Artist goes to pieces for new Te Papa work

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014
Glen Hayward and sculpture
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ

GIANT SHARDS: Artist Glen Hayward with one of the four huge pieces representing broken crockery that will sit outside Te Papa for two years. Wellington Sculpture Trust has commissioned a $30,000 sculpture by artist Glen Hayward.

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A sculptor has finally seen his four large sculptures, complete, upright and in situ for the first time, outside Te Papa.

Glen Hayward's macrocarpa sculptures, entitled Rita Angus Used to Grow Her Own Vegetables, represent pieces of broken crockery found in artist Angus' garden in Thorndon.

The works were commissioned by the Wellington Sculpture Trust for $30,000 and will sit on the four plinths between Te Papa and Circa Theatre for two years.

They were installed on Monday and Hayward, who had seen them only in parts in his Hokianga studio, was rapt.

"I was always 1-2 metres away from them, but then to get some space on them they get small again."

And small was exactly how they started out.

Hayward spent three months in 2012 doing a residency at the Rita Angus cottage.

Volunteer gardeners would find broken crockery in the garden and kept each bit in two large jars.

Whether or not any of the crockery belonged to Angus was impossible to say, but Hayward went through the jars to pick out pieces - thought to be from two plates, a saucer, and a mug - that could have come from her era.

"They are such beautiful bits of New Zealand history," he said.

The shards of broken crockery were magnified to 50 times their original size.

Wellington Sculpture Trust project manager Neil Plimmer said security cameras and regular patrols would ensure the artwork was not vandalised, although the sculptures were also very solid.

The risk to sculptures was not as great as it had been to Peter Trevelyan's kinetic, 3.2m mirror balls, which were installed at ground level in 2011, and parts were broken when people poked them too hard.

"I don't think it's going to be a big issue, we hope not - 99 per cent of Wellingtonians respect the public artworks very much, but there is surveillance."

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- The Dominion Post

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