Aleko Kyriakos



  • Sculpture


  • Bronze


  • H1010 x W2200 x D850mm

Aleko Kyriakos, 'Sappho' (1972), CBD, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


“This bronze artwork seems to rest on its red stone plinth; leaning back on its elbows with one knee raised and the other falling to the ground. Located on Auckland's Queen Street, the robed and hooded figure is an original bronze by Aleko Kyriakos, depicting the ancient Greek lyrical poet Sappho, from the island of Lesbos.

Kyriakos honours his subject's work by creating an almost rhythmic form, using repetitive, folding patterns, especially in the structure of the arm and the folds of the robe and hood. From a distance the sculpture appears quite solid, only revealing the finer details when closer to the artwork.

'Sappho' was commissioned in 1973 and originally located outside the Auckland Art Gallery, until its expansion in 2011. The sculpture was relocated to 360 Queen Street, where the colour is gently weathering to pick up on the red of the stone plinth and green of the surrounding grass. This artwork is also the first casting of the artist's original concept: a piece of the same name was commissioned for Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, United States, as a bigger version of Kyriakos' original.”