Mountains of steel celebrate
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.