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New sculpture completes Rotorua intersection upgrade

4 September 2015


New inner city sculpture celebrating ‘Wood First’ completes Rotorua intersection upgrade

New street sculpture by Rotorua artist Jamie Pickernell to be revealed on Monday


A new street sculpture for the Rotorua inner city is to be revealed on Monday. The new artwork is scheduled to be lifted into position by crane, at the intersection of Tutanekai and Haupapa streets, early on Monday morning [7 September].

The four metre high contemporary piece, called ‘Shavings,’ is by local artist Jamie Pickernell. It has been designed to complement Rotorua’s Wood First Policy and to acknowledge the importance of timber and wood products to the Rotorua economy.

The new artwork completes Rotorua Lakes Council work on upgrading the intersection as part of the Inner City Revitalisation Strategy. The upgrade includes wider ‘splitter islands’ to improve pedestrian safety and movement, new streetscaping and plantings, and a series of movable painted wooden boxes that can be used for seating or rearranged into a temporary stage formation for Night Market entertainment purposes.

The council’s Creative Communities Portfolio lead, Councillor Glenys Searncke, said Mr Pickernell’s design was chosen by the council’s public art selection committee from a list of seven design concepts submitted earlier in the year.

“It’s a stunning design that I’m confident is going to become an iconic feature of Rotorua, and it will be spot lit at night.

“Jamie has really understood the intent of the brief to produce a design that celebrates Rotorua’s wood and timber heritage. He’s captured the essence of this theme and interpreted it beautifully, creating a stunning piece of street art that brings new vitality to our city.

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“This sculpture complements a number of other pieces installed across the inner city over recent months, and others in our sculpture trail in Government Gardens that are capturing a lot of attention. These artworks are a clear demonstration that Rotorua is a place where artistic creativity and innovation is thriving,” said Mrs Searancke.

Artist Jamie Pickernell, who worked on the sculpture over a three month period, said it was great to be part of the inner city’s revitalisation.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the council team on this project. To have a large scale sculpture in a prominent place in my home town is very special. I feel honoured and hope locals and tourists will enjoy it for years to come.

“The sculpture is called ‘Shavings’ and represents wood shavings from a carver’s chisel,” he explained.

“The making of this sculpture has been a really interesting journey for me. I'm usually a very hands-on maker; however once my initial designs and scale model were finalised this piece was completed using 3D modelling software and a very large five axis gantry milling machine.”

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