Wakatipu Vessel is in Omer Park, along the Lake Esplanade on the Glenorchy side of the Steamer Wharf complex. The form's peaceful, statuesque disposition suits it's position in the park just outside the busy part of town.
The upmost structure appears just as much leaf as it is waka. Negative shapes have been laser cut to leave a leaf-vein pattern in the steel sheet.
The thick stainless steel sheets have been tidily laser cut and spot welded. The surface has been brushed to finish. Good choices for a public sculpture. It appears idiot-proof, a necessity for art in our towns. A skilled climber or people working together could probably climb up and into the structure. It appears that it would withstand that without damage. I don't intend to encourage anybody to try, but that's the kind of thingI think about when looking at art.
There is minimal landscaping on the ground around it, with rocks concreted into place and tussocks between the rocks and columns.
According to the newspapers it was 'controversial'. What public sculpture is ever not controversial? The controversy was over this one being funded $200,000 by the Queenstown Lakes District Cultural Trust without public consultation. But how interesting could a public sculpture would be if it had to gain the approval of a majority of the public before proceeding? And how durable would the structure itself be if funding was cut to whatever was leftover in the council's budget? I support the presence of public art, both old and new, and I also think the commissioning of it should be overseen by people who have good knowledge of contemporary art rather then by consensus of the general population.