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Smiling Windmills Bring Joy to Hutt City

Smiling Windmills Bring Joy to Hutt City

A new sculpture which has won the hearts of Hutt Valley residents since its appearance in an outdoor sculpture exhibition at Civic Gardens is being celebrated with a free, fun ceremony.

The children of Hutt Valley and their families are invited to celebrate the installation of the
E Tu Awakairangi Hutt Public Art Trust’s first public artwork at noon on Sunday 10 August at Avalon Park.

The Smiling Windmills is a wind sculpture consisting of a trio of brightly coloured giant windmills which spin in the breeze, and will be installed on the Fairway Drive perimeter of Avalon Park.

The celebration festivities include a charity sausage sizzle, mini-putt golf, a model train, a free lucky dip and more. Kids of all ages are also encouraged to bring their bikes to try out the new Fulton Hogan Cycle Track at Avalon Park.

Meanwhile, thousands of miniature windmills to make and decorate are being distributed throughout schools over the next fortnight in celebration of the new sculpture. They can also be downloaded from www.etu.org.nz

E Tu spokesperson Lorraine Williams says, “The E Tu Trust is thrilled to have The Smiling Windmills as our inaugural public sculpture in Hutt City. We want art to be inclusive, approachable and a part of daily experience and this sculpture is all of that.”

Lorraine Williams says: “The Smiling Windmills will be located right by a fabulous playground and cycle park for everyone to enjoy. Its playfulness has broad appeal to young and old and it puts a smile on your face every time you see it.”

Internationally renowned sculptor Leon van den Eijkel describes his work as a salute to the pleasures of childhood.

"As a child growing up in Holland, life was exciting and full of joy; the clouds, the rain, sea and nature played with us. I remember a simple windmill on a stick from the fairground, and the run home through cobbled streets holding it high for show and best effect. Wedged outside my window overnight, I listened from my bed for its swishing clickety-clack between the droning of urban noises. It made me smile, this joyful symbol of paper engineering.”

“Irksome wind is an adult thing. In The Smiling Windmills I recall my childhood and the joy wind gave me. I want to share it with everyone as a positive source of energy," says van den Eijkel.

Another of van den Eijkel’s major works – Wellington Urban Forest – consists of stacks of brightly coloured cubes which rotate in the wind on Cobham Drive near the airport.

Born in the Netherlands, he has lived in New Zealand since 1986. He has exhibited widely in Europe, the United States and here, with his work represented in many major public and private collections.

The E Tu Trust has secured The Smiling Windmills for the Hutt Valley after the public fell in love with the vibrant aluminium and steel sculpture at the shapeshifter exhibition earlier this year. Public support for its purchase has been huge.

The aim of E Tu is to foster the creation and display of public works of art in Hutt City to improve the urban landscape, community pride and spiritual wellbeing.

Its next projects include a major commissioned kinetic and interactive sculpture at Hutt Park and a water based work in the central business area of Hutt City.

The Smiling Windmills will be installed on Saturday 9 August, incorporating extensions to its poles by local design and manufacturing company Metallion to prevent vandalism.

ends

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