540 wooden pallets create a confronting maze on Auckland's North Shore

540 stark wooden pallets make up a provocative wooden sculpture, part of the Sculpture OnShore exhibition in Auckland, which aims to highlight the difficulty women and children face trying to leave an abusive relationship.

Titled "Why don't you just leave," the headline piece of art was created by West Auckland duo Bernie Harfleet and Donna Tutle Sartern.

“This work.. a maze... really talks about the lives of the women and children that are in violent family situations and seek refuge.” says Mr Harfleet.

Women's Refuge chief executive Ang Jury says many people don't realise just how hard it is for women to disentangle themselves and find a way out of abusive relationships.

“The maze once you walk through it spells out the work refuge. So, you've actually got to walk through each letter before you can escape. It's easy to get lost but with perseverance you can get out," she says.

Despite celebrating a hundred and twenty-five years of women's suffrage, New Zealand still has some of the worst domestic violence statistics in the developed world.

Dr Jury says walking through the maze should be quite a powerful experience.

Bernie and Donna's last installation featured ten thousand windmills, addressing mental health, and won the people's choice award.

“We talk about the stuff that often people don't want to really talk about that much,” says Bernie.

This year's exhibition runs for a fortnight and features ninety outdoor artworks. Some colourful, some directly confronting domestic violence.

Sculpture OnShore is held every two years on Fort Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore. The proceeds go to women's refuge, over twenty years the exhibition has raised more than 1.7 million dollars.

The artwork aims to highlight the difficulty women and children face trying to leave an abusive relationship. Source: 1 NEWS