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Final Meridian Wind Sculpture Unveiled

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Final Meridian Wind Sculpture Unveiled

The fifth and final work in the Meridian Wellington Wind Sculpture series has been formally unveiled at a function at the Meridian office in Wellington.

Phil Dadson's "Akau Tangi" takes its place alongside the four earlier wind sculptures along Cobham Drive; "Pacific Grass", "Tower of Light" , "Urban Forest" and "Zephyrometer".

Meridian chief executive Tim Lusk says the new work completes a collection of wind-motivated sculpture that celebrates not only Wellington's climate, buts its dynamism and creativity.

"Not only is Wellington using its best-known natural characteristic as a source of clean, renewable power, it is using it in an artistic and creative way to give life to a collection of wind-powered sculpture that is unique in the world."

Meridian has worked in partnership with the Wellington Sculpture Trust and the Wellington City Council to develop the sculptures, as well as a pathway linking the works along Cobham Drive.

Sculpture trust chair Neil Plimmer says the new artwork completes a massive 10-year project which has created New Zealand's largest and best display of permanent visual art, and a magnificent southern gateway from the airport to the city.

"This collection is testament not only to the creativity of the artists concerned, but also to their engineering skills. It is one thing to create a sculpture that meets the highest artistic standards; quite another to do so in a way that enables it to operate in response to sometimes quite severe weather and wind conditions.

"This final sculpture by Phil Dadson, Akau Tangi, is a monumental piece of work and a fitting finale for this fantastic series."

AkauTangi consists of 11 stripe-painted steel poles, each supporting a conical-shaped, colour-co-ordinated, kinetic element which positions itself according to the prevailing wind direction, like an airport wind-sock.

The sculpture also incorporates an aluminium wind-driven tube-flute and five additional harmonic tube instruments in the front cowl section of each kinetic element to produce an intermittent flute-whistle tone, or harmonic, relative to prevailing wind currents and speed.

As a final touch, lighting for the sculpture is provided by a simple LED lighting system, driven by wind speed and incorporated within each conical sculptural form.

The name "Akau Tangi" refers to the sighing sound of the sea at the sculpture's location in Evans Bay.

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