Rory McDougall

Rory McDougall

500 Lake Kaniere Road

Kaniere 7811



Phone: 03 755 5000


Rory McDougall was raised in the Highlands of Scotland, in an area full of Pictish-Keltic stonework and archeology.

"My schoolbook doodles and patterns attracted the attentions of my art teacher, and so at age 12, I was introduced to the book "Keltic Art - Methods of Construction" by George Bain. Coincidentally Mr Bain had taught in my school 50 years previously and was a revivalist and promoter of the Keltic Arts."

McDougall studied metalcraft and stone masonry in Germany prior to settling in New Zealand. He lives on the West Coast, in Hokitika. His fascination with Keltic art and its iconography continues to influence his work. He has exhibited extensively and has several public art objects around New Zealand.



Solo Exhibition at Form Gallery Christchurch

Installation of 4.2 m steel sculpture ‘Lady Weight’ at Loudon Farm


Self-reflective period through Covid disruption.

figurative works ‘Seven daughters of Eve’.

range of small bronze works produced


Private Commission Sungun 2, 4.2m diameter, Loudon Farm


Public Sculpture Sungun1 Marshlands Christchurch


Sculpture Award Rotorua Symposium

Solo exhibition Chambers Gallery Christchurch


Solo exhibition Min Kim Gallery, Christchurch


2 ton Isle of Skye marble, Carbost Scotland

Exhibited in Kilmorack Gallery, Scotland


Lions Club Hokitika commission installed on beachfront ‘Table of Rememberance’ 24 ton granite

‘Ghost Soldier’ public sculpture, Rotorua purchased by council after War Memorial Symposium


Ashburton Stone Symposium object purchased for Public Domain

2013 Selected for Auckland Botanical Gardens summer exhibition

2 pieces purchased for Sir Richard Wallace collection

Regularly exhibited at Banks Peninsula bi-annual sculpture show

Bronze casting of Keltic disc shield series


Organized international hard stone symposium FORM 1, 2 and 3 Hokitika 2012, 2014, 2016

Solo Exhibition at Left Bank Gallery Greymouth


4 ton granite public sculpture Lions Club, Hoikitika


Public sculpture, Caroline Bay Park, Timaru, black marble sphere

Commisioned by Kronauer Architects and Engineers, Germany for 2m serpentine stone sculpture


Winner of Department of Conservation Environmental Prize, Hokitika

Commissioned by St Mary's School, Hokitika for 5 playground sculptures


5 ton polished andesite sculpture, public display, New Plymouth

7 month travels in Europe, bronze age studies in various national museums, notably Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Paris.

Work on restoration project, 11th century castle, Bordeaux, France

Work under guidance of master mason Uwe Spiekermann, realism, naturalism and casting techniques, Hannover, Germany


Participant in ‘Out of the Rain’ exhibition, 33 Westcoast artist in Left Bank Gallery, Greymouth and Centre of Contemporary Art, ChCh


Organised Hokitika Beachfront Symposium, wood and stone

Worked on long term project, design and build large house –interior, exterior carving, landscaping, glass and metal work, large mural work on ceilings.

Attended ‘Te Kupenga’, international hard stone symposia in New Plymouth 2004, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2016

Public commission – Rangiora Art Council


Invited to ‘Art in the Park’ International Stone Symposium, Christchurch

Commissioned by Greymouth Council for six 10m sculptures on waterfront.


Moved to New Zealand permanently

Continue exhibitions in Germany through Gallery ‘Dino Da Vinci’


Introduction to stone masonry by Master Uwe Spickermann, Hannover, Germany

Sculpture projects in steel, stone, wood, glass and ceramics

Special exhibition at the Keltic house built by Ferdinand Eichwede (1879-1911, Architect and Keltic revivalist).

Founder of annual chainsaw symposium at Langenhagen

Book illustrations, compact disc cover designs, short documentary on German Television.


Lived in Germany

Introduction to metal craft and blacksmithing by Master Jurgen Helmer, Brelingen


Paintings in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand


Fine line drawing and painting of Keltic symbolism.

Posters, murals, backdrops, vehicles and tattoos.

Exhibitions in Edinburgh and Inverness.

Attended Aberdeen School of Art for 1 year and dropped out.

First clay sculptures.


Formal introduction to Keltic art by secondary school teacher.

Inverness Royal Academy. Scotland

1965Born and raised in Highlands of Scotland

Rory McDougall's lifelong love and studies of Keltic Bronze Age artefacts in Scotland, Europe and the Near East has provided him many associations with essential recurring forms through time and culture




Water Sustains All - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Water is the midwife of life, it is the lifeblood of the earth. Wherever she is, through her presence, she creates spaces and environments for the creation and sustenance of life.

