Hamilton’s award-winning Victoria on the River central city park will feature a new sculpture thanks to the generosity of philanthropic arts organisation MESH Sculpture Hamilton.
The group, which has previously funded and delivered several art projects across the city, has commissioned noted academic and artist Professor Robert Jahnke to create the piece – entitled Te Tatau ki Kirikiriroa (The Doorway to Hamilton/Kirikiroa) – which will serve as an opening through which visitors to the park can view the Waikato River.
Foundation work for the sculpture will begin on Monday, 23 September and is expected to take four weeks. The costs of design, creation and installation of the sculpture are all being covered by MESH.
The 8m wide and 4.5m high sculpture will be an impressive and eye-catching addition to the park, says Maria Barrie, Hamilton City Council’s Parks and Recreation Manager.
“Victoria on the River is proving popular with residents, central city workers and visitors to our city, and adding a significant piece of public art to the space gives it another dimension,” Ms Barrie says.
“MESH’s representatives signalled early on they were particularly keen to bring a piece of art to Victoria on the River and we’ve reached the exciting phase when it’s now coming to fruition.”
MESH Chairperson Nancy Caiger says: “This work represents two hard years of planning and fundraising. As with our previous three works we are building a collection of works which speak to each specific site, tell stories of our city and our history but also look towards our future and help engage with the diverse cultures that now represent Hamilton.”
Mrs Caiger says one of the exciting features of this new artwork is the use of fluorescent light and mirrors which will make the artwork take on a whole new look in the evening.
“Jahnke’s long explored the connections between mirroring, light, perception, history and retrospection. Jahnke’s work frequently features light and mirrors that create an infinity effect which works to draw people in, to interact.”
Although the park will remain open, people visiting Victoria on the River over the next few weeks are urged to keep clear of the work site and be aware of construction noise and activity related to the sculpture installation.
The sculpture is expected to be unveiled in mod-November.
Since opening to the public in January 2018, the amphitheatre-style Victoria on the River has won a number of architecture and design awards