Wind wands to point way to new art centre

POINTING THE WAY: An artists’s impression of the six miniature Len Lye wind wands which could be installed at East End ...

POINTING THE WAY: An artists’s impression of the six miniature Len Lye wind wands which could be installed at East End Reserve.

Miniature wind wands are set to light the way to New Plymouth's Len Lye Centre.

The Arts in Public Places Trust, which is partly funded by the New Plymouth District Council, wants to erect six of Len Lye's small wands at the East End Reserve.

Trust chairman Terry Parkes says the long-term plan is to have Len Lye sculptures dotted around New Plymouth, so the "Len Lye experience" starts the moment someone drives into town or gets off a plane.

"It's in the trust's constitution that we must have a Len Lye work every two years," he said.

"We are hoping to have Len Lye sculptures throughout the city.

"This is our first one and we are really excited about that."

The trust, which receives $50,000 a year from the council, has offered the miniature wands to the district and said it would pay for them to be installed at East End Reserve, adjacent to the Coastal Walkway.

Five wands are 10.3 metres in height, with the centre one 12.3m high. By comparison, the walkway wand is 45m high.

The smaller wands would be clustered in a circle and lit up at night with LED lighting.

The trust has said the wind wands would become a destination for users of the walkway and would "point the way" to where other Len Lye works will be housed and exhibited.

"The plan is to have them set up and ready to go in May or June, before the opening of the Len Lye Centre in July or August," Parkes said.

However, before the kinetic sculptures can be lit up the trust has to get approval from the council.

Parkes, who was unwilling to reveal the price of the wands, said the trust was given $50,000 a year from the council and did substantial fundraising "above and beyond" that to be able to purchase art works.

The wands proposal is set to be before councillors on November 25, but has already been given the seal of approval by the council's youth working party this week.

Party member Michael Riley said the decision to back the art work was unanimous.

"The council cannot miss this brilliant opportunity," he said.

 - Taranaki Daily News

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