Akau Tangi - wind sculpture - installed — 13.05.10

Phil Dadson has designed the fifth and final work in the Meridian Wellington Wind Sculpture series, which is now installed along Highway 1, Evans Bay

Phil Dadson (Laureate) has designed Akau Tangi (the original Maori name for Evans Bay, referencing the lamenting sounds of wind in the bay) which has just been installed along Highway 1, Evans Bay, near Wellington Airport. Reputed to be one of the wildest, windiest locations in the country, the five sculptures that make up the wind sculptures series receive the full force and vagaries of Wellington's coastal weather.  This is the fifth and final work in the Meridian Wellington Wind Sculpture series.

Akau Tangi consists of 10 stripe painted poles, each supporting a kinetic conical element that vanes with wind direction and spins on its axis according to wind speed, producing dynamo-operated LED lighting that brightens or dulls according to wind speed. Aeolian flute and whistle tones are produced from each of the 10 sculptures by wind-driven flutes at the cowl end of each form.  It was opened on Thursday 6 May by the Governor General. It is the final piece of the Meridian Wind Sculpture Walk on Cobham Drive, completing a 10 year, $750,000 series of five large-scale wind activated artworks by New Zealand's top artists. 

Meridian chief executive Tim Lusk says the new work completes a collection of wind-motivated sculpture that celebrates not only Wellington's climate, buts its dynamism and creativity.

"Not only is Wellington using its best-known natural characteristic as a source of clean, renewable power, it is using it in an artistic and creative way to give life to a collection of wind-powered sculpture that is unique in the world."

Meridian has worked in partnership with the Wellington Sculpture Trust and the Wellington City Council to develop the sculptures, as well as a pathway linking the works along Cobham Drive.

Sculpture trust chair Neil Plimmer says the new artwork completes a massive 10-year project which has created New Zealand's largest and best display of permanent visual art, and a magnificent southern gateway from the airport to the city.