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New sculpture at the Cenotaph unveiled

14 April 2015

New sculpture at the Cenotaph unveiled

Tomorrow evening the Wellington Sculpture Trust’s latest commission, ‘Walk the Line’, by artist Joe Sheehan, will be unveiled by the Mayor, Celia Wade Brown. The work marks the historic Wai Piro stream within the re-landscaped Cenotaph precinct.

As part of the development the Council invited the Trust to commission a work of art to mark the original bed of the stream which once flowed down what is now Bowen Street across the precinct to the nearby foreshore. The stream was culverted many years ago and now runs well below Bowen Street, Lambton Quay and Whitmore Street.

With Joe’s installation the old path of the Wai Piro stream will be marked by over 300 carved jade and pounamu discs, meandering as a ‘stream’ through the precinct. They will be carved from a range of Nephrite types sourced from the West Coast of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Russia, Mongolia and Running under the discs will be a below-ground speaker system providing the sound of a running stream, all recorded from several stretches of water around Te Ahumairangi which feed the Wai Piro stream.

Chair of the Wellington Sculpture Trust, Sue Elliott, said: “Following a rigorous selection process, Joe’s work was selected because it offered a contemporary public art work that was compatible with the commemorative purpose of the site, while marking the historic stream. Walk the Line invites people to consider the history of the site through sight and sound.

“Joe’s work is an intelligent and sensitive response to our brief creating a ghost-like presence of the stream that talks to the site’s pre-colonial location on the foreshore.”

“Joe is an exceptional artist whose meticulous craftsmanship combined with a creative and poetic sensibility has created something truly special for the city,” Sue Elliott said.

The Mayor, Celia Wade Brown said today: “Walk the Line’s path within the Cenotaph area will be much travelled with the new Parliamentary Steps sweeping down into the precinct connecting the city and the Beehive physically and symbolically. The work reflects the rich Maori heritage of the area and contributes to our sense of place as the Capital.”

ends

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