Sculpture to give lift to Broadway's mood

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 08/04/2014
Sculpture
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: John Kitto and Malcolm Rigby from John Kitto Construction dig a hole for part of the foundations.

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Palmerston North's eighth public sculpture is due to be erected in The Square this week.

Created by Pahiatua-born, Auckland-based artist Louise Purvis, it will be installed on the grass between the i-Site and the Broadway Ave corner on Thursday.

The sculptures are the result of a 50-50 deal between the Public Sculpture Trust and the city council, which contribute $50,000 each every year to build the city's collection.

Trust chairman Simon Barnett said the nationally recognised Purvis had been chosen to work on the project after several sculptors were invited to register their ideas.

The trust then worked with her, after deciding on the site, to develop a concept that would suit the location.

Purvis has spent most of the last six months, welder in hand, working fulltime on the project.

Details of the design are being kept quiet for as long as possible, but this sculpture is so large there is no way it will remain a secret until its official unveiling on Sunday.

It will be trucked down from Auckland in five pieces, and Purvis will be working to piece it together later in the week.

It is her first public work in Palmerston North, which she remembers as "the big smoke" city of her childhood and teenage years.

Barnett said the location of the 9.5-metre tall work had been selected to help lift the mood of Broadway.

It would be visible from other sculptures in the central city, which would help people start to see the cumulative benefits of a growing collection of public art.

The seven already in place are Numbers at Coleman Mall, Returning Column on the Main St roundabout, Cityscape at the library, United Divided near the Convention Centre, Who's Afraid outside the Regent, Body Language under the civic administration building, and The Giants Amongst Us on Cuba St.

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