New public sculpture unveiled today

Secrecy surrounded a 6m, stainless steel sculpture due for a public unveiling this afternoon.

The $320,000-plus contemporary creation, Te Pumanawa O Te Whenua - Beat Connection, by artist Oh Seung Yul will sit outside the Claudelands Arena.

Some weeks ago, foundation work was completed, lighting placed, engineering and fabrication finished in readiness for the structure to be transported to the site earlier today.

The sculpture, the first of many to be gifted to Hamilton by philanthropic arts group mesh started its journey to the site for final construction at 6am.

Artist Seung Yul is excited to see his idea become a reality. "It is a magical experience for me to see its progress and how it's shaping together through these processes. I could only imagine; but now it is physically there with its mass. I am looking forward to seeing it where it belongs."

The sculpture will be placed permanently outside the events centre satisfying one of the goals of mesh to have site specific artworks strategically placed throughout the city in prominent public spaces.

The second work - also under construction - is to be by the entrance to Lake Rotoroa on Pembroke St.

The Claudelands Arena project has been privately funded and many members of the Hamilton arts and business community have contributed with cash or services in kind to complete what is the largest arts gift to the city in years.

NDA Engineering project manager Tim Foote has been excited to work on such a project.

"Our team has enjoyed the challenges that such a complex design have presented us from an engineering perspective. All of the firms we've worked with on this project have had to think outside of the square but we've all found it an enjoyable and challenging project. We love the final look and I think Hamiltonians will love it too."

While mesh trustees were keen to keep the final look of the art a secret until its public unveiling, the scale of the piece made this difficult.

"We will be doing our best to try to keep people guessing right up until the last minute but it will be a challenge to keep it completely hidden," says mesh chairwoman Nancy Caiger.

- Hamilton News

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