Moun­tains of steel cel­e­brate

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By EMMA DAWE

It’s taken 18 months of plan­ning, de­sign­ing and con­struct­ing, but a 2.5m high sculp­ture com­mem­o­rat­ing the 150th an­niver­sary of the dis­cov­ery of gold in Cen­tral Otago is al­most ready to be in­stalled on its per­ma­nent site at Rotary Park in Alexan­dra. The sculp­ture, by Ban­nock­burn artist Alan Wa­ters, who won a pub­lic com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign it, is made up of three huge sheets of steel which rep­re­sent moun­tain ranges as well as the three direc­tions the early min­ers came from when they de­scended on the re­gion look­ing for gold. The steel will rust over time and run down the moun­tains, which will rep­re­sent the gold be­ing washed down the river, Mr Wa­ters said. In the mid­dle of the three moun­tains is a mas­sive gold fi­bre­glass ball, which rep­re­sents a gold nugget, and will be able to slowly spin around. The com­mis­sion­ing of the sculp- ture was or­gan­ised by the Alexan­dra Community Arts Coun­cil, and has been funded by the Alexan­dra Thyme Fes­ti­val group, the Alexan­dra Community Arts Coun­cil, the Cen­tral Otago Arts So­ci­ety, the Cen­tral Lakes Trust and Pub Char­ity. Co-or­di­na­tor Kathi McLean said the sculp­ture would be un­veiled on Novem­ber 17, dur­ing the an­nual Alexan­dra Thyme Fes­ti­val. Mrs McLean said Mr Wa­ters’ work was cho­sen be­cause of its “far-out” de­sign. The sculp­ture has been con­structed by Cromwell com­pany McIn­tyre Engi­neer­ing, with the huge sheets be­ing cut out by an Auck­land firm. The three sheets ar­rived in Cromwell last week and Mr Wa­ters said they turned out bet­ter than he imag­ined. “I’m chuffed to bits by them.” The sculp­ture was put to­gether tem­po­rar­ily last week, it will be put to­gether again in time for its of­fi­cial un­veil­ing.

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