Every time I discover another public sculpture in inner city Wellington, my heart gives an excited little leap. The Wellington Sculpture Trust, formed in 1982, has this fabulous idea that urban spaces can be enhanced by a widely diverse assortment of sculptures by New Zealand artists - it's an idea I wish more New Zealand cities would embrace more whole-heartedly. Christchurch is getting there but I always feel there's a decided lack of good public art in Auckland - an no, I'm not counting Waiheke Island or other private sculpture gardens. I'm sure many people and Wellington and Christchurch ignore the works that are springing up in their midst - walk by them everyday without considering their message, their beauty, their context -though frankly it's a little hard sometimes given the size and presence of most of them. The choices made are always interesting and usually not without their controversy (especially in Christchurch) but I always see large, contemporary public sculpture as a continuation of sorts, of a city's architecture - an important contribution to 'the scale of things,' a statement about who we are as New Zealanders and the issues that inspire us to creativity. Sculpture should be as much a part of the fabric of any city as the people themselves in my view.
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