to think about cultural norms around masculinity.

Dave draws from ’80s and ’90s television ideals of masculinity to recreate and break down the lofty concepts of the ‘perfect’ man and associated stereotypes, where boys are branded as already formed men."

Dave is shaped to emulate men while standing at the height of a child, which is the age where boys are indoctrinated into masculine culture."

“The work examines these ill-fitting stereotypes and their inability to be entirely blank.”

Richard said he took inspiration from Otago Polytechnic’s roots when choosing the weatherproof materials that comprise each sculpture.

“From as far back as 1895, skills such as cookery, chemistry, typewriting and dressmaking [were taught]. However, these skills, while important and useful, do not lend well to materials that are suited to long periods of outdoor exposure."

“So instead I have focused primarily on the trade aspects of what Otago Polytechnic has to offer and used common trade materials.”

Four Daves replaces Jenny Hjertquist's Four Quarters of the World (2019concrete and mixed media), which was the inaugural commission for Otago Polytechnic’s Four Plinths Project. 

Every 18 months to two years, Otago Polytechnic changes the exhibition and offers the existing works for sale by silent auction. The proceeds of the sale are used to support materials for the next selected student commission.


Published on 4 May 2021

Orderdate: 4 May 2021
Expiry: 30 Nov 2021