These wolves are teed off

Sir Michael combines art with golf

JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 15:07 18/10/2012
Sculpture
Liu Ruowang’s Wolves are Coming. Sir Michael Hill with the wolves.
Sculpture
Liu Ruowang’s Wolves are Coming. Sir Michael Hill with the wolves.

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A pack of cast iron wolves and a Chinese warrior figure now adorn The Hills golf course in Arrowtown.

Sir Michael Hill officially unveils the stunning piece by Chinese artist Liu Ruowang tonight and envisages golf and art combined in the expanding sculpture park.

The sculptures, entitled Wolves are Coming, of 110 larger-than-life wolves arranged around a three-tonne warrior were snapped up after Sir Michael paid a visit to Beijing.

It is one of many impressive pieces adorning the sculpture park, which will be officially unveiled tonight.

"I went to Beijing in an old industrial area that was derelict, all the artists have taken up residence there. There has been a complete revival in Chinese art, it’s made significant inroads into the international scene."

The pack comprises 10 different models, each moulded in clay before being cast in iron, a painstaking labour of love that took three years to build.

Each wolf weighs between 200kg and 300kg and the sculptures were packed into individual wooden crates for the journey from China to Arrowtown.

A site was chosen at The Hills but when the artist arrived on Sunday he wanted the pack moved to a site on a knoll beside the 14th tee, with The Remarkables as a backdrop.

Speaking via an interpreter, Mr Liu said the arrangement was designed to suggest the pack was descending from the mountains and more wolves were in the forest.

Sir Michael said he wanted to combine art with golf, something that has never been done with any significance.

"I might have stumbled on something here ... I need to marry it in with the golf course," he said.

"I think we can create the wow factor. Nobody has ever done this before on a golf course.

"I always believe if you can beat a different drum and pull off something different like this it becomes far more significant than following the herd."

Sir Michael said he hoped the sculpture park would boost tourism to Central Otago.

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- The Southland Times

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