Aramoana. 1982, reconstructed 2006
Aramoana 1982, reconstructed 2006. Mixed media.
Artist: Chris Booth.
Hotere Garden Oputae, Constitution St, Port Chalmers Dunedin
Photo: Mike O’Kane
TURNING to the left, we see Chris Booth’s Aramoana (1982), an imposing sight. In form it is reminiscent of a ship’s mast and rigging, minus the sail. The vertical central pole bears its name, carved into the wood. The horizontal beams that project outwards in various directions feature long strings of shells and other beach symbols, further highlighting the specificity of p lace. The reference to the vessels that brought us here and that remain central to the life of Port Chalmers is melded with an environmental message. This piece, too, responds to an important local ecological fight with which both Booth and Hotere were involved. The plan to build an aluminium smelter at Aramoana so appalled many citizens of the area that they declared their independence and created passports, stamps and other symbols of their dispute with the State.
text copyright Jo Campbell
Supplementary information (from conversations with Russell Moses and Mary McFarlane)
Chris Booth was the Francis Hodgkins Fellow at the time, and he was encouraged by Ralph Hotere to build this his first monumental work. Ralph further helped facilitate its creation by providing a site at Observation Point. This is a site-specific work, the title partly refers to the view of Aramoana previously obtained from the sculpture.
Addressing public safety concerns, barbed wire has had to be installed.
Originally Aramoana was bedecked with considerably more flotsam and jetsam, including bones and a wind chime.
From the plaque-
Chris Booth (b. 1948) Kerikeri
Hotere Foundation Trust