Spoons speak up for hungry kids

16:00, Mar 06 2014
Spoon Sculpture
POIGNANT MESSAGE: Donna Turtle Sarten amongst the thousands of spoons on Te Atatu Rd.

A vehicle driving over an art installation isn't going to stop Donna Turtle Sarten sharing an important message.

Her message is told using spoons - 83,000 of them.

Ms Sarten has transformed a grass verge on Te Atatu Rd into a sea of white spoons, with each one representing a New Zealand child who goes to school without lunch each day.

Spoon Sculpture
DESTRUCTIVE TRAIL: The damage sustained by a vehicle driving over the spoons is evident.

The sculpture was vandalised on Sunday night when a vehicle was driven over many of the spoons.

But Ms Sarten is still on track to have the installation completed and open tomorrow as part of the Harbourview Sculpture Trail.

The artist hopes seeing the number of spoons will send a stronger message than just reading numbers in a newspaper.


"For me when you read 83,000, you turn the page but when you see it visually it changes things," the Swanson resident says.

"It will generate conversation around this. Hopefully we can change something.

"If the kids are fed they have a better chance of learning. We hope that we are going to generate discussion that can generate change and get food in schools."

A team of 90 volunteers responded to the artist's initial call for help on Facebook and each has been working varying shifts to install the spoons.

Several more hours of work were needed to replace the damaged ones.

The artist's family and friends have shown support to the cause too.

"I feel sorry for the volunteers because they work hard," Ms Sarten says.

"It's not just my project, it's theirs too.

People have shown their community spirit by helping out as they pass the mass of spoons.

Te Atatu resident Missy Fleming and her three children, Aza, 7, Sierra, 6, and Parker, 4, also spent some time at the site.

"The kids heard about it first and we drove past," she says.

"When we saw the vandalism we thought we would come down and help clean up the damage."

People from as far afield as Warkworth and Maraetai are also getting behind the project.

After the sculpture trail Ms Sarten hopes to receive sponsorship that will allow her to take the installation to other sites around the country.

"It's going to stay as one piece. We are not throwing it in the landfill," she says.

The Harbourview Sculpture Trail is on from tomorrow to March 30 from 10am till 6pm daily at Harbourview People's Park, Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu.

Go to harbourviewsculpture. com for more information.

Western Leader