Kingsley Baird

b. 1957

On completing high school Kingsley Baird chose to travel, and it was during these travels that he realised art would be direction of his life. Returning to Wellington he began a long, independent process of learning sculpture.

Working with bronze in the early 1980s Baird's practice has become an "exploration of memory, memorialisation, and remembrance – primarily in relation to war, national identity, mythology, and place." Jock Phillips has described Baird as having "made a major contribution to the memorialising of war not only in New Zealand but internationally.”

Since winning the competition for the New Zealand Memorial in Canberra in 1999 (completed in 2001) with Studio of Pacific Architecture, Baird has produced a number of public memorials, including the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior Te Toma o te Toa Matangaro, as well as maintaining a consistent exhibition and written practice.

In the 1990s Baird began teaching at Wellington Polytechnic, which later became Toi Rauwharangi College of Creative Arts Massey University. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from RMIT (Melbourne) in 2000, and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts.

See also:

Kingsley Baird, ‘A Passage/He Whakawhitianga’ (1987), AMP Building, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022