Helping hand for visitors
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
The Hand that Nurtures looms starkly against a snowy Lake Wanaka in winter 2015.