Our recent post on Pontus Kyander's end-of-year move to an art museum in Norway left us wondering about the future of public art in Auckland. (Kyander currently manages the city's public art programme.) So we decided to put the spotlight on some of the best examples of public art located in cities around the country. Over the next week we'll post some high points, beginning today with Len Lye's Wind Wand located on New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway.
Wind Wand is a 45ft high kinetic sculpture, strong enough to stand upright but flexible enough to bend and sway in the breeze by up to 20m. By night the globe on top emits a soft, red glow. When it first appeared on the waterfront it generated a storm of controversy. The fact that New Plymouth is home to the Len Lye Collection and Archive (housed at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery) didn't cut much ice with residents. However, with the passing of time, public opinion has changed and Wind Wand has become a much-loved icon, often featuring in marketing campaigns promoting New Plymouth as a creative city and tourism destination.
Image: Len Lye, Wind Wand, installation view, Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth