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Kopua sculptures in place

The two imposing sculptures commissioned to flank the entrance to Raglan Kopua Holiday Park are now both in place but the date for a public celebration of the giant works of art has yet to be set in stone.

Richard Page’s depiction of a large toki with its blade pointing skyward has finally been joined by an equally impressive Tai Meuli work in two distinct parts, one of them representing the sail of a waka.

The larger Meuli work still had temporary supports in place last week, and remained fenced off, but these were removed over the weekend.

However there was still some minor landscaping of the site and illumination of the sculptures to be completed to the artists’ specifications.

And park board chairman Colin Chung was expecting the two prominent sculptors to face quite a challenge in condensing down the complex meaning of their works into the small amount of space available on descriptive plaques that will be attached to the bases of each sculpture.

Colin still hoped though that an official ceremony, incorporating a powhiri and blessing, could be organised for some time this month to acknowledge the twin “gifts to the community”.

The commissioning of the sculptures followed a public competition organised by the Old School Arts Centre.
Shortlisted conceptual designs were judged jointly by representatives of the arts centre, holiday park and the Waikato District Council’s coastal reserves advisory committee.

The panel — headed by convener Wanda Barker and including Jean Carbon, Amanda Watson, Colin, Pablo Rickard, Rob Clark and Linda Cole — were so impressed with the designs that they proceeded with not one but two of them.
Colin says it’s extremely pleasing to see some of the financial surplus achieved from successful operation of the holiday park channelled into “these inspirational public artworks for Raglan-Whaingaroa”.

And they’re not just to be admired from a distance, either: Colin points out the brief was for sculptures the public can touch and embrace.

Edith Symes

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