Monday, January 26, 2009

Art at Olympic Park

Olympic Park is off Wolverton Street, and is where the Avondale (Waituarangi) and the Whau creeks meet to form the Whau River. Above is a metal map, showing where the artworks in the park are in relation to the creeks and the railway line.

Some may recognise this from my profile photo, "The Centuries Meet". Last year, this didn't have a plaque telling me what it is -- actually, last year (February 6) I don't recall any of the other artworks in the park apart from Hinaki (a wire net sculpture, I suppose signifying how eels were caught in the creeks) and the Whau Pod (see below). Now, I know this one is "Te Kawerau A Maki Pou Whenua", by John Collins and Sunnah Thompson. Te Kawerau A Maki are the local West Auckland iwi in Waitakere City, while "te pou" is a pillar, or a meeting post.

This is "Homage to Crown Lynn" by Louise Purvis. The Crown Lynn Potteries in New Lynn were in operation during the 20th century. I still use Crown Lynn plates, although some go for a pretty penny in collectibles shops.

Now, this is weird. "Whau Pod", by Steve Woodward. It is supposed to represent an aspect of the Whau Tree, Entelea Arborescens, one of the origin theories to the name of the Whau River. Detail of the top of the artwork below.

The thing is, the pod of the Whau Tree looks like this, which doesn't resemble anything like that sculpture. I know it's an artwork, but -- red? Any suggestions as to what it does look like are welcome.


  1. Haven't had the pleasure of meeting a whau up close and personal but I found a pic of their seed pods HERE which looks nothing at all like those dangly red things!

    Love the pics of the sculptures :)

  2. It could be an alien's communication device? Personally I think it looks like a rusty old wheel with even rustier peices of used scrap steel hanging off it. Kinda like John Key on a really bad hair day. No as usual NZ Art is going through once of *those* phases. But then again I don't have five million or so PHD's in fine art criticism even though I do art myself. This well...scrap yard icon stuff

  3. It reminds me of the Kawakawa tree and berries...
    see the leaves in the 'wheel'? But they are yellow.... the Kawakawa tree berries. I will put a link to this to a NZ Pottery site....

  4. Thanks, Ev. Kawakawa, eh? If you find out anything more, I'd love to know. Cheers!

  5. I have not yet fully explored this park. However I really enjoy looking at 'Te Kawerau A Maki Pou Whenua' when I pass it on the train. And dislike the 'Whau Pods' when I drive past the other edge of the park.

  6. Cheers. No one has offered an explanation for the Whau Pods sculpture yet. Not one of my favourites, I must admit.