New Sculpture Unveiled - naming competition
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 'firstname.lastname@example.org' .
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.