Work by this Artist

Artist Profile

The geological formation of Jade requires extreme tectonic forces that occur in few places on earth. The South Island of New Zealand, with its backbone of the Southern Alps, is just such a place. Over a millennia, the crushing action of the plates of the earth, generating extremes of temperature of force, form Jade.

Jade found high in the snow country often has a white powdery surface on the stone. Lower down in river terraces in flats, Jade is often found in boulder form. It is still possible today to find highly polished natural pebbles on certain West Coast beaches.

The search for Jade is cloaked in mana and mystery. It is an ancient skill, with few initiates and many secrets. You have to be a very special person to spot a Jade boulder amongst stones of the many types found on river beds. The discovery of large boulders is the stuff of legend on the West Coast. The mystique of the lonely hunter – at one and in touch with nature – cloaks many of the personalities involved.

For years Jeff Beckwith has been involved with Jade, primarily searching for boulders. The choicest pieces form a treasured collection. Jeff Beckwith began carving Jade to provide “the ultimate link between his precious finds and his creative spirit”. He emerged on the Jade scene like a breath of fresh air, celebrated for the simplicity and strength of his pieces, and an apparent capacity to lift the naturalness out of the stone.

“I believe that my work should enhance and set alight the natural beauty of the jade… not to be a platform to be used to show others how clever I may or may not be.” Of the pieces in the exhibition he says: “In each piece there goes a story of adventure, excitement, retrieval, friendship and unleashing. All the pieces have come from stone I have collected myself. I have tried to share the spirit, the colour and the translucency that each unique jade boulder can offer.”