An an­gel of love search­ing for a home

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - PIERS FULLER

She is for the fallen, she is for the down­trod­den, she is for those in pain - but she doesn’t have any­where to live in Master­ton.

For sculp­tor and hair­dresser Elaine Hurn­dell, the life-sized an­gel she cre­ated, known as Grace, is a pure prod­uct of her pas­sion for those in the Wairarapa town who need more light in their lives.

The only prob­lem is, Hurn­dell doesn’t have any­where to put her con­crete sym­bol of hope.

It has al­ways been her vi­sion to have Grace in­stalled in a prom­i­nent place in Master­ton, pos­si­bly in the town square next to the town hall or the his­toric Hosk­ing Gar­den in Queen El­iz­a­beth Park.

But up un­til now, Master­ton Dis­trict coun­cil­lors haven’t ex­actly been sold on the idea of hav­ing Grace watch over their town.

The coun­cil ini­tially knocked back an ap­pli­ca­tion from Hurn­dell for fund­ing and a re­quest to place her statue in Hosk­ing Gar­den when the project was first pro­posed two years ago.

But Hurn­dell forged ahead with con­struc­tion any­way, which she funded out of her own pocket. Now that the statue is com­plete, she hopes more peo­ple will sup­port it.

‘‘I want it out­side the town hall, but I’m open to sug­ges­tions. It has to be in sight of ev­ery­body, not hid­den away so you have to go and find her,’’ Hurn­dell said.

‘‘I will be do­nat­ing it to the town and I prom­ise to main­tain it my­self for at least 20 years.’’

Master­ton Mayor Lyn Pater­son said the coun­cil would be happy to re­ceive a fresh ap­pli­ca­tion for Grace to be in­stalled in a pub­lic space.

‘‘She [Hurn­dell] would need to come and talk to us about where her pref­er­ence would be and then we can work through and iden­tify pos­si­ble sites.’’

A re­flec­tion pool has been fash­ioned at the base of the statue, which is dec­o­rated with crys­tal can­dle­hold­ers and over 800 hand­made and hand-painted kowhai flow­ers.

The trick­i­est parts of the con- struc­tion were the arms, which were at­tached ear­lier this week, Hurn­dell said.

She en­vis­aged peo­ple vis­it­ing the statue and plac­ing can­dles in re­mem­brance.

‘‘I know there’ll be many friend­ships made at the base of Grace. Two an­gels with bro­ken wings to­gether can fly.’’

Some Master­ton res­i­dents are al­ready ex­cited by the pos­si­bil­i­ties of hav­ing Grace on pub­lic dis­play.

Robyn-Jane Wren said it would be bet­ter in the park be­cause more peo­ple would stop and en­joy it there.

PIERS FULLER/STUFF

Master­ton sculp­tor Elaine Hurn­dell has cre­ated a life-sized sculp­ture of an an­gel called Grace with a re­flect­ing pool and places for can­dles.

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