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New John Edgar sculpture unveiled

6 June 2008

Media release

New John Edgar sculpture unveiled

Red Cross, a brand new sculptural piece by renowned Karekare artist John Edgar, was officially unveiled outside Waitakere Central this week.

Waitakere City Council commissioned the stone sculpture (with funding assistance from Waitakere Properties Ltd) to complement Mr Edgar's earlier piece - the obelisk-like Transformer sculpture - located outside the Japanese Garden.

Mr Edgar says the two sculptures together represent important steps forward in his art practice, with the 2.5 tonne Transformer being the tallest and the 3.2 tonne Red Cross the largest he has created to date.

He says he hopes Red Cross will draw the public in:

"While Transformer is tall and perhaps somewhat daunting on a human scale, the Red Cross is tactile and welcoming and I hope that people will want to sit on it, feel it, explore its wonderful porous texture and contemplate the ageless nature of stone and its place in the modern world," he says.

Click for big version

Pictured with the Red Cross scultpure after it was installed outside Waitakere Central are (from left): John Edgar, Renee Davies (the council's Service Delivery Manager for Parks Planning), Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey, Naomi McCleary (the council's Manager: Arts) and John's assistant, French blacksmith Martin Lelonge.


Both sculptures are made from the same material - grey-black basalt from South Canterbury and red sandstone from Rajasthan, India. The basalt came from the eruption of the Mt Horrible volcano near Timaru about two million years ago.

The porous nature of the dark basalt (caused by pockets of trapped air in the molten lava during eruption) adds to the simplistic beauty of Red Cross, aptly named due to the smooth red sandstone cross that graces it.

"For me, Red Cross could reference the markers of place or the symbols of identity so important in our society, in the way that survey points delineate land boundaries, or perhaps it could represent the mathematical sign for addition," Mr Edgar says. "Or simply it could be itself - a red cross - the sign of succour and refuge."

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey congratulated Mr Edgar on producing a beautiful, functional piece of art that will stand the test of time.

"It's a privilege to have artists such as John contributing to the city's public spaces," he says. "Given the scale and weight of the work, it will be around to surprise and delight people for centuries to come."


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