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Waiting to be seated!

Waiting to be seated!

Hokitika’s artistic community is gearing up for a new influx of design ideas to arrive as entries are open now for the 2006 Take-a-Seat Public Art Project. Now in it’s third year, the annual competition is inviting entries from New Zealand artists and designers to develop a sculptural seat for the great outdoors. The competition was developed from a recognised lack of sculpture in Westland, along with few outdoor seats for relaxation and enjoyment of the great views that Hokitika’s surroundings afford; Westland Arts Incorporated (WAI) connected the two.

The first seat, built in January 2005 by artist Veronika Maser, encourages aappreciation of the beach, crashing waves and sublime sunsets, while the 2005 competition winner was double seat called Waves of Humanity. It is settled on the Hokitika riverbank overlooking both the mouth of the river and further to Aoraki Mt Cook, or the second seat faces the town looking up to the mountains. The competition for the third seat is open until the end of August, with the site being on the beachfront once more, but this time about a kilometre from the river. WAI chair Sue Asplin says, “This year’s Take-a-Seat entrants are being asked to work to a theme. The sculpture will commemorate the ‘Year of the Veteran.’ We’re asking the designs to have a reference to honour the sacrifice and service of New Zealand’s service men and women, although of course it’s up to each artist how that theme is interpreted. I can’t wait to see the entries start arriving.”

Jane Neale, WAI Secretary says, “It’s a great opportunity for artists to construct their sculpture and see it for years to come appreciated by locals and visitors alike, as well as to win the $8000 commission! West Coast Arts have put all the finer details on their website for us.” With the local Hokitika community right behind the project, it’s about putting art in public places, and letting it be functional. Jane again, “As we say around here, it’s art you can sit on!” The ten year plan of a sculptural walkway is slowly but surely coming to fruition, as the collection of sculptural seating grows in Hokitika. This year its thanks to the support of the Hokitika Soroptomists Group who secured the funding ahead of the competition opening and worked with Hokitika’s RSA to see a new generation celebrate New Zealand’s veterans..


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