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MESH Sculpture delivers an early Christmas gift to the city


Hamilton’s newest sculpture will be unveiled and presented to the city next Monday (9 December) at a public event kicking off at 6.30pm at the sculpture’s new home – Victoria on the River.

The contemporary sculpture is the latest initiative of MESH Sculpture Hamilton, a philanthropic arts group responsible for several public artworks across the city including the vibrant Tongue of the Dog sculpture at the south end of Victoria St.

The sculpture to be unveiled next Monday is titled Te Tatau ki Kirikiriroa which means ‘The Doorway to Hamilton’. It is designed by internationally renowned artist Robert Jahnke, Professor of Maaori Visual Arts at Massey University.

Installation has been in progress over the course of this week, settling the sculpture into its new home at the top of the terraced area at Victoria on the River.

Standing at approximately 4.5m high and 8m wide, the sculpture is made of corten steel and will include lights and mirrors, creating an infinity effect to draw people in. It will be particularly striking at night, acting as a kind of viewing aperture or portal across the river towards Hamilton East.

Lance Vervoort, General Manager Community at Hamilton City Council, says: “We are grateful to MESH and the 50+ generous donors who have enabled this stunning sculpture to become a reality, further enhancing our newest, inner-city park.”

“Public art plays an important role in our city’s culture and identity and has the ability to transform a place of functionality into one that inspires and challenges people to think differently.

“As a Council, we’re proud to work with such passionate and proactive supporters of public art to bring artworks of this calibre to our city.”

MESH chairwoman Nancy Caiger says: “This is the fourth work gifted to the city of Hamilton by MESH and represents two years of planning and fundraising.”

“The sculpture speaks to the historical importance of the site, which was once renowned for its fertile soil and referred to as Te Kopu Mania O Kirikiriroa, which means ‘The smooth belly of Kirikiriroa’.

“Our goal with this sculpture, as with all the artworks we bring to Hamilton, is to connect with each specific site, tell stories of our city and our history and also look towards our future and help engage with the diverse cultures that now represent Hamilton.”

MESH will release a video in the coming weeks which tells the story about the new artwork.

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