Red kayak in Auckland Artweek installation vanishes in the night
A kayak filled with 200kg of shells for a public art installation has vanished from Auckland's CBD.
Auckland artist Brydee Rood's 'We come from the sea, we seek higher ground' sculpture on Auckland's Durham Lane was discovered missing on Monday morning.
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The project featured a red 4.5m kayak, filled with 200kg of crushed oyster shells, and the letters 'ET' painted on its hull.
It was positioned in the centre of the lane, about 10 meters off Queen St.
It was one of three artworks commissioned for 'Changing Lanes', a project that had various artists install art in alleyways across Auckland's CBD for Artweek.
Rood received a phone call about the kayak's disappearance after a passersby noticed the lane was covered in shells.
"I felt disheartened, not personally for the material value of the kayak but for the conceptual value and what I had put into it," Rood said.
"I've lost the opportunity to develop and realise the work, I feel robbed of my outcomes. My heart was excited about sharing this, and now it's gone,"
The artist suspected more than one culprit was involved as the kayak couldn't be lifted by just one person.
The work had taken three months to complete and had only been on display for three days before disappearing, she said.
The kayak sculpture was part of a larger installation hanging above the lane, which includes a 70 metre long composition hewn from survival blankets. The upper installation was untouched.
Hoping to salvage the piece, Rood rearranged the shells in a line along the side of the lane.
But council workers said the shells must be removed, she said.
A report had been filed with the police however, there was little hope the work would be found, she said.
"I don't know how much time someone is going to spend trying to track down an artist's sculpture."
A previous years' 'Changing Lanes' artwork on Vulcan Lane, made of shelters, was removed after police caught a homeless person sleeping inside.
Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck said a city watch service was provided to ensure security to the works.
However, the 200kg of shells in the kayak was believed to be a significant deterrent to thieves, Beck said.
"If there is intent, people will find a way of doing things that aren't always appropriate," she said.