Topic: Peter Cramond: Sculpture Unveiled at Mount Maunganui Beach
On Saturday 5th October, 2013 a frieze style sculpture celebrating the release of the Rena damaged penguins was unveiled before a large crowd at the Main Beach in Mount Maunganui.
The unveiling marked the second anniversary of the ecological disaster that occurred when the container ship Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef just off the Tauranga coast in the Bay of Plenty.
Sculptor Peter Cramond, who gave an impassioned address at the unveiling ceremony, has named his Oamaru stone frieze featuring the little blue penguins, "The Sea's That Way".
In February 2012 as the penguins emerged from boxes on the beach just down from where the sculpture now stands, many of the birds, now cleaned of toxic oil, seemed confused by their surroundings and the presence of the big crowd of well wishers present.
A helpful little girl called out, "The sea's that way" and this gave rise to Peter's naming of the sculpture.
As we saw on newsreel footage the penguins quickly made their way to the shoreline and into the waves.The substantial plinth, constructed from wooden beams from the Rena salvaged from Moturiki Island, was designed and built by local sculptor Rex O'Brien.
The 1300×600×400 centimetre stone sculpture was donated by the Tauranga-based New Zealand Garden and Art Festival Trust to Tauranga City Council and the people of our region.
Peter created the sculpture as part of the November 2012 Craigs Investment Partners Sculpture Symposium.
It's an important work of art for our local area and can be seen as a thank you to all those who helped with the Rena clean-up.
It is also a powerful reminder that we need to take care of our precious environment especially now that plans for risky deep sea drilling around New Zealand's coast are part of the present Government's unsustainable energy programme.
Peter and artist curator Elliot Mason have brought together a group of fellow artists from our area to present an exhibition at Tauranga's Zeus Gallery that reflects on the disaster and the events that followed the 5th of October, 2011 environmental tragedy.
The artworks explore the idea that our actions directly impact on our environment and have far reaching consequences for the welfare of our marine ecosystems and the future of our planet.
The exhibition is also an acknowledgement to the many people who responded by freely volunteering their time and energy to the extensive clean-up operation.
The artwork and the audio visual presentations that accompany the exhibition are outstanding.
'Two Years On' October 5th - 30th, 2013 at the Zeus Gallery - 106 11th Avenue, Tauranga
(Please type Peter Cramond into the Art Kete searchbox at the top of the page to find out more about the artist and his work.)
by Pete Morris (October, 2013).
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a freelance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.
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