Kura Moana by Lisa Reihana

As part of the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of The Artist this huge sculpture came to the Whairepo Lagoon on Wellington’s waterfront. This giant octopus – Te Wheke-a-Muturangi was chased by Kupe across the Pacific Ocean, so the story goes. In the words of the artist themselves:

“Kura Moana focuses on Te Moananui a-Kiwa, the great ocean, and its role as connector between Aotearoa and across all the Pacific nations. I have created a series of installations that invite families and communities to discover iconic locations on the Wellington waterfront in new ways, to think about some of the local histories and stories that relate to this place. It’s about travellers, those who dared to traverse the Pacific, people who seek something new, another life. Kura Moana is a treasure hunt across the waterfront and I’m hoping that kids will go on a journey to discover the different installations – there’s music, song, playful inflatable sculptures and an augmented reality experience. I can’t wait to bring this art experience to Pōneke.”— Lisa Reihana, Artist in Focus

This is one of the best sculptures I’ve seen in Wellington. I only wish I had stayed a little longer to see the sculpture lit up at night.

Sunscope Napier

This is the HYBYCOZO and Vesica Aotearoa Sunscope installation on Marine Parade in Napier. Photographed here at dusk with the camera as low as possible. HYBYCOZO stands for Hyperspace Bypass Construction Zone. They’re a collaborative public art and design studio with installations around the world. This Sunscape is about three metres across and approximately 6cm thick. In this evening light it looks brown but it is in fact gold-coated. The way this is placed by the beach the sun rises up behind the sculpture. I’ve seen some great sunrise photographs with the sun in the middle of the Sunscape. Next time I’m in Napier I’ll have to get up early one morning for a sunrise shot.

Ngā Pou o Heretaunga

Eight of the pillars (pou) carved from trees. The one in the centre is facing the camera and the others are facing away from us.

One of the coolest things I saw in Hastings Civil Square is Ngā Pou o Heretaunga. Unveiled in 2013, these 18 pou (pillars) each represent an ancestor from a marae around the Heretaunga district. They proudly stand in the centre of Hasting as a tangible link to the region’s cultural heritage. Close up to the camera on the left of the frame is the Hawea You from Waipahu Area. Carved by Tahoe Huata, Colin Tihi and Tiopira Te Huia. In the centre of the photograph, facing the camera is Tiakitai Pou. From the Tiakitai Marae carved by Dr Takiriangi Smith. The red pou on the left is Nukanoa from Korongata Marae by carver David Pere. They were carved from ancient totara trees over a span of 10 months. I spent a lot of time wondering around the pou and photographing them individually and as a group. If I have any of the information about the pou wrong, please do get in touch as I would like to shout out the amazing carvers.

The Kelpies at night

North of Falkirk alongside the M9 motorway you’ll struggle to miss seeing The Kelpies. These 30 metre high horse head sculptures depict shape-shifting water spirits. They opened to the public in 2014 so I hadn’t had a chance to see them before. After our dusk adventure to the Falkirk Wheel I wasn’t expecting to get the chance but we made it. They are well worth a visit – huge and impressive. Next time I visit I’d like to get there a little earlier at sunset. The coloured lights cycle through the colours of the rainbow. With the black night sky behind I thought the blue lighting made them stand out the most.