Original artist back to touch up work
Returns to restore Te Mata Peak mural
If you have been to the summit of Te Mata Peak, then you have seen the tile mapof Hawke’s Bay that sits under the 399m high trig point. An Auckland artist with strong ties to the Bay recently returned to Hawke’s Bay to help with maintenance on the porcelain tile art installation she created in 1999.
Ceramic artist Judith Rosamund was commissioned by Havelock North Rotary 23 years ago to create the tile art piece to go on top of the peak.
The Rotary Club commissioned their tile artwork after Rosamund did tiled commissions for Napier City Council in the Emerson Street mall and for Hastings District Council when it upgraded the Hastings Mall.
Although growing up in Auckland, the artist spent 20 years living in Hastings, while her mum’s side of the family is from Porangahau, in Central Hawkes Bay.
“So I have strong links to the Bay,” Rosamund said.
The Te Mata Peak ceramic map was one of Rosamund’s last big commissions before moving back to Auckland.
Fifteen years ago, Rosamund did some repairs on the map, which she could do in my studio as she had surplus tiles and access to the glazes.
As part of Te Mata Park Trust’s regular maintenance programme Rosamund was asked if she could tidy up the cracks and restore the tile art to ensure that it can withstand the pressures of weather and people walking on it.
She agreed and has been hard at work for the past few weeks.
As the glazes are no longer available, this time around the artist repaired the map in place using epoxy fillers and specialised acrylics she purchased while in the United Kingdom earlier in the year.
Rosamund explained the biggest challenge was working in such an exposed site with significant temperature variations.
Some days it would be “scorching hot” at the top of the summit and then drop down to single digits overnight.
“It was lovely to comeback to work on it after so long. A bit like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time,” she said.
The artist loved driving up the peak to work every day and themany conversations she had with people who visited the summit.
She was surprised by how many people visited Te Mata Peak.
Visitors to the scenic trig point ranged from tourists from Denmark, locals, and a convoy of Mustang cars on a North Island tour.
Rosamund also had a few daily visitors, a little pipit bird, a cyclist who rides up each day, and friends who bring her coffee.
She says she was “really pleased to see how people use the map to orient themselves and understand what they are looking at”.
“It was gratifying to see that it works well, has stood up to conditions and people respond positively to it,” Rosamund said.
The artist has now completed her restorations.