Where there is no water, this possibility ceases.

Water is a mediator, a balancer between extremes and contrasts, it dissolves what is solid and brings together substances to form new compounds. It strives to be chemically neutral between acid and base, it serves bouyancy between gravity and levity.

Water is a bridge-builder, crosses boundaries, is open and serves all life selflessley, ready to refresh, to heal, to purify or to give solace. It does not discriminate. Every living thing drinks it. Every living creature has a right to it.

It cannot be made separate and owned becuase it is, by its nature, intimately and selflessley connected to all things

Wherever water occurs, it tends to take on a spherical form. It envelops the whole sphere of the earth, enclosing every object in a thin film.

Falling as a drop, water oscillates about the shape of a sphere; or as a dew fallen on a clear starry night, it transforms an inconspicuous meadow into a starry heaven of sparkling drops.

We see moving water always seeking a lower level, following the pull of gravity. Yet, water continually strives to return to its spherical form. It finds many ways of maintaining a rhythmical balance between the spherical form natural to it and the pull of earthly gravity.

Together, Earth, plant world and atmosphere form a single great organism, in which water dissolves, transports and nourishes like living blood. The essential reciprocal vehicle of all life, an unbreakable symbiosis.

Water is seen as a reflective surface possessing colours, hues, textures, undulations and ripples of great variety. The interior of water is perceived/experienced as a mono mass, a clear solid. Yet, this invisible mass has inertia from minute to massive scale, ever moving, never still. Moving along spiralling surfaces, which glide past one another in manifold winding and curving forms. Even within fast flowing water the velocity is unseen unless the occasional trapped air bubble passes by, highlighting the weaving strands of the force. But within this turbulence of movement there are basic geometrical shapes. These shapes and patterns have been used by various cultures for philological decoration.

"The Invisible made Visible"

Neolithic / Celtic symbolism of telluric forces.

A very large percent of bronze age artifacts are found clustered within watery realms. bogs, ponds, wells and lakes. They have been ritually disposed of. There are many decorative motifs on these objects. The most prominent one being the triskel, or triple spiral motif. This, being the cross section of a water jet soon after its creation. An axiom of flow form structure, this classic symbol is found across Eurasia and appearS throughout pre-history in all Matriarchal/Matrilineal societies.

"Neolithic and Bronze age art, with its extreme formalism, does not represent a primitive stage in the evolution of art. Nor an apparent step backwards away from the admirable and living representations of the art of the cave painters. It is highly sophisticated and expresses the realisation that important ideas can be conveyed by extremely limited symbolic forms."
JD Burnell 1937, art critic

"By the laws of the recapitulation of the life history of a species in the life of an individual, 'modern art' is sometimes a form of atavistic groping and the tendency of some European artists, when the power of realistic representation has been obtained, is to no longer accept this as the final achievement in art. The atavistic searchings of these artists are the reversions to the mental traits of remote ancestors, rather than immediate progenitors. Hence, such gropings, usually done in a state of acute consciousness, lead subconsciously to abstractions that may be inherited racial memories of the great Celtic cultures and of still earlier races of hunter/artists."

George Bain, 1951


1 Sensitive Chaos Theodore Schwenk 1962
2 Pagan Celtic Ireland Barry Raftery 1994
3 Snowflake Kenneth Librecht 2003
4 Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland P.J. Asmore 1996
5 Perfect Vortex New Scientist 23rd/8th 2004
6 Spiral Patterns Aiden Meehan 1993
7 Keltic Art Ruth & Vincent Megaw 1989
8 Water Learning Institue of Water Dynamics 1995
9 Mystic Spiral Jill Purce 1974
10 Royal Graves of the Scythians State Museum of Berlin 2008
11 Cetlic Art - Methods of Construction George Bain 1951
12 Celtic Mysteries John Sharkey 1975
13 Ornament Eva Wilson 1996
14 Early Christian Monuments of Scotland J. Romilly Allen 1903
15 Art Forms in Nature Karl Blossfeldt 1928
16 Art forms in Nature Ernst Haeckel 1904
17 Keltic art J. Romilly Allen 1904
18 Art of the Celts Lloyd-Jennifer Laing 1992
19 Historical Atlas of the Celtic World John Haywood 2001
20 Permaculture Designers Manual Bill Mollison 1998
21 The Stones of Wisdom Ronald P Vaughan 1992
22 Dawn of the Gods - Cretan Society Jacquetta Hawkes 1968
23 Barbara Hepworth Barbara Hepworth 1970
24 Treasures of Hungary Keltic Museum, Hochdorf 1998
25 Bronzes of Luristan Cernuschi Museum 2008
26 Greek Art Gisela Richter 1959
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