Oamaru's ride-on moa
PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN
HOW fast can a moa go?
North Otago artist Matt King is about to find out.
Commissioned by Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum and Waitaki District Archive director Jane Macknight to make Culture Waitaki a ‘‘moa bike’’ for the Waitaki Arts Festival in Oamaru, just like Mr King’s moa sculpture at Duntroon, the moa bike was made from objects he ‘‘found’’ in his backyard. It has a Honda XL 105 frame, the neck is made from horseshoes and rebar and the head is a rotary hoe.
‘‘I think if a moa was a bike, it would look like this,’’ Mr King said.
Built in about 40 hours over the past three weeks, it lacked a motor One could be added, Mr King said, but at present the bike had no brakes.
Mr King’s moa bike, which is actually a tricycle, had its first ‘‘official outing’’ last night at The Big Bike Film Night & Blues Bar, at the Oamaru Opera House, but he planned to ride it from Weston to Friendly Bay on the Waitaki Arts Festival’s final event, Art on Bikes, on October 8.
He called the extinct birds ‘‘special, unique and weird’’.
‘‘They’re just crazy critters,’’ Mr King said. ‘‘It’s a shame they’re gone, but I’m doing my best to bring them back.’’
Ms Macknight said when she asked Mr King to make the bike she had no expectations as to how it would turn out.
‘‘I love it,’’ she said. ‘‘I think the only bit that I had visualised was the fact that I knew Matt had bought a flying cap. The only thing I had visualised is this flying cap sort of flapping under great speed.’’
Heavy metal pedal moa . . . Matt King sees a lot of rubberneckers these days, when he takes his moa bike on Oamaru streets.