Boardwalks

Shipwreck sculpture at the heart of Wellington waterfront redevelopment

[ad_1]

The Grove sculpture will be at the heart of the new waterfront plaza.

WELLINGTON SCULPTURE TRUST

The Grove sculpture will be at the heart of the new waterfront plaza.

A new sculpture honouring Wellington’s maritime history will be installed at the heart of a major plaza on the capital’s inner-city waterfront.

The Grove was commissioned from Whanganui-born artist Glen Hayward and will sit on the newly developed Kumutoto Plaza area near the new PwC building on Customhouse Quay and upcoming 12-storey BNZ headquarters.

The artwork is made of recycled wood from a former Wellington ferry wharf and consists of 15 four-metre-high “copper headed nails” hammered into the pavement.

A small park is being developed as part of the rejuvenation of the plaza area, which is designed to be both a pedestrian gateway and public space.

READ MORE:
* Public artworks outside Te Papa get a boost after family pledges sponsorship
* Wellington’s fern orb returns to Te Ngākau Civic Square after more than a year
* Controversial hand-face sculpture ready for installation in Wellington
* Water Whirler sculpture returns to Wellington

The Grove will be surrounded by benches in the new plaza area.

WELLINGTON SCULPTURE TRUST

The Grove will be surrounded by benches in the new plaza area.

It will have boardwalks, bridges and planting. Large timber platforms set in and around The Grove would allow people to stop and sit.

The project began with the donation of timbers and other relics from the ship the Inconstantlater known as Plimmer’s Ark – for the Wellington Sculpture Trust to use in commissioning a new sculpture.

The ship foundered on the rocks near Pencarrow Head in 1849 and was eventually sold to English settler John Plimmer. Plimmer moved the boat to his jetty, which stood opposite what is now Plimmer Steps off Lambton Quay.

Artist Glen Hayward, pictured here in 2014, was commissioned to design the sculpture.

Cameron Burnell/Stuff

Artist Glen Hayward, pictured here in 2014, was commissioned to design the sculpture.

In 1855 an earthquake lifted the shoreline and tipped over the ship. But with expansions of the wharf, it was buried. In 1899 its timbers and other artefacts were discovered when work began on the Bank of New Zealand head office.

The material was then lost again for another 100 years, until they were rediscovered in 1997 during work on what is now the Bank Arcade. A third of the ship’s relics were given to the Wellington Sculpture Trust, a third remain under Customhouse Quay and a third have been fully preserved.

The Kumutoto precinct – the name of the re-developed waterfront area – sits on land that, through a constant process of reclamation between the 1840s and 1970s, has moved the water’s edge almost 300 metres from the original shoreline.

The new Site 9 building, pictured, is due to be completed late next year and will home law firm Bell Gully.

supplied

The new Site 9 building, pictured, is due to be completed late next year and will home law firm Bell Gully.

Sculpture trust chairwoman Sue Elliott said the semi-preserved wood relics in its possession “sadly” proved unsuitable for a work. But artist Hayward proposed the nail idea – carved from timbers once used on the wharves – having been inspired by those used in the ship’s construction in the 1800s.

“Although the w
orks are giant, I feel like a grown-up in the toy section,” he said.

Elliott said the work would be a major addition to Wellington’s collection of world-class public sculptures. It would link with the trust’s planned light sculpture for the Shed 21 colonnade opposite Wellington Railway Station, and Nga Kina by Michel Tuffery, which marks the Kumutoto Pa and stream.

The new PwC building is part of the Kumutoto precinct.

JASON MANN

The new PwC building is part of the Kumutoto precinct.

The sculpture is Hayward’s first permanent public artwork, but his presence is not new to Wellington. He contributed to the 4 Plinths project in 2014, which sits outside Te Papa.

The trust has about $76,000 to raise for The Grove but was confident it would secure it. It had already received resource consent from Wellington City Council, and hoped to install it mid-2022.

An illustration of a new 12-storey base-isolated building at 1 Whitmore St, Wellington, which will be leased by BNZ as their new headquarters in the capital. This is across the road from the Kumutoto plaza, at the site of a Z petrol station.

SUPPLIED

An illustration of a new 12-storey base-isolated building at 1 Whitmore St, Wellington, which will be leased by BNZ as their new headquarters in the capital. This is across the road from the Kumutoto plaza, at the site of a Z petrol station.

Established in 1982, the trust is dedicated to enriching Wellington by providing contemporary public art for the city. It has installed several works – most by Kiwi artists – across the central city and waterfront, around the Botanic Garden and in Evans Bay.

One Evans Bay project, Urban Forest, a series of spinning coloured light boxes, was dismantled in August last year due to engineering issues. The council found a solution, but the process to reinstall it was delayed due to Covid-19.

New platforms were being installed, and the work was due to be back up and running over the coming weeks, council spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said.

[ad_2]

Read More:Shipwreck sculpture at the heart of Wellington waterfront redevelopment