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Category Archives: New Sculpture Dunedin Region

Public sculpture placed in the Dunedin region since our self guided sculpture trail booklets were published. (See also ‘Publications’ page on this website).

CONE-ALONESeen in the upper Dunedin Botanic Garden, in the Cedars of Lebanon Grove, and overlooking the playground area.

The Cedars of Lebanon Grove was initiated and commissioned by the Cedars of Lebanon Club who had recently sold their ‘Club House’ on Stafford St. 

Consulting Landscape Architect Mick Field, and the Director of the Dunedin Botanic Garden Alan Matchet offered the CLC a site next to the newly built Mediterranean Garden for the placement of a memorial seat and the planting of ceremonial tree for their coming event ‘The Gathering’ in October 2011, when the diaspora of Dunedin’s Lebanese Community were to gather for a special celebratory occasion 

Stuart Griffiths was invited by ‘The gatherings’ event manager Kerry Buchan to meet members of CLC to discuss the production of some further ideas for the Dunedin Botanic Garden’s site, on the basis that it could be more than a seat and a tree and become more of place as was then being proposed.

Some concepts were later discussed with the members of the CLC and were presented to Alan and Mick to consider. A meeting was held at the DBG and it was realised that the site that was offered was not appropriate for the more substantial concept being discussed, and that the present site may be a better option. This new site was agreed as being appropriate and was to be developed further as a concept by Stuart Griffiths.

 Stuart Griffiths produced a concept that the CLC was interested in pursuing further, where the seat, tree and a Sculpture of a Lebanese Cypress Cone would be placed on a terrace to be constructed on the site offered. The tree was already in situ as was another Cypress not to far away.

At the subsequent meeting with Alan and Mick it was agreed that the concept was acceptable to them and their plans for the surrounding areas future development. It was also concluded that the concept could be expanded from the quite ‘incidental’ concept in the arboretum, to being a concept Garden in its own right. Mick Field designed a garden planting and redeveloped the pathway systems to accommodate the placement of this new Cedars of Lebanon Grove Garden.

 Mick’s expanded concept was agreed to be pursued as the gift that the CLC would donate to the City. Mick and Stuart developed the project management plan to build the Garden, in which time – Delta was approached to construct the landscape elements and Stuart Griffiths and Graham Burgess and Alan Stocker of Abrasive Concepts and Monumental were to produce the Sculpture, its plinth, and its base along with the base for the seat. The CLC commissioned the construction of the seat from Cedar of Lebanon timber. The stone tiling also had a map of Lebanon cut into it under the seat.

 Bryn Jones was the sculptor who carved the Cone and Alan Stocker did the pattern making. Alan supervised the sand casting of the cones sections at Giltech Dunedin and the welding together of the sections at Alans Sheet Metal.

 Throughout the project the CLC had delegated the responsibility of managing the project for them to Richard Joseph and Martin George.

 It needs to be ‘Noted’ that Bryn had decided to be inspired by the Cedar of Lebanese Cone in the carving of this idealised Cone and not to pursue an exact copy with all its crinkles and pores.

 Discussion is underway to locate an appropriate plaque nearby the sculpture.

The Sentinels 2010. Recycled solid steel crane weights 

Artist Magnus Sinclair

Photo, Mike O’Kane

Located on the Boiler Point walking track signposted on the right of the Port Chalmers road immediately after the container terminal.

Commissioned by Port Otago Ltd.

The Harbour Mouth Molars Oamaru stone (Sedimentary Limestone)2010

Artist  Regan Gentry

Photo, Mike O’Kane

Comments supplied by Regan Gentry-

‘The work was designed to draw together three elements that help define Dunedin. The harbour mouth, which is located out of the city centre and is also home the well known Albatross colony, the Dental school which is the oldest in New Zealand and has trained many of our currently active dentists, and finally the geological history of the region, the lime stone sourced from the neighbouring district, and the volcanic legacy of the Dunedin area.’


The following additional information is derived from a press release issued by Cara Paterson DCC Community Adviser – Arts.

The 2010 Dunedin City Council Art in Public Places commission has been completed.

Regan Gentry, a Wellington based artist, currently living in Rotterdam, has created a larger than life sculpture titled ‘The Harbour Mouth Molars’ featuring six wisdom teeth constructed from concrete and Oamaru Stone. Each tooth is roughly the size of an up-ended Austin mini car and is arranged in two opposing rows on the edge of the foreshore.

The installation, completed in April, stands on the Kitchener Street Reserve at the foot (southern extreme) of Otago harbour.

