As the foundations for New Plymouth's controversial Len Lye Centre are laid, the district council has released a video to generate interest in Len Lye the man.
The three-minute video features local weatherman Jim Hickey, expressive art teacher Rae Priest and somewhat unexpectedly, Shihad front man Jon Toogood.
Being blind, Len Lye Committee chairman Lance Girling-Butcher has not seen the video but said its purpose was to raise awareness of the artist's achievements and character and help with fundraising initiatives. "A lot of people make a lot of comments about the centre but they don't know a lot about the man. So I am thrilled we can get something out there about him."
In the video, Mr Hickey said the centre was a "hugely powerful and potent acquisition" for Taranaki and Mr Toogood said "anyone from any age could see something in Len Lye".
The video also features the voice of Len Lye and footage of him erecting early prototype wind wands in New York.
Though construction of the centre is already under way, fundraising efforts to secure the $11.5 million bill continues.
Yesterday chairman of the fundraising Len Lye Centre Trust Kinsley Sampson said they remained confident they could reach their targets.
To date $10m had been committed, including 16 private donations of $10,000. The trust must raise at least another $750,000 for the 61-seat cinema that could not be constructed with the original $10m budget.
The council agreed to underwrite a further $750,000 to pay for the fit-out of the centre. If there is no surplus from the tender contingency money council has committed to raising the cash through the sale of art works donated by the Govett Brewster Art Gallery and external fundraising. Borrowing is listed as a last resort.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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