Ghostly artwork to drift on land

City's newest sculpture revealed

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 11/04/2014
tower
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
GHOST TOWER: Palmerston North's newest public artwork is a stainless steel frame which will play with the light.
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Palmerston North's newest public sculpture, Ghost Tower, has arrived in The Square near the i-Site.

Auckland-based artist Louise Purvis moved on to the site yesterday to assemble the stainless steel skeleton that has taken six months to create.

It has solid foundations, and soars 9.5 metres tall, but the vision was that it would not weigh heavily on the landscape.

It stands on shiny poles, with a mesh work of a building and a tower on top.

The work was partly inspired by the Whareti tower that stands as a landmark on the Tararua Range.

It also borrows aspects from the clock tower and other examples of Palmerston North's architecture.

But mostly it will appear to move in and out of focus, reflecting the trees through the seasons, and the buildings around it.

The sculpture is a filigree of stainless steel, with a lot of open space allowing a view right through it from most angles.

"Like a ghost, it will seem to appear and disappear.

"It will be interesting to look at, and not all of it will be explained.

"It will reflect the trees, and when they lose their leaves, it will be a very skeletal-looking work."

Purvis said it had been a long, hot summer in Auckland while she created the sculpture. She had been wrapped in protective gear and clothing, working with a welder to join the elements together.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing it in place." Purvis said she was delighted to have a piece of her work in public view in Palmerston North. Her family had a Pahiatua sheep farm, and she was educated at Tararua College.

"Palmerston North was our Big Smoke."

Other examples of Purvis' public work include a series of relief panels for New Lynn's rail trench, and Seismic, a collection of random discs strewn along Wellington's Bunny St.

The official launch of Ghost Tower will be at 2pm on Sunday.

The $100,000 project is paid for by the Public Sculpture Trust and the city council.

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- Manawatu Standard

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