Tag Archives: Sculpture

Tom McLean on works by Peter Nicholls #sculpture

Tom McLean [otago.ac.nz] 1Late last year Dr Thomas (Tom) McLean (pictured) published an article on some recent works of New Zealand sculptor Peter Nicholls. Dr McLean, a senior lecturer, teaches English at the University of Otago, but also writes on art for the US blogsite The Migrationist. Peter Nicholls suggested I would be interested in the article, and yesterday Dr McLean forwarded the link. The writing is briefly sampled in the hope you’ll pleasure in reading and sharing the full article.

The Migrationist: A collaborative international migration blog
Culture & Integration, Personal Stories
Immigrant Woods
December 13, 2013 · by Tom McLean · in Culture & Integration, Personal Stories

My mate Pete and I had just left our Saturday morning coffee gathering when we noticed a tremble of dark feathers in the street. A female blackbird (which in fact is brown) was not doing well. Unable to fly, she had struggled through the grass and stumbled down the curb into the road. I picked her up and placed her under a tree; but this only saved her from cars or bikes. So what to do? Abandoning her to nature seemed logical but heartless. I found a cardboard box, and Pete got his car. Continues/. . .
Art helps us think beyond life’s cardboard box, and as I reflected on my blackbird encounter, the work of Peter Nicholls came to mind. Nicholls’s large sculptures are found in every major New Zealand collection. Bringing together disparate materials, his works are all about movement and encounters: set firmly in place, they encourage the participant (not simply a viewer) to make a journey. One must walk beside or pass through his large works to fully engage with them. His 2008 retrospective at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery was appropriately titled Journeywork, and it included long, stream-like sculptures in wood and metal that seem to flow along the floor. While his works show fine craftsmanship, they are not illusionary; they do not hide the effort that went into them. Nor do they suggest a simple return to nature: those elongated works might suggest a highway as much as a bloodstream or river. Even his most photographed work, Tomo (2005, Connells Bay Sculpture Park), is complex: is it the visualisation of a forest’s lifeblood, or a human imposition on nature? A sinewy marriage of art and nature, or a Formula 1 racetrack through an idyllic landscape?
Read the full article

peter-nicholls-tomo-2005-detail-connells-bay-sculpture-park-peter-nicholls-11 (1)Tomo 2005 (detail), Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Image: Peter Nicholls

The Migrationist is an international, collaborative academic/professional blog designed to promote public discourse informed by academics and professionals who focus on issues surrounding migration, refugees, and human trafficking. The blog is intended as a medium for intelligent discourse on migration issues. The intent is to bring this discussion out of academia and into an accessible forum for anyone who is interested in migration. The Migrationist posts weekly.
The blog was founded in September 2012 by co-editors Amy Grenier and Lali Foster, former M.A. Migration Studies students at University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. They currently have regular contributors from all over the world and are always looking for regular and guest contributors.

█ Tom McLean’s latest post at The Immigrationist:
The Artist as Global Citizen: Cai Guo-Qiang in Brisbane January 10, 2014
In the mid 1990s I taught English in Xiamen, a coastal city in southern China. Xiamen (also known as Amoy) has a lovely subtropical climate, and today it’s a favourite holiday spot among the Chinese. But from 1842 to the Second World War, it was a treaty port. After the First Opium War, the British took over Hong Kong and forced China to allow foreign consulates to be built… Cont/

More about Tom McLean

Peter Nicholls 2009 1 [odt.co.nz]Peter Nicholls was born in Wanganui, educated at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, Auckland Teachers’ College, Elam School of Fine Arts, and gained a Masters in Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin at Superior, USA. His sculptures from the 1970s and 1980s are noted for their amalgam of figural, landscape and architectural abstraction, and energized dynamics in large timber works. It was tectonic and universal rather than site specific. From 1990 it became laterally configured, river hugging and site/place specific, often interrogating historic impositions of order on primal land. Nicholls has numerous large-scale works in private and public collections internationally. http://www.peternicholls.co.nz/

Otago Sculpture Trust

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: odt.co.nz – Peter Nicholls (portrait detail)

Leave a comment

Filed under Construction, Design, Geography, Heritage, Innovation, Inspiration, Museums, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Project management, Property, Site, University of Otago

Botanic Garden: Visitor-vandals caught by DCC webcam

“Dunedin City Council parks manager Mick Reece said the botanic garden team had been intending to install security video for some time, but the weekend’s vandalism had made it an imperative.” –ODT

oooooohhh . . .

