Going global: new sculptures of Earth announced for plinths between Te Papa and Circa

The Wellington Sculpture Trust selected Auckland-based artist Ruth Watson's "4 Globes: Telluric Insurgencies Redux" for ...
RUTH WATSON

The Wellington Sculpture Trust selected Auckland-based artist Ruth Watson's "4 Globes: Telluric Insurgencies Redux" for the latest iteration of the 4 Plinths Sculpture Project between Te Papa and Circa Theatre.

A new art installation combining science, art and imagination has been announced for Wellington's waterfront.

The Wellington Sculpture Trust has selected a new work, 4 Globes: Telluric Insurgencies Redux, by Auckland artist Ruth Watson, for the sixth iteration of the trust's 4 Plinths Sculpture Project outside Te Papa.

Trust administrator Jhana Millers said this year an open call for entries attracted 30 artists, which were whittled down to four finalists before Watson's globe concept emerged victorious.

The work of Ruth Watson will soon grace the Wellington Waterfront thanks to a $40,000 commission from the Wellington ...
FIONA GOODALL/STUFF

The work of Ruth Watson will soon grace the Wellington Waterfront thanks to a $40,000 commission from the Wellington Sculpture Trust.

Each of her four dramatic interpretations of Earth will be made of polystyrene with steel interiors, at a cost of $40,000.  

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"My aim is to show us the world anew, encouraging new ways of thinking about an image we take for granted," Watson said.

Each of the globes shows a different representation of the world.
RUTH WATSON

Each of the globes shows a different representation of the world.

The money for the sculptures, which comes from various donors, Wellington City Council grants and fundraising events, has doubled from the initial $20,000 available when the award began a decade ago.

"We've been able to up the ante so it really attracts top-class submissions," trustee Neil Plimmer said.

"I think this one will have a strong public impact because each of the globes will arouse people's curiosity as to what they're saying about Mother Earth."

Entrants are given no design brief, other than that there had to be four pieces, leaving it all entirely up to the artist.

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Watson's winning entry uses a wide variety of materials to stretch and represent maps and globes to challenge the way the world is normally represented and to transform their meanings.

One globe represents movement in the wake of earthquakes, based on satellite imagery, while another shows the world without water, based on a Dutch map dated about 1690.

"It's good to have a sculpture up that will intrigue and entice people to stop and read about it," Plimmer said.

The four plinths are the massive bollards situated on the waterfront between Te Papa and Circa Theatre, where the Wellington Sculpture Trust installs temporary works every two years.

"It's a fantastic site to put temporary sculpture on even though they were never intended for artworks."

Watson's sculpture will form part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival's visual arts programme, beginning in February next year, and remain in place outside Te Papa.

 - Stuff

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