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Mark Whyte sculpture to be unveiled

25 August 2006

Mark Whyte sculpture to be unveiled in Christchurch on Wednesday

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore will unveil a sculpture by Mark Whyte at 4pm on Wednesday (30 August). The work, Coil, is to be installed in Wairakei Reserve at the south-east end of Nunweek Park in Bishopdale.

Coil is a project of the Fendalton/Waimairi Community Board and Whyte’s design was engineered and built by Slade Engineering in Sydenham. Made from twisted and coiled steel I-beam, it is about 4m tall and painted phosphorescent turquoise.

Whyte is a Lyttelton sculptor whose largest local public work is the statue of double Victoria Cross winner Charles Upham at Amberley. Other creations are Caryatid in Victoria Square and Presence of the Past on the corner of Rossall and Leinster streets. He has works on Waiheke Island and in Sydney and London. He also plays in a local band, Into the Void.

Whyte says the latest work has taken him well outside his comfort zone. “My expertise is in a more traditional way of working and this one’s nothing like that. I’ve had fantastic assistance from Brian Moore and his team at Slade Engineering.”

The surrounding area along Wairakei Road has a number of light industrial and engineering firms and Whyte says that inspired him to do something that would appear to be an improbable use of the material. “It’s meant to be a piece of impossibility,” he says.

Coil will sit about 20m off the road, sited to draw people’s attention into the reserve, which has a dogleg connection to Nunweek Park.

Whyte’s concept was chosen from several submitted for consideration by an advisory group made up of community board members, community representatives and council staff.

● Coil will be unveiled at 4pm on Wednesday, 30 August, at the reserve (490 Wairakei Road).


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