Wind Tree by Michio Ihara
This morning I ran down to a newly opened area of public space on the waterfront, called the Wynyard Quarter. Two weeks ago it was "opened" by the Prime Minister with all due ceremony. We took the boys down the day after the ceremony and all had a good time, despite the crowds. At the early hour I went through this morning almost no one else was around.
This 17 m long stainless steel sculpture (which moves in the wind) was produced by the Japanese sculptor, Michio Ihara, during the 1971 Auckland International Sculpture Symposium, and was erected in Queen Elizabeth II Square in 1977. After 25 years of being neglected and maltreated, it was taken down in 2001 and put in storage.
When the decision was made to upgrade the Wynyard Wharf area, the advisory panel for public art advocated for Wind Tree to be found a place. It was brought out of storage, restored and waterproofed and installed over a reflective pool of water. The $700,000 cost has been shared by the Auckland Council, the public art fund, and the waterfront development fund.
Still being built are the seats by beds of grasses and other plants as a place of rest from where the sculpture can be seen. Something the sculptor would approve, as he said that he was "very interested in the aesthetics of structure; the beauty of the elements that make both the works of man and nature stand".
Both S and daughter C liked the cones being included; I had another angle without cones. I actually like this angle better so was easily persuaded. The sun is reflecting brightly, and the shadow of the photographer is also visible.