Botanic Garden DCC webcam Saturday 11.1.14Ouroboros with nighttime visitors via DCC webcam. Photo supplied.
[click to enlarge]

The group were there for about 15 minutes on Saturday 11 January.

DCC website: Dunedin Botanic Garden cam
Views of the botanic garden from the top of Croque-o-Dile café.

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Jan 2014
Vandalism spurs CCTV move
By Debbie Porteous
Closed-curcuit television is to be installed at the Dunedin Botanic Garden after vandals damaged the city’s latest piece of public art. Someone entered the garden at the weekend and put a dint in the steel worm sculpture, also known as Ouroboros. The sculpture was installed in mid-December.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
30.12.13 Botanic Garden: Ouroboros (more images)
15.7.13 Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass
3.1.12 Art in public places #Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

15 Comments

Filed under DCC, Events, Fun, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site

Botanic Garden: Ouroboros

Worm re-imaged EKlr IMG_4117

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Dec 2013
The worm has turned up
By Debbie Porteous
A giant glowing worm has appeared above ground at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. It is not a supernatural phenomenon, but the city’s latest piece of public art. The flexible worm, which can bend because it is constructed from thousands of pieces of interlocked and articulating marine-grade stainless steel, was installed over the past two days.
Read more

Worm 3b IMG_4401

Worm 2small IMG_4369

Worm 1a IMG_4386

Comment at ODT Online:

Worm and landscaping spend
Submitted by ej kerr on Mon, 23/12/2013 – 3:20pm.
Interesting as always to read your columnist Peter Entwisle’s opinions of the stainless Ouroboros at the Botanic Garden (Art Beat, 23.12.13), and the shoddy process adopted by the city council. This alien is planted in an exceptionally poor section of ‘landscaping’ – a meaningless affront of professionally laid and poorly envisioned hard paving, with a ‘playground’ landing pad. The effect of this cynical deadening forecourt on the tea kiosk with its umbrella-style roof is harsh and fully remiss, architecturally – a boffin job of worst kind. Even the ducks are electing to rest for the evening on nearby lawn – having left their excrement across the pavers. Not sure this metalwork is composting!

On Sunday afternoon I was photographing the wormy presence, it’s bluntly phallic at the supported ‘head’ end… when a local resident asked me what I think of the whole thing. Not a good thing to say. He wasn’t terribly impressed either – he said the project in total was worth about $150,000. For such a cruel mess.

Poor Wendy and … Attendants, they need rescue! The fairy tale plot is lost, crashed, abused.

Related Post and Comments:
15.7.13 Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass
20.5.13 Comment [ODT item and DCC report]

Worm Kiosk EKlr IMG_4179

Worm EKlr IMG_4164

Post and images by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design, What stadium

Art in public places: The Fourth Plinth

Rooster-AAP 1‘Hahn/Cock’ surveys London’s Trafalgar Square [AAP]

