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Emotions stirred by kinetic art

By Tessa Johnstone

Featherston's $40,000 kinetic sculpture Windgrass is now up and open to the elements.

Artist Konstatin Dimopoulos has been in Featherston this week installing the work, made up of steel rods between six and eight metres high.

The work was paid for by the Aratoi Foundation, which is fundraising for and planning sculptures for Carterton and other South Wairarapa towns.

Mr Dimopoulos said several people had come to discuss the artwork while he installed it and, from the variety of reactions he knows he cannot please everyone.

"Everyone brings their own baggage to sculpture. Sculpture to me is harmonising the space with the landscape and the architecture. My work is a success if I can get people to slow down enough to turn their head."

Mr Dimopoulos said a public sculpture could often be like an alien landing in the community.

Despite concerns from some onlookers that the sculpture would need a security fence around it to stop vandalism, Mr Dimopoulos is not worried.

He said although no work was vandalproof, installations in Gisborne, Palmerston North, Wellington and in the United States had never been touched.

The materials were strong and should withstand Featherston's notorious wind.

Windgrass is the tallest work Mr Dimopoulos has ever produced, and also the first to use a new colour system that allows him to create patterns with the rods.

The sculpture's rods are yellow, tipped with an ochre red, and Mr Dimopoulos said together with the movement and noise of the rods they symbolised the Wairarapa coast's bullrushes.

It will be lit with white light at night, which Dimopoulos said would look like a warm fire building up.

Aratoi Foundation's Mena Antonio said from her perspective a response to the installation was neither positive nor negative - just as long as there was a response.

"People's interaction is actually the most important element of it all."

The work was to be officially opened today at 11am, and is at Clifford Square opposite the Featherston Library.


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