Dis­cov­ery of gold in Cen­tral Otago re­flected

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

An im­pos­ing steel and fi­bre­glass sculp­ture over­looks the mighty Clutha Mata-au River in Alexan­dra’s Ro­tary Park.

Ban­nock­burn artist Alan Wa­ters de­signed the 2.5 me­tre high sculp­ture as part of a com­pe­ti­tion in which artists were asked to come up with a work re­flect­ing the re­gion’s gold-min­ing his­tory.

Wa­ters said the semi-ab­stract de­sign of three moun­tain ranges with a cen­tral gold nugget, re­flects the jour­neys and hard­ships of ear­lier times.

Each moun­tain arm in­di­cates the three di­rec­tions up and down river where the gold was found and to­wards the town where many min­ers set­tled. The gold nugget is re­flec­tive of its orig­i­nal ge­o­log­i­cal cre­ation from within the moun­tains.

‘‘It’s a semi-ab­stract con­cept of wa­ter wash­ing down the moun­tains. The sculp­ture is made of corten steel which rusts nicely and de­picts three moun­tain ranges with a cen­tral gold nugget. It took sev­eral months to com­plete and the ma­te­rial was sourced and laser cut in Auck­land and made lo­cally at Mur­doch’s En­gi­neer­ing.’’

The work was un­veiled dur­ing the Alexan­dra Thyme Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber 2012 in front of a crowd of about 100, he said.

‘‘I was chuffed to bits when it was un­veiled. It was a joy­ful feel­ing. I just love Cen­tral Otago to bits and it just ties in with how Chris (his wife) and I feel about the land. I love de­sign­ing, whether it is two or three di­men­sional. It doesn’t mat­ter.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

This sculp­ture, in Alexan­dra, was in­stalled in 2012 and de­signed by Alan Wa­ters.

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