### 3news.co.nz Fri, 26 Jul 2013 2:53p.m.
Giant blue rooster ruffles London feathers
By Jill Lawless
This might ruffle a few feathers. A giant blue rooster has been unveiled next to the sombre military monuments in London’s Trafalgar Square. German artist Katharina Fritsch’s 4.7 metre ultramarine bird, titled ‘Hahn/Cock’, is intended as a playful counterpoint to the statues of martial heroes in the square. Both ultramarine blue and the rooster are symbols of France, whose defeat by Britain at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 gave the square its name.
“It’s a nice humorous side-effect to have something French in a place that celebrates victory over Napoleon,” Fritsch told The Guardian newspaper. Fritsch also said she hoped the double meaning in the work’s name would appeal to the British sense of humour. “I know they like to play games with language,” she said.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said it would be a “talking point for Londoners and tourists alike.” It is the latest in a series of artworks to adorn the square’s vacant “Fourth Plinth”.
One of London’s main tourist attractions, the square was named for Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish fleets. A statue of the one-armed admiral stands atop Nelson’s Column at the centre of the square, and statues of other 19th-century military leaders are nearby.
The fourth plinth was erected in 1841 for an equestrian statue that was never completed. It remained empty for a century and a half, and since 1999 has been occupied by artworks erected for 18 months at a time. Previous works have included a giant ship in a bottle and 2,400 members of the public who stood atop the plinth for an hour at a time. AP
3News Link

Related Post and Comments:
15.7.13 Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass
3.1.12 Art in public places #Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Pics, Project management, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass

Updated post Monday, 2 Feb 2015 at 4:07 p.m.

Worm (Julia Morison)

### ODT Online Mon, 15 Jul 2013
Editorial: How the worm turns
It seems there is nothing quite like the issue of public art to stimulate debate. Whether it be form, function, meaning, materials, longevity, cost, location, the work’s title, or the artist’s “qualifications”, the works inevitably prompt a great outpouring of comments from the public. When it comes to publicly-funded art in the outdoor public arena, it is understandable some ratepayers want to have their say. After all, they have to see it and they have to pay for it. One of the most-debated issues is often the cost, with many projects being deemed expensive.
In a city rich with educational institutions, heritage, and a strong artistic legacy, such projects have been deemed worthy of funding by the council for many years, and frequently indicated as important by the public in the likes of residents opinion surveys. There is no doubt striking the right balance is no easy task, particularly given art, by its very nature, is subjective, and cannot necessarily “please” everyone.
Given that the response to art works is the huge unknown – it is all the more important the areas that can be calculated are done so – and done so clearly: the artist, the artist’s brief, the art work’s purpose, visual expectations including height and size, suitability for its location, and of course, cost. And, sadly, it is in these fundamental areas in which the latest controversial public art proposal appears to have fallen down.
Read more

Worm (Julia Morison) 2

Related ODT stories:
8.7.13 [Opinion] Art Beat: More than just a muddle
3.7.13 Council rejects artwork criticism
2.7.13 Sculptors question selection process
1.7.13 Botanic Garden to get huge worm
30.6.13 Botanic Garden marks 150th
30.6.13 [Magazine] Putting down some roots

Related Posts and Comments:
15.1.14 Botanic Garden: Visitor-vandals caught by DCC webcam
30.12.13 Botanic Garden: Ouroboros
3.1.12 Art in public places #Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images via ODT [screenshots]

11 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

‘Yellow Balloon’ —Blue Oyster invitation to (TOWER) Submitters et al

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp) 15-4-13 IMG_3188alrTo Everyone who enjoyed the sight of artist Shane McGrath’s Gelber LuftBallon flying HIGH over Customhouse Quay on Monday 15 April

AND

To ALL Submitters on the (LUC-2012-212) Betterways Advisory Ltd application to construct a 28-storey hotel and apartment building at 41 Wharf Street

_____

You are warmly invited to the forthcoming exhibition hosted at Blue Oyster Art Project Space | Basement, 24b Moray Place, Dunedin

[public domain] Submitters may find their submissions pinned to the wall.

BO_GELBER_B4_WEB

Gelber LuftBallon (Dunedin Research Project) is a series of new work created by Melbourne-based artist Shane McGrath.
McGrath’s practice has used rockets, planes and zeppelins as metaphors for escapism, exploration, memory and tragedy. For this series McGrath has been investigating the public debates around Dunedin’s proposed wharf hotel development. McGrath sees the issue as one that concerns the city as a whole, which has the potential to impact dramatically on the city’s future.

