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Elizabeth Kay getting close to ‘Flowers of the Sky’

As part of the Sensational Sculpture weekend, groups of Friends caught the ferry to Waiheke Island for the final weekend of the biennial headland Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition. A shuttle bus took walkers from the ferry to the beginning of the 2km track, which ended back at the headland Pavilion near Matiatia wharf.

This year there were 31 sculptures, starting with Wind Song (Nigel Jamieson and Imersia Ltd), which could only be seen and heard on your smart phone, and finishing with Star Mound, a solid, tactile Lonnie Hutchinson work in local stoney gold stone/sand, which referenced Samoan ancient star mounds. In between there was an eclectic mix, from small and silent, such as John Hurrell’s Flying Haptics tucked up in pohutukawa branches overhead (using bright-coloured household plastic objects including peg baskets, cable ties and old hair-curlers), to the very large and musical Crossed Wires, Sharonagh Montrose and Helen Bowater’s work of wood, wires and old telephone-line insulators, speakers and sound apparatus. A ‘sonic montage of fragmented sounds’, Crossed Wires took up a 30-metre by 30-metre patch of hillside. We later learnt that it was to join John and Jo Gow’s Connells Bay Sculpture Park.

Among our favourites were the delicate steel dandelions of Stop the Clock (Jane and Mario Downes); Tāwhirowhiro, Robert Jahnke and Joshua Campbell’s beautifully carved giant spinning top on a polished stainless steel platform; and the fascinating patterns of shadow and light of Tania Patterson’s Flowers of the Sky, a steel dome of white clematis flowers that were red on the inside. We lined up for a photo at Denis O’Connor’s The Archive Wine Bar; had fun with selfies in front of Anah Dunsheath’s My Pic is my Bond; and tried to capture Field Apart, Angus Muir and Alexandra Heaney’s intriguing maze of mirror columns.

It was so lovely on beautiful Waiheke, some of us not only had lunch on the island (delicious Turkish mezze platters), but stayed on to walk by the sea and have dinner (Italian), before taking an evening ferry back to the mainland.

Elizabeth Kay
Vice-President, Friends of Te Papa