Mr Gentry is well-known for his ‘Flour Power’ steel representation of a sheaf of wheat which stands at the intersection of Christchurch’s Colombo and High Streets, and ‘Green Islands’, the native tree look-alikes made from No.8 fencing wire which were recently relocated from the Four Plinths located outside Te Papa to their new permanent home in the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

Dunedin’s public art activity has been fairly static for a number of years and it is their intention to increase the opportunities for public art projects to enliven Dunedin

The DCC’s Art In Public Places programme has a budget of $100,000 which is implemented over a two year cycle, and builds on the city’s previous commissioning policy including the 2008 installation of ‘Kuri/Dog’ by Stephen Mulqueen.

Kuri / Dog, 2008. railway track, bogeys, steel  and wood

Artist Stephen Mulqueen

Location Magnet Street,Dunedin    Photo: Paul Sorrel

In mid 2008 a new site-specific sculpture titled Kuri / Dog by Stephen Mulqueen was installed beside Otago Harbour in Dunedin.

The commission was selected by the Art in Public Places Committee in accordance with the DCC Art in Public Places Policy. The Committee is comprised of acknowledged professionals of the arts and related industries.

 As a site-specific work the sculpture is at once a local/national and universal motif. The work casts a local shadow back into a pre-European past drawing on the narrative of place within the OtagoHarbour; Te Umu Kuri also known as Wellers Rock is a place name and promotes a poetic translation; Umu meaning either ‘oven’ or ‘swift current’ and kuri ‘dog’.

 The Kuri / Dog structural form is based on a railway spike nail also known as a dog. Dogs were used to hold down the rail iron track to the wooden sleeper and have been replaced with steel clip-ons and now concrete sleepers. The sculpture Kuri / Dog sits on railway bogie wheels atop twenty metres of rail iron track.

The first railway line between Dunedin to Port Chalmers was built in 1856 and the sculpture pays homage to Otago-Dunedin railway histories and the many generations of railway workers who built and then maintained the rail line to the present day.

The dog as subject matter and representation, image & object, has a unique place across many cultures and has come to embody a wide spectrum of values and emotions.  Te Kuri / Dog is no exception as its makerStephen Mulqueenbelieves it takes its place in a rich cultural tradition of painting and sculptural development representing the theme of Canis familiaris.

 Kuri / Dog was the only domesticated animal of the Maori and was brought to Aotearoa New Zealand by Polynesian mariners several hundred years ago, and has become embedded into the cultural memory of place. Kuri was also a valuable hunting companion, used extensively in theSouth Islandand provided a source of food, skins and industrial bone. 

With the arrival of European dogs and consequent cross-breeding many of the resulting progeny ran wild in packs, threatening the livestock of the early European settlers. As a result they were shot in considerable numbers, with the last part kuri being destroyed in the later nineteenth century. Kuri lives on through tribal name Kati-Kuri, in sculptural form and in place names. 700 year old images speak from black charcoal drawings on rock overhangs onSouth Islandcaves while mythologies recall narratives around Kuri / Dog.

 Kuri / Dog is a conjunction of many meanings. It emerges from under the layers of our shared cultural and industrial heritage where place has been infected by both personal and collective memory and redefines a sense of place by its physical presence. Today the domestic dog plays a central role as family companion and on this level the artist wants the work to represent a shared value in the community.

 The sculptor Stephen Mulqueen suggests the work will open up conversations and connections in a myriad of ways that will ask the viewer to reflect on local  and  cultural histories.  The sculpture can communicate meaning on a number of levels offering connections to the natural and built environment.  Placed on a site next to the Otago Yacht Club in Magnet Street, Kuri / Dog looks out towards the harbour entrance as a cultural guardian and watch dog looking after people and the environment.

 Tepid Baths collaboration project- Peter Nicholls, Peter Olds, 2009.

Pre-decimal currency coins, and mixed media.

Located in Moray Place, Dunedin on the Securities Building (corner of Lower Stuart Street)

Peter Nicholls, sculptor with Peter Olds, Poet.

 Photo, Mike O’Kane


Completed June 2009 with generous assistance from DCC Architecture and Urban Design and Heritage Festival Committee funding

Project umbrellared by Otago Sculpture Trust

A hundred kids on Saturday afternoon

wait in line for the tepid baths to open:

pushing, shouting, slouching against the wall

like sailors in Davy Crockett hats,

turning pennies in the wall’s soft stone.


In the changing room tough boys

flick wet towels at each other

then race, shivering, to the deep-end

where old men float like crocodiles- -

eyes bobbing just above the water.

  Peter Olds