During the public submissions process there were calls for an on-site, tethered balloon to be used as an indication as to how tall the hotel would be. Using this suggestion as an entry point for his investigation, McGrath launched a balloon near the proposed site on Monday 15 April. In this context the balloon is not only a practical object for measuring height, but also references times of conflict (barrage balloons) which were designed to allay fears of attack and also to indicate that the city was under attack.

Gelber LuftBallon is not a didactic work or a protest, but simply a catalyst to encourage debate and add to the ongoing dialogue. The results and ephemera of the research project and balloon launch will form the core of the exhibition at the Blue Oyster which opens on Tuesday 23 April.

Watch the video at http://blueoyster.org.nz/upcoming/shane-mcgrath/

****

Shane McGrath has a BFA and an MFA from Massey University. In 2011 he was commissioned by City Gallery Wellington to create a permanent sculpture in Wellington’s Glover Park as a part of the The Obstinate Object exhibition. He is represented by Bartley and Company, Wellington.

Blue Oyster Art Project Space
The Blue Oyster Arts Trust (BOAT) was founded in Dunedin in 1999 as the governing body of the Blue Oyster Art Project Space that provides a high quality, dynamic program of experimental and innovative contemporary art practice. BOAT is a non-profit and non-commercial organisation that is made up of practicing artists, curators and other creative professionals. The art project space allows a diverse range of artists to work experimentally, free from commercial restraints and irrespective of the stage of their career. Blue Oyster aims to broaden the interest and understanding of contemporary arts by providing a forum for discussion and debate regarding contemporary art issues.

The Blue Oyster is supported by Creative New Zealand | Toi Aotearoa and Dunedin City Council | Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Innovation, Inspiration, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

Shane McGrath —Gelber LuftBallon (Dunedin Research Project)

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 IMG_2892bArtist sculptor Shane McGrath successfully built and flew, with the help of friends, a helium-filled yellow blimp today at Customhouse Quay in Dunedin.
Relatively still air conditions twice allowed the ‘friendly’ LuftBallon to gain maximum height – simulating, indirectly, the proposed height (96.3 metres) of the hotel and apartment tower planned for the vacant site across the road at 41 Wharf Street.
McGrath had earlier made sure the planned flight received CAA clearance.
The blimp contained smaller balloons filled with the gas to guard against a sudden downing. A small team of men, including McGrath, coordinated the length and position of the guide-lines, keeping the blimp off surrounding buildings and roads, and out of harbour waters.
The bright photogenic structure – alternately Lemon, Zeppelin, Chrysalis – hovered impressively overhead for half a day, long enough for professional photographers and camera people to take stills and recordings from the site and prominent vantage points around the city.

Shane McGrath (about to launch) 15-4-13 IMG_2894alr

Media 15-4-13 IMG_3108a

Shane McGrath (Monarch albatross) 15-4-13 IMG_3059alr

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 IMG_3199a1lr

Shane McGrath (Linesmen) 15-4-13 IMG_3283a

Shane McGrath 15-4-13 (quay lamps) IMG_3092alr

Shane McGrath (max height over Customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3246alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp) 15-4-13 IMG_3188alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp fins) 15-4-13 IMG_3308alr

Shane McGrath (yellow chrysalis) 15-4-13 IMG_3305

Shane McGrath (blimp in eddy) 15-4-13 IMG_3322alr

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp rear) 15-4-13 IMG_3316alr

Shane McGrath (blimp side on) 15-4-13 IMG_2924alr

Shane McGrath (rising blimp customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3313alr

Shane McGrath (maxheight customhouse) 15-4-13 IMG_3183alr

Shane McGrath (blimp rising) 15-4-13  IMG_2908alr

Shane McGrath (blimp retrieved) 15-4-13 IMG_3361alrImages: Elizabeth Kerr

Gerard O’Brien’s outstanding photographs place the Gelber LuftBallon in the city context – see tomorrow’s Otago Daily Times.

█ Enter *hotel* in the search box at right to learn more about the proposed hotel and apartment building for 41 Wharf Street.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

27 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Hot air, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design