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Council and Sculpture Trust win top arts award

18 July 2006

Council and Sculpture Trust win top arts award

Wellington City Council and the Wellington Sculpture Trust were today celebrating taking top honours in the Creative Places Award 2006 with an entry that featured two of the city’s newest and most prominent sculptures – Len Lye’s Water Whirler and Bill Culbert’s SkyBlues.

The Council, in partnership with the Trust, won the Premier Creative Places Award 2006 at the Local Government New Zealand Conference in Wellington this morning. The prize for the Premier Award is a $10,000 contribution towards the commissioning of a new public artwork. The sculpture duo also won the Commissions and Public Artworks: City and Regional Councils category.

Unveiled in March this year, Water Whirler is on the waterfront near Frank Kitts Park and SkyBlues is in Post Office Square, visible from Jervois Quay, Grey Street and Customhouse Quay. Judges said the two sculptures helped make the city of Wellington a truly creative place.

“The works demonstrate excellence, are a strong response to their environment and reflect Wellington City Council’s long-term investment in public art,” they said. “Both artworks are also excellent examples of collaboration resulting from the strong working partnership between Wellington City Council and the Wellington Sculpture Trust.”

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the award is a tribute to the artists and testimony to the fact the capital is a truly creative and innovative city.

“These two works are beacons of artistic brilliance. They epitomise the very essence of Wellington - our creativity, vision and innovation. They enrich Wellington’s cultural and artistic diversity, enhance our sense of place and make this city one of the best little cities in the world in which to live, work and play.”

Mayor Prendergast says the award is also a tribute to the excellent partnership forged over 20 years between the City Council and the Wellington Sculpture Trust.

Wellington Sculpture Trust Chairman Neil Plimmer says the award is a salute to the artists, who have made a big contribution to Wellington, as well as the Trust, Council and other partners.

“Each of the two works is brilliant and the combination is irresistible,” he says. “We believe international recognition for Wellington's commitment to top public sculpture will grow. Just in the last week a major international journal on sculpture has given a double-page spread on our work and with the continued support of Wellingtonians there will be more great public art in the pipeline.”

The Creative Places Awards, presented annually by Creative New Zealand, recognise local government's vital investment in the arts of New Zealand. They also celebrate innovative arts projects that have enhanced the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of their communities.


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