14 Jul 2011

Artist chosen for Gateway Sculpture

A leading New Zealand artist has been chosen to design a sculpture for the Northern gateway to Nelson city.

Terry Stringer’s signature works have become synonymous with high profile public sites throughout the country. These include The Risen Christ in Christchurch's Cathedral Square, his Grand Head in Wellington, and Mountain Fountain, in the forecourt of Auckland’s Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. He has just completed “Artist and Model” on Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, Australia.

The 2009 Regional Arts Strategy and subsequent Nelson Arts Policy prioritised public art to mark important gateways, particularly along QEII Drive.  It was agreed that a sculpture near the intersection of QEII Drive and Trafalgar St would heighten the sense of arrival to the city and link the city to the sea.

The striking yet elegant concept design called “Dance to the music of time” is a three faceted bronze which will stand 5.5 metres tall. It represents the four seasons and references the bounty of the sea, the land and the people. It will sit atop a two metre plinth which reflects the shape and form of the Cathedral and Trafalgar Bridge which acts as a landmark linking sea to city.   

Deputy Mayor, Ali Boswijk says it’s exciting to have an internationally recognised artist of Terry’s calibre working on the design. “High quality public art is a key part of creating a vital, exciting city. As well as welcoming visitors to Nelson this sculpture will announce our city as an arts destination.” 

Terry was chosen to produce this sculpture after a long and rigorous selection process. 45 local, national and international artists competed for the commission. Four independent arts experts and a cultural adviser provided support to the Art Selection Panel as it shortlisted three artists to develop concepts and then made the final selection.

Terry will now complete his final design for the site, at which point Council will seek Resource and Building Consents.  It’s hoped the sculpture can be in place by June 2012.

Background on Terry Stringer

Terry trained at New Zealand's premier art school, Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. He graduated with Honours in 1967 and in the following years received virtually every significant scholarship and award available to New Zealand artists. In the late 1970s he was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Scholarship three times. He is a key figure in the history of art in New Zealand, a sculptor with an established reputation. This was acknowledged in 2003 when he was the recipient of the country's national honour, the ONZM (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit).

The award winning sculptural architecture he jointly designed in 2001 as the gallery for his sculpture park Zealandia, has become a symbol of New Zealand's finest art.

Throughout his career Stringer has exhibited extensively, with solo shows in Auckland, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. He lives and works at his sculpture garden Zealandia, north of Auckland.

To see images of the sculpture and its location go to http://on.fb.me/piHrvu