Iain Cheesman

Combining a love of words, hand-crafted canniness, and a passion for the preposterous – Iain’s work is a perennial favourite at The Vivian.

You’ll first experience Iain’s art the moment you get out of the car. There, standing proud in bright pink at over 3-metres high, is his monumental stainless-steel sculpture, ‘Idiots’, commissioned in 2018 by The Vivian.*

It’s an appropriate introduction to an artist who has continually bucked the fashion trends of the art world (while often having lots of fun with them at the same time). Universally accessible, yet engagingly complex, Iain’s work restlessly searches for answers to a far more profound and deeper question; what does it mean to live as a human being in our chaotic, post-truth world today?

Using historical references, personal stories, abandoned bird boxes, embroidered felt disks, stacked bowls, hand-carved totems, and of course his signature hand-painted wooden and bronze arrows, Iain’s work is both instantly recognisable, and utterly unique.

Iain will show with The Vivian at Booth C6 at the Auckland Art Fair (23-27 May 2018) and is working on his first solo show at The Vivian, which will open on 20 October 2018.

*Idiots is available as an edition of 3 + 1AP. Other sizes available.

Photo Craig Ray

      Featured gallery

Images © Dario Grassi / Iain Cheesman / Craig Ray


        Is Nigh The End

We love Iain Cheesman’s work – and his fantastic sense of humour! ‘Is Nigh The End’ – two calf skins, held in place by cast bronze arrows, with punched out lettering – is his brilliant response to the premise for the Feet of Clay show.


Iain Cheesman has made a name for himself as an artist with his quirky, small-scale, and often very funny plastic sculptures. So The Vivian commissioned him to do a somewhat larger-scale work in steel. What we didn't expect was...this!

        Artist Q&A

 In this short profile of the artist, Iain explains his background, his thought process around the work Signs of Earlier, 2018 and his love of poetry and words. Iain’s first book of published poems, ‘Boom!’ is available from The Vivian. 

Video © origincreative.co.nz

Iain Cheesman
      Idiots of the Month

As competitions go, you'd have to be an idiot not to try this one. All you have to do is actually visit The Vivian (no excuses, we're only an hour north of Auckland), take the most idiotic picture you can in front of Iain's bright pink monument to misplaced misunderstanding, post it on Facebook or Instagram and send us a screen shot to thevivian@thevivian.co.nz

We'll pick a winner each month (free cinema tickets!) and by December 1, 2018 pick an overall winner for the grand prize of... your very own 'Little Idiots' limited edition model (Worth $1200!). Go for it!

Images © Craig Ray

You could WIN this unique edition (1/20) of Iain Cheesman's 'Little Idiots', 2018.

You could WIN this unique edition (1/20) of Iain Cheesman's 'Little Idiots', 2018.