A proposal to place as many as 90 sculptures, each 3-6m tall, around the Orewa Estuary walkway and cycleway met with a positive response from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.
Nick Hindson from Millwater Gallery presented a business case for the proposition to the board at its June 20 meeting.
He told the board members that the proposed sculpture trail is a long term, legacy project that would appeal to locals and visitors alike and would also be of benefit as a resource for schools.
Should the proposal gain traction, Millwater Gallery would seek permission from the local board to use small parcels of land within the reserve – initially around 33 sites around the 7.5km route have been identified as suitable. Gallery curators would commission pieces to suit the estuary setting, with works potentially leased to the sculpture trail for 2-5 years.
The Millwater Gallery will also seek sponsors and patrons to financially support the trail, including set up costs, maintenance, security and insurance.
Mr Hindson said that it would be important to consult local property owners before any artworks are installed to ensure views are not impeded and deal with other issues such as privacy and security.
Safety for other users of the walk/cycleway was also a concern raised by local board members.
In response to questions, Mr Hindson agreed that 90 sculptures may be too many and that 30-50 pieces may be more reasonable so as not to dominate the walkway with the artworks.
Mr Hindson was advised to take the next step of setting up a Trust and steering committee for the project, with the expectation that eventually landowner consent applications will be lodged with the local board for the first few sculptures.