Sculpture Wanganui 2011 – winners announced - 7/05/2011
The winners of this year’s Sculpture Wanganui public art event have been announced at an awards presentation in the Visitor Information Centre on Taupo Quay.
Independent judge Mercedes Vicente, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, selected Brit Bunkley’s “Hear my train a comin” as the winning sculpture.
“After a careful consideration of all four finalist projects, I have chosen Brit Bunkley’s “Hear My Train a comin”, says Mercedes Vicente. “What ultimately drew me to this work is its site specificity to Wanganui’s historical context, both in its subject (referencing Wanganui as the former centre of the railroad workshops) and use of materials (the pavers of Main Street that resonates with the bricks found along the riverbank). There is a nostalgic and celebratory embracement of local history as well as a potential rejuvenation of a form of transportation not quite obsolete.”
The winning sculpture will be commissioned and sited alongside the Whanganui River, close to last year’s winning sculpture ‘Balancing Act’.
Waharua/Two mouths by Phil Murray and Diccon Round was awarded the Community Award prize of $5,000, which was voted for by Wanganui residents.
“This year’s competition was very well supported with 24 innovative and creative entries received,” says Cr Nicki Higgie, Council’s arts spokesperson. “Brit Bunkley is a worthy winner and his sculpture will enhance our growing collection of public art works alongside the river.
“Both Wanganui people and visitors to our district are able to enjoy quality public art in a fantastic setting. This competition is a clear example of the way in which the creative arts are supported and valued, not just by council, but by the whole community.
“It’s wonderful to be able to offer a Community Award prize as well, giving the public the opportunity to share their views on public sculpture with us.”
Mayor Annette Main congratulated the winning artists and is looking forward to seeing the commissioned work completed.
“It’s been great to see people stopping and looking at our sculptures when they are walking and cycling along the riverfront. I’ve had lots of feedback on how much people are enjoying our growing public art collection and this year’s winning sculpture will be an impressive addition.”
The four finalists will be speaking at the Sculpture Wanganui 2011 symposium, being held on May 9 and 10 in the Pioneer Room at the War Memorial Conference and Convention Centre.