Mixed reviews for city's new sculpture

The latest addition to Nelson's artscape, the sculpture Dance to the Music of Time on the seaward side of Kinzett Tce has sparked a predicted public response, as art should. The Nelson Mail asked local artists and sculptors for their views.

Moutere sculptor Mike MacMillan: "It's great to have a new sculpture in the city but I didn't like the process by which it was chosen, and it needs to be looked at.

"I'd have more chance of getting on American Idol than getting my work selected. Idol sometimes features the most boring-looking people who turn out to have the most amazing voices, but the opportunity wasn't there to even get that far.

"I think what's there is a nice piece, but art needs to sit well in its environment. This sculpture looks more of a traditional work and would be more suited to the cathedral area."

Sculptor and World of WearableArt creator Dame Suzie Moncrieff: "We are fortunate to have an artist of the calibre of Terry Stringer's work in Nelson. I've always been an admirer of his sculpture and this is another outstanding example of his work.

"Art and creativity are important markers of a healthy and happy community. Imagine if we didn't have any, what a dull place Nelson would be.

"Art should be an inherent part of our everyday lives, inspiring us and causing us to interact with it and others around who share with the experience."

Upper Moutere artist and owner of the Icon Centre for Contemporary Art, Neville Parker: "My first reaction when I saw the marquette and plan was that I struggled to see the link between that and the cultural significance of this region. As a gateway piece this says, ‘this is who we are and what we believe in'.

"It's a strange choice but it looks as if it could well become iconic. It's a big piece. The more artworks we have in the region the better, and pieces like this over time add value, but I did feel when the council did the submission process they were more interested in purchasing a name rather than the work.

"They called for resumes and as such, left themselves exposed.

"Once the artist was selected they were trapped into accepting what was presented.

"Public art will always be controversial, but in time it grows to be part of the community, and as such we have to give ourselves a chance to have new and different things around us."

Janet Bathgate, Nelson artist: "I went there on Thursday night and spent a long time looking there.

"For me, I don't think it's Terry Stringer's best work. He's not at the height of his game with this particular work, and it doesn't contain the level of modelling or edginess that's contained in many of his other works.

"I looked down Trafalgar St and looked at it from a distance and it's great that it can be seen.

"It's one of the largest sculptures the council has commissioned, and the landscaping around it with the steps to the sea is great, but I'd say the sculpture at Miyazu is a far more successful piece."

WHAT THE PUBLIC THINK Mike Duane said: "A much better waste of money than the two previous sculptures."

Sue Smith of Nelson said: "We don't think much of it - the seagulls are already liking it, one was sitting on top of it this morning. Looking from the cathedral it looks like a pencil, closer up it looks like a spoon. Another waste of money."

Faith Price of Nelson said: "It is just right and it is great to be able to view the sculpture as we drive down Trafalgar St. Perhaps in time some seats can be added to the area to create a very nice picnic spot."

An informal Nelson Mail online poll shows 31.9 per cent of voters thought the sculpture was beautiful, 30.3 per cent considered it ugly and 37.9 per cent were not bothered either way.

A total of 317 people had voted as at 8am today. Readers can tell us what they think and vote at nelsonmail.co.nz.

The Nelson Mail