Sculpture ready for display

Woodville's tree sculpture, which has taken about 18 months to come to fruition, is expected to be installed this week.

Work on the foundation for the four-metre-high sculpture started last week with 500 tonnes of concrete poured.

The project should be completed by Wednesday, the Woodville Upgrade Residents' Group chairman Peter Bonser said.

The group launched the project as "the icing on the cake" of the town's upgrade two years ago.

It was a creative quest for a statue that would define the history and energy of the community.

Artists were asked to draw an A3-sized sketch of their design. Finalists were given $2000 to build a quarter-scale model.

Bodhi Vincent's tree, made of steel and 700 pieces of recycled glass cut in the shape of leaves, won the public vote and he was awarded $25,000 for the project.

Three, two-person seats are incorporated into the tree's trunk. It has a 4.5m diameter canopy.

"When you sit on it, it gives you a great feeling," Bonser said.

"I think it's a focal point for the upgrade for the town centre.

"It's a great place where people will hopefully sit and meet."

Initially planned to be installed in Vogel St last November, the date had to be pushed back as the project took a little longer than expected, Vincent said.

He drew his inspiration for the sculpture from Woodville's forestry background.

The hefty sculpture has to be moved by a truck as the trunk and canopy weigh about 350 kilograms each. Connecting the top to the base would likely require the use of either a crane or a pulley system.

Vincent said he was happy to have finished with the sculpture and ready to see the public use it.

He is known for his paintings and stone sculptures.

Manawatu Standard