Western Leader : February 14th 2012
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Tuesday, February 14, 2012 OPEN DAY MARCH 7 BOARDING AVAILABLE for Boys & Girls BR - j6521/02 Saint Kentigern College SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE - APPLICATIONS CLOSE 29 MARCH Register to attend 09 577 0677 www.saintkentigern.com Art for community By VANITA PRASAD New installation: Te Ao Whanui stands on each side of the Huruhuru bridge. Photo: VANITA PRASAD Artist working: Whare Thompson carves the waka hulls at his Henderson studio. Photo: THEO LEACH FIRST comes art then comes pride. That s the vision Auck- land Council s public art proj- ect manager Kim Martinengo has for Massey s newest piece of public art -- Te Ao Whanui by carver Whare Thompson. The Triangle Rd monu- ment, which cost around $90,000, consists of nine pou whenua posts featuring seven simply carved pou tuwatawata posts and two large waka on each side of the Huruhuru bridge. Mr Martinengo believes the council-funded artwork could be a catalyst for Massey residents to take pride in keeping the streets clean. The council s contractors have removed a lot of the privet bushes surrounding the installation and hopefully this will have a springboard effect to cleaning other areas. Mr Thompson spent a year carving the artwork and it s one of the biggest solo projects he s worked on. The Massey artist says the installation is intended to represent the suburb s diverse population. The two figures in the waka are Ranginui and Papa- tuanuku which are a general representation of Maori. The waka hulls represent the migration of other ethnicities to the area, he says. Mr Thompson says the hulls on each side of the bridge also represent the past and future while the bridge joining them is the present. The totara logs that form the installation were sourced from Warkworth after flood- ing eroded a riverbank. The logs range from 80 to 1200 years in age. Mr Martinengo says the project has been years in the making. It was scoped out during the previous Waitakere City Council under its policy to put in public art whenever they carry out infrastructure works. The opportunity came up with the Te Atatu cycleway in 2009 but there weren t any spaces that screamed out for the art, he says. But Mr Martinengo says the Massey cycleway was per- fect. Three artists were selec- ted to provide their art con- cepts and Mr Martinengo says Mr Thompson s was the most popular. There was a resounding voice of support for his con- cept from the local board, community and local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki. Henderson Massey Local Board chairwoman Vanessa Neeson is pleased that the former Waitakere City Coun- cil had the foresight to fund the project. The pou look amazing and the carving is just phenom- enal -- it s a great way to wel- come people to Massey. Mrs Neeson says public artwork is important in low socio-economic areas. The majority of people in Massey are hard working or struggling families so it s special to give something back to them which creates pride and gives them owner- ship of the area. That is the key to creating the world s most liveable city. It s in communities like Ranui and Henderson where the supercity starts and ends. GotoP3toseemoreofwest Auckland's public art work and have your say.
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