Can’t get to all the 2AWA nominated sculptures – this is the book for you!

by Mike Riversdale on November 23, 2007

Read, view and then vote!Wellington: A City for Sculpture
edited by Jenny Harper and Aaron Lister, photography by Bruce Connew
Published by VUP in association with the Wellington Sculpture Trust.

(RRP $50.00, Vic Books price $45.00)

Don’t have time to visit, engage and ponder the merits of the sculptures YOU can vote for in the Second Annual Wellingtonista Awards? Buy this book, sit down in front of the computer and peruse to your heart’s content.

This is much more than a book of pretty pictures of sculptures in Wellington. Whilst some of Bruce Connew’s photographs capture the featured works in brilliant sunshine, others are shown against grey or misty skies – an accurate reflection of Wellington’s changeable weather.

The essays in the book vary in quality, and some assume specialist knowledge of Wellington’s urban design history, but those wanting to find out more about any of the issues discussed will be well served by the non-intrusive footnotes, which supply references for further reading.

Whilst partially funded by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, the book does appear to be genuinely independent and the contributors aren’t afraid to be critical when they believe it’s necessary. The book provides frank discussion of the politics and personalities that have decided which artists and sculptures gain approval and funding, how sites are chosen and maintained (or not), and what the future of public art in Wellington might be. Other contributors critique the works themselves, and provide an overview of the public responses to various projects and how these perceptions have changed over time.

This book fills a gap in the cultural history of Wellington, providing historical and contemporary context for Wellington’s public art – including sculptures which have now been removed from public sight. Maps are included, so you can go visit the works discussed. The best use for this book – other than sending it to non- or ex-Wellingtonians – is as a guide to appreciating the sculptures and other public art of Wellington, and the people – artists, patrons and public servants – who’ve populated our urban space with their visions.

The above was a great piece by guest contributor Karen Mcleod, many thanks Karen. If you want to contribute or merely let us know something, send an email to james@wellingtonista.com

Another review over at Beatties Book Blog

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