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Third Work In Wind Sculpture Series Announced

Media release: 25 June 2004

Third work in wind sculpture series announced

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An impression of how the 9m high Tower of Light wind sculpture will look once it is installed in Wellington (on a strip of land between Cobham Drive and Evans Bay). The sculpture is the third in series of wind sculptures being sponsored by Meridian Energy.

The third work in the Meridian Energy Wellington Wind Sculpture series has been announced today by the Wellington Sculpture Trust.

Trust chairman Neil Plimmer says the new piece is "Tower of Light", which he describes as an elegant, nine-metre high, tube-shaped work which will intrigue viewers by the directness of its response to Wellington's wind.

"A set of flanges on the top of the piece will spin in the wind, generating power to light a set of 10 multi-coloured neon rings which make the central feature of the work. The stronger the wind, the more rings will light up. The work will serve as a beacon measuring the strength and variability of the wind."

Mr Plimmer says Tower of Light will be a 24-hour feature, particularly effective at night.

"The sculpture is the result of a lengthy engineering design process to ensure that it can function in the strongest winds and over a long life-span."

It is to be sited on the strip of land between Cobham Drive and Evans Bay, at a point just east of the central traffic island, and between the two Meridian Energy wind sculpures already installed, "Zephyrometer" at the Haitaiti end of the drive and "Pacific Grass" at the Miramar end.

"Meridian Energy is making an outstanding contribution to the city with its sponsorship. Thanks to its generosity we have more to come, with the likely fourth work currently undergoing prototype wind testing."

The sculptor of Tower of Light is Andrew Drummond of Christchurch, one of New Zealand's most widely recognised professional sculptors, who is known for sculptures that involve technology and explore the relationship humans have with technology.

Andrew Drummond's recent commissions include "Assignation Device", a giant rotating piece commissioned for the foyer of the Royal and SunAlliance building in Auckland. He has an earlier work of public sculpture in Wellington, the "Listening and Viewing Device" on Druids Hill in the Botanic Gardens.

Fabrication of "Tower of Light" is expected to start shortly with testing being undertaken at the artist's studio before it is brought to Wellington. Installation on the site is scheduled for later this year.

Mr Plimmer says "Tower of Light" will be a major feature of the Meridian Energy Wind Sculpture Walk being developed along the Evans Bay side of Cobham Drive.

"The Wellington City Council has also been hugely supportive of the wind sculpture project, and in particular with its development of the walkway with seating, car laybys and signage. This will greatly enhance the sculptures themselves and make an amazing facility for Wellingtonians and visitors."

Meridian Energy Chief Executive Keith Turner says "Tower of Light" will be a strong addition to the wind sculpture series, which will be the major feature of the southern gateway route from the airport to the city.

"Andrew Drummond's work shows a totally new and creative response to the wind. The previous pieces in the series bend or pivot in the face of wind; this one generates power for lighting ­ a feature which is particularly appropriate for a company such as Meridian," he said.


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