Help­ing hand for visi­tors

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MAR­JORIE COOK

The Hand That Nur­tures was un­veiled on Wanaka’s lake­front near the Di­nosaur Park in 2005.

When it was brand spank­ing new, the im­pos­ing pres­ence of a large, black, cast con­crete hand raised some eye­brows.

But the cur­va­ceous, cupped hand is now very pop­u­lar with visi­tors and chil­dren, who of­ten clam­ber over it or nes­tle into the palm for pho­tographs.

Artist Llew Sum­mers be­lieves it is the role of the artist to chal­lenge:

‘‘If it’s not chal­leng­ing, then, in some way, it’s not new’’, he says on his web­site.

He reg­u­larly par­tic­i­pates in out­door sculp­ture shows and his large sculp­tures can be seen in pub­lic spa­ces from Kaitaia to Wanaka.

Sev­eral of his works were placed around Christchurch’s empty spa­ces af­ter the earth­quakes and build­ing de­mo­li­tions that fol­lowed.

The in­scrip­tion on The Hand reads: ‘‘The con­trast between the so­lid­ity and weight of this solid con­crete sculp­ture and the ten­der­ness of feel­ing which it por­trays makes this work spe­cial. It sym­bol­ises no­tions of nur­tur­ing, safety and pro­tec­tion as well as friend­ship, open­ness and hon­esty.’’

Sum­mers’ in­ter­est has been pri­mar­ily in fig­u­ra­tive works. He cel­e­brates and af­firms the beauty of the hu­man form.

The sculp­ture was com­mis­sioned by the As­pir­ing Arts and Cul­ture Trust (cost $44,000) and is owned by the Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil.

More info: llew­sum­mers.co.nz

MAR­JORIE COOK

The Hand that Nur­tures looms starkly against a snowy Lake Wanaka in win­ter 2015.

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