Artwork celebrates 'a community'

SEAMUS BOYER
Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012
rhondda greig

HUGE CHALLENGE: Artist Rhondda Greig with her work Tohutohu or Signposts, unveiled in Carterton on Friday.

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Throughout the years Rhondda Greig often suffered for her art, but it was her knees that carried the burden when making her latest piece.

The renowned Wairarapa artist spent a year crawling on top of large perspex sheets to produce the enormous work Tohutohu, or Signposts.

The piece, unveiled on Friday, will loom high across one side of the foyer at the Carterton Events Centre.

"For something that had to be hung up high, there was a lot of crawling on hands and knees at earth level," she said. "Sometimes I literally did think I had crawled from the top of Mt Holdsworth out to the coast."

Produced using solvent-based paint on large perspex sheets, the work uses coloured calligraphy to trace the names of 21 communities in the Carterton district, along with the names of the five main rivers.

Because the imported French paint was highly toxic, she had to don a gasmask and protective gear before working in her Matarawa studio.

"Some days I thought I was going into battle," she said. "It was a huge challenge on many levels. We originally thought it would take three months to do, it actually took a year."

The piece is the latest addition to the $7 million events centre, which opened last year.

Carterton Mayor Ron Mark said the artistry and imagination behind the work was "extraordinary".

The piece was a celebration of the Carterton community, blending a large number of different elements from across the district, he said.

The work was commissioned by Carterton law firm WCM Legal, and erected with the aid of engineers Opus.

Contact Seamus Boyer
Wairarapa reporter
Email: seamus.boyer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @SeamusBoyer

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- The Dominion Post

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