Tree sculpture a hazard
Artist: I hoped the rust would not progress
‘We have to save it, it’s incumbent on us because nobody else will do something it.’ about ROBIN WINTER, CHAIRPERSON, WOODVILLE DISTRICTS’ VISION
WOODVILLE’S tree sculpture is rusting and has become a Health and Safety hazard. Its creator, artist Bodhi Vincent, had envisaged that it would have been galvanised before erecting it, but this was not done.
Woodville Districts’ Vision discussed the dilemma at a meeting on Tuesday night.
“We are the key people to do something about it,” said chairperson Robin Winter. “We don’t have any quotes or estimates to go on so it’s been delayed for another month while that information is gathered.
“We had a new offer from someone and one of the members of WDV will have a look at it over and above what has already been talked about.
“Discussion considered dismantling it and taking off all the glass and galvanising it. The cost would be in the vicinity of $10,000. We will have to look at funding. I’m not sure where that’s going to go. “It may be that we will find another methodology that doesn’t cost as much.
“We have to save it, it’s incumbent on us because nobody else will do something about it,” she said.
Artist Bodhi Vincent was asked by Bush Telegraph if it had been intended to have the sculpture galvanised before erecting it.
“While constructing the tree sculpture, rust was my overriding concern. My intention from the outset was to have it galvanised in Palmerston North,” he said.
“Meridian Energy was to transport the tree at considerable cost to its site with a large Hiab. Their representative, whose role was management of the wind farm, offered Meridian’s expertise to paint the tree thus saving the double handling in moving it to and from the galvanising plant.
“When I arrived the painter was almost finished applying a basecoat in the form of a metal primer with some zinc content.
“It was apparent he was applying paint directly on to rusted surfaces. There was some attempt at using a rust neutraliser but the can was empty and the coverage very far from adequate.
“I was shocked and pointed out that by encapsulating the rust beneath the paint membrane he was ensuring an unstable paint surface into the future.
“He simply dismissed my concerns out of hand, pointing out his professional credentials, etc,” he said.
“I shared my concerns with Peter Bonser, my Woodville contact for the job, and as the rusted structure was now covered with a film of paint little could be done but to carry on with what seemed an inherently flawed approach.
“At this point I determined to continue the job myself, determining the approach used thus far was woefully inadequate and the paint would fall off in about five years.
“If I took over I could at least put multiple undercoats and topcoats to slow down the rust.
“I was disillusioned. I hoped somehow the rust would not progress,” he said.
“At this point I’m aware that if the paint has come off, the actual structure itself will be in jeopardy unless remedial action is taken relatively soon.
“This could be rectified with a comprehensive repaint involving rust neutralising (rust gobbler) and Durapox x2 pack followed by solvent based topcoats — these products contain isocyanides and are temperature and humidity affected.
“The glass leaves would have to be removed and reglued, if that’s too difficult then masked up and the painting would be best done within a 48 hour window of time.
“If there is an auto painter nearby that may be the way to go,” he said.
The Woodville tree sculpture was created by artist Bodhi Vincent.