New Sculpture Unveiled - naming competition

18 December 2013

18 December - Sumner sculpture unveiled by Council

A giant Kowhai seed pod sculpture celebrating new beginnings has formally unveiled on the Sumner waterfront.


Christchurch sculptor  Chris Reddington combines polished concrete and colourful tiles to create the  14.5 metre long sculpture bench, which has been installed on the Esplanade near the intersection with Marriner  Street (and the public toilets).

Christchurch City Council commissioned the sculpture, which is designed  to be sat and played on, through its Transitional City programme.

Council senior landscape planner Hannah Lewthwaite designed the  transitional mosaic sculpture saying the abstracted form of the seed pod with  its curvilinear shape symbolised change, regrowth and a pathway of  discovery. “In the post earthquake environment this curving pathway  and progression of opening and closure takes on a deeper meaning, with the  bright colouring representing a playful and celebratory tone looking ahead to  the future. Kowhai has a historical association with the Sumner coastline so it was fitting that the sculpture’s design incorporated its local  significance.”

Chris started work on the sculpture in June, with fellow artist Tom  Phillpotts joining him in August. Chris says the partnership approach was  "refreshing" as they were able to bounce ideas off each other.  “Tom and I have also worked on musical projects together in the past so  we discussed placement of the sculpture’s mosaic tiles in very musical terms - rhythm, colour, tone, composition and so forth. Eventually the sculpture began  to incorporate aspects of the Esplanade environment with its blue tones and  rhythms of waves, hopefully capturing the seaside feeling."

Careful thought was given by the pair to the positioning and colour of  the thousands of tiles which were individually hand placed.

“We've worked hard to make a bright, colourful and playful sculpture  which we hope will intrigue and interest people when they are walking along the  Esplanade,” says Chris.

To show our support for the artwork, the Sumner Community  Residents’ Association is running a sculpture naming competition. The winning entry will be selected in the new  year.  Please email your name suggestions to '' .

Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board Chairperson Sara Templeton is pleased with the positive reaction from members of the community towards the new addition. “This sculpture will provide local children with a new object to explore  especially since Sumner’s popular land mark, Cave Rock, remains closed to the  public. It is an eye-catching, beautiful artwork which will contribute to  Sumner’s evolving post quake community.”


The Kowhai sculpture is the second recent Council funded project for the  Sumner community following last month’s unveiling of a new container canvas  artwork by renowned artist Shane Cotton.

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