Artist says Richie McCaw concept statue not 'an exact likeness'

A concept statue of Richie McCaw by Oamaru sculptor Don Paterson. McCaw recently gave the green light to have a statue ...
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A concept statue of Richie McCaw by Oamaru sculptor Don Paterson. McCaw recently gave the green light to have a statue erected in his hometown of Kurow.

The artist commissioned to create a life-sized sculpture of Richie McCaw says a small concept model was created quickly and does not reflect the intended quality of the final product. 

Oamaru artist Don Paterson said he had created the marquette within a couple of days to give the Kurow Museum Committee an idea of which posture they might prefer for the finished product.

"The idea was about the posture, rather than an exact likeness.

"I've got about 25 civic statues around the country, so I'm no newbie," Paterson said.

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Paterson's sculptures include one of French painter Charles Meryon in Akaroa and another of Captain Henry Cain in Timaru.

The real McCaw.
DAVID WHITE/FAIRFAX NZ

The real McCaw.

Kurow Museum Committee chairman John Sturgeon confirmed rugby legend McCaw had agreed to have a statue erected in his hometown on Monday.

"Our committee wishes to acknowledge Richie McCaw's outstanding rugby career with a permanent statue of our local Kurow lad," Sturgeon said.

Sturgeon said donations had already started flowing in from the local community and he hoped the whole country would get in behind the statue.

Sculptor Don Paterson with one of his earlier sculptures depicting a father and son reading on a park bench.
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ

Sculptor Don Paterson with one of his earlier sculptures depicting a father and son reading on a park bench.

"The committee will also seek funding from various sources and invite members of the public, groups and companies to financially participate in this project.

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"We hope there will be interest shown by New Zealand Rugby and indeed all rugby clubs will be encouraged to donate to this worthy project," he said.

Paterson said he got a call on Monday morning from a friend telling him he would be the one to immortalise McCaw.

"For me to get a commission like this, is just out of the world," Paterson said.

Paterson said he had been talking with members of the Kurow Museum Committee for the past two months, and had created a small model concept of the statue. The phone call this morning confirmed he would be the one to tackle the project.

"I've started on a marquette (small model) for them," he said.

"It's as close as I can get it without taking my own photos of Richie. It's hard to create a three-dimensional person with a two-dimensional picture."

Paterson had sculpted statues of antique copper and calcite polymer, and McCaw's statue would likely follow suit.

"At this stage [the Museum Committee] is just feeling the market, because if they can get a person that wants to put money up for a bronze then they will go for a bronze. Otherwise it will be my normal format," Paterson said.

Kurow Museum Committee treasurer Jocelyn McIlraith said the committee chose Paterson because of his "impressive" works around Oamaru and Waimate.

The life-sized statue would be a positive asset to compliment the rugby legend's hometown.

"The impact will be huge. People will be coming to see it from all around," she said.

Plans to erect the statuewould bemade within 12 months, giving the committee enough time to raise funds from the community.

"We need to raise $50,000 by the time it is in place," she said.

For a bronze statue they would need to raise $100,000. This option would be considered if interest and donations were adequate, she said.

 An earlier Kurow tribute to the great man: A replica of the Rugby World Cup trophy next a cardboard cut-out of Richie McCaw. 

Paterson said he had been commissioned to make small sculptures in previous years for the likes of New Zealand Rugby Union and the Canterbury Rugby Football Union.

"It's just been a big part of my life, playing sport myself," he said.

We realise this is a concept model, but we're not getting a strong sense of Richie from it. Does it look like Richie? If not, then who? Have your say in the comments below.

 - Stuff

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