Sculptures and public art
The Taupo Sculpture Trust was formed when a small group of enthusiasts decided the time was right to add some dynamic shape and culture to the Lake Taupo Region.
The Trust was formally created in late 2008 and is now registered as a charitable trust, working under the provisions of a formal trust deed.
The Heartland Sculpture' represents Taupo's position as the heart of the North Island and was handed over to the Taupo District Council on Sunday 25 September 2011 by the Friends of the Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery Inc.
The piece, which sits proudly on the Tongariro South Domain, was constructed by local artist Brett Taylor, who took inspiration from the early settlers of Taupo. The heart is made of stone and is covered with 10mm of high-tech colour and clear resins.
The massive stained Matai logs that create the main structure around the heart were hauled out of the Waipohotu Forest near Mangakino.
The heavy structure, fastened with bronze straps, represents the infrastructure and hard work of early New Zealand settlers. The bronze stars at the top of the wooden structure represent those used by settlers to navigate to New Zealand.
The Cloak of Tia
The first sculpture from the Taupo Sculpture Trust, The Cloak of Tia, was unveiled on Friday, 16th October 2009, by Mayor Rick Cooper and the Sculpture Trust Chairman Ian Smith in front of a very appreciative crowd. The 3m glass towers stand at the entrance of the Great Lake Centre, a testament to the great Maori explorer and Ngati Tuwharetoa ancestor Tia.
The contemporary sculpture was the creation of renowned glass artist Lynden Over of Lava Glass Studio in Wairakei. The sculptor explained his inspiration for the piece the blue and green hues represent the lake and the surrounding forest, the red and brown hues represent the fiery volcanic nature of the region.
The sculpture is made up of 4,000 individually hand made pieces of glass, representing the feathