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Extended Reality Sculpture Floats Over Wellington Harbour

The Wellington Sculpture Trust is celebrating its 40th Anniversary by gifting an extended reality Sculpture to the city.

The work ‘HALO’ by artist Gill Gatfield is a giant marble circle created in the Metaverse and available to all Wellingtonians via their mobile phone.

The work will be visible from the Wellington waterfront promenade, and an outdoor terrace outside the kiosk within the Bush Walk at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.

The virual sculpture floats over the harbour, Whanganui a Tara, connecting the sea and sky. Suspended virtually 25 metres above the water and over 21 metres round.

Gill Gatfield said: “The origins of HALO’s primordial stone trace back to the fault lines that formed Te Riu-a-Māui Zealandia. Treasured for its beauty and strength, the unique Tākaka marble was extracted in the early 1900s for the construction of monuments and government buildings including New Zealand’s Parliament House.

“Defying gravity, HALO appears out of the ether, an ancient stone circle and futurist monument. Its crystalline stone and ephemeral form evokes optical phenomena as well as celestial haloes. A circular symbol of unity, the sustainable scultpure honours the past and conjurs new possiibilities,” Gill said.

Revealing the ephemeral monument at a 40th Anniversary celebration at Te Papa last night, Sue Elliott, Chair of the Wellington Sculpture Trust said “the work is a fitting gift to the city – its monumental classical form commemorating the work the Trust has done, and the virtual experience a nod to the Trust’s future.”

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The Wellington Sculpture Trust has given 40 years of dedicatd and voluntary work to provide innovative contemporary public art for Welington City.

Sue Elliott said: “Over this time the Trust has installed 30 permanent works within the city centre. Add to this, the nine temporarory sculptures: eight on the four plinths between the waterfront and Te Papa, and the temporary commissioning and installation of Quasi on top of the City Gallery in 2021. A considerable legacy.

The site-specific works have become increasingly ambtious and complicated, harnessing not only the wind and water, but also new technologies.

The celebration and unveilling was a chance to come together with former and current: Artists, trustees, administrators, arts advisors, major donors, partners, and honourary advisors including engineers, accountants, auditors and many others who have given their time freely.

The occaision was also used to appoint three new Life Members: Artist Tanya Ashken, whose work Albatross saw the formation of the Scultpre Trust in 1983, Neil Plimmer chair from 2001 to 2013, and long term honorary financial adviser, Pat Sheehan who has worked with the Trust for over 20 years.

Dame Fran Wilde, Chair of Te Papa, said: “The Sculpture Trust continues to add extraordinary value to Wellington, and nationally to sculptural practice. Its contribution to Wellington has been enduring and enriches the visual, aesthetic, and creative atmosphere of the city, making art accessible and adding to Wellington’s creative capital reputation.”


Notes on the artist:

Aotearoa New Zealand artist Gill Gatfield (LLB. MFA Hons.) creates abstract-conceptual artworks in physical and virtual worlds. Through an alchemy of light, matter, space and time, she transforms unique and precious materials – ancient stones, rare timbers, crystal-clear glass, fibre and native grass – into minimalist first-forms. Both atavistic and futuristic, her abstract figures and monochromatic fields embody poetic narratives, probe philosophical and political conditions, and stimulate sentient and sensory realms.

Gill Gatfield has won national and international awards, commissions for site-sensitive public art, and is represented in collections worldwide. Significant works have been presented in UNESCO Geopark Kefalonia & Ithaca Greece 2023, Venice Art Biennale 2022, Kunstverein am Rosa Luxemburg Platz Berlin 2022, Conversations on Spatial Architecture Brisbane/Sydney 2021-22, Sculpture by Sea Perth Sydney 2021, NZ Government House 2020, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, Blueprint for Better Cities A18 New York 2018, SCAPE Public Art 2016, KØN Museum Denmark 2015, Sculpture by Sea Denmark 2015, and Chicago Sculpture International 2014.

For more information:


Notes on viewing HALO

Made using your mobile phone or tablet, the ephemeral monument will appear over the harbour in the ‘bay’ created by the wharf area between Te Papa and the Star Boating Club.

The work will be there for six months to be enjoyed through the summer months – at 3 locations Signage for the sculpture including the QR code can be found:

+ On the water’s edge on the waterfront promenade in front of Te Papa, past Te Papa’s Bush Walk wall.

+ On the water’s edge over the bridge, in front of the Star Boating Club

+ On the outdoor terrace at Te Papa, accessed from the kiosk on level 2 of Te Papa just beyond the Te Taiao nature zone or accessed from the bushwalk itself.


Instructions are:

Scan the QR code and through this you will:

• Download Gatfield XR App

• Enter the XR Exhibiton

• Use the app’s GPS system

• Look up and see HALO in 3D.

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