A relaxed robot made of recycled materials now greets visitors to the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre.

The sculpture is one of the stunning results of a school holiday art project and another is the colourful sculpture garden which now enhances the area next to the centre's green waste depot.

"The garden was always part of the original plan but it has far exceeded our expectations and the kids came up with so many excellent ideas on their own," tutor Esther Topfer said.

"We had 19 young artists involved and they have produced the most amazing work from repurposed materials."

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Topfer said the group of students aged from 12 to 14 included "four very enthusiastic boys" who are responsible for the robot.

Sustainable Whanganui's Lyn Pearson worked with a group of younger children to make lollipop flowers from milk bottle tops and other repurposed materials.

Whanganui school children surpassed expectations with their use of repurposed materials to create a sculpture garden. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Whanganui school children surpassed expectations with their use of repurposed materials to create a sculpture garden. Photo / Lewis Gardner

The project, funded by the Whanganui Community Arts Fund, was intended to provide education on resource recovery as well as encourage artistic endeavour and Topfer said it succeeded on both counts.

"Only one of the participants was a regular visitor to the centre before they attended the workshops but all said they will encourage their families to visit regularly after this."

Participants and their families along with Sustainable Whanganui trustees, volunteers, supporters and special guests attended an opening ceremony to celebrate the project completion on Saturday.

The colourful garden has a foundation of old carpet serving as weed matting and a coating of gravel provides the foundation for the garden which includes brightly painted planter boxes filled with succulent plants.

"It is wonderful to see the finished works on display and there is room for more sculptures to be added in future," Topfer said.

The garden has been entered in Beautiful Awards 2019 (Keep New Zealand Beautiful) in the Repurposed Art Sculpture Garden Category.

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