Today I finally got out to Port Chalmers and the Hotere Sculpture Garden. I’ seen photos. I’d read about it but it was a bit of a let down. I am not sure why. I liked Chris Booth’s Aramoana well enough.
Brick Column Russell Moses & Aramoana Chris Booth (photo © P Dawson)
I think maybe its partly because as a public garden these sculptures have been altered somewhat. Here are some excerts from the website to explain what I mean:
“This is a site-specific work, the title partly refers to the view of Aramoana previously obtained from the sculpture. Addressing public safety concerns, barbed wire has had to be installed. Originally Aramoana was bedecked with considerably more flotsam and jetsam, including bones and a wind chime.”
“The bar [on top of Brick Column] previously rotated on its own axis in a strong wind as a compass of sorts; it now points to docks area where the bricks originally landed. The column was originally constructed, free standing and self-supporting, but when reconstructed in 2006, was made with mortar in line with public access and safety concerns.”
Black Phoenix II has a sturdy fence around it and I think its a wonder they didn’t “cover up” Shona Rapira Davies ‘They do cut down the poles that hold up the sky’.
Black Phoenix II Ralph Hotere (photo © P Dawson)
The whole history of how this garden ocurred is kind fo sad – the ports and business demolishing art so I guess it is good a middle ground was reached in having this garden at all – one shouldn’t complain.
Back to Black Phoenix II. I gather it is built from the same burnt out boat as Black Phoenix (in the Te Papa Collection). I much much prefer the latter and hope it gets out and seen more. It is an astounding work. I found Black Phoenix II difficult and couldn’t even get a really good photo of it.
Next visit out this way I hope to see the Hotere’s at Carey’s Bay Hotel.