Thursday, June 28, 2007
SkyBlues ... #38
This is one of the City's sculptures which creates a smooth blue glow at night. The small photo shows the Post Office shop to the left with the Waterfront Apartments in the background. This building at the entrance to Queens Wharf, is also the home for the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.
The Sculpture itself
Dimensions: 7 poles, each 11m high; 5m site width
Location: Post Office Square, Jervois Quay
Materials: Stainless steel, neon
Date of installation: March 06
Presented to the city in 2006. The principal funder was TOWER Group, with major donations from Creative New Zealand and the Wellington City Council. Numerous private individuals and trusts, mainly from Wellington, contributed the balance of funds.
The artist Bill Culbert is internationally famous for his work in neon and other light forms. He has written of SkyBlues:
“In daylight the neons are against a blue sky, fragile glass blue lines with fine steel supporting structures. Night time will make the artwork vibrate in a different way with the strong vertical movement of electric light at full power. The writing hand moves vertically up and down in space always changing to the moving viewer. Dawn and dusk the blue neon will be ever changing as with rain, winds and clouds. SkyBlues is light energy, the verticals and drawn lines that move, shimmer, swirl blue in cityscape.”
Post Office Square
The site was once the location of the imposing Chief Post Office building designed by Thomas Turnbull, originally erected in 1884, burnt down in 1887 and rebuilt. The building was next to the waterfront before reclamation took place in the area. It was demolished in 1974. Photographs of the Post Office and others relating to the vicinity are displayed at Clarrie’s a private museum and shop in the Square which was once a tram drivers resthouse. Note the British telephone box and post-box nearby. The Huddart Parker Building on the south side remains as a striking example of an earlier streetscape. Built in 1925 it was the largest reinforced concrete building in New Zealand. The architects were Crichton, McKay and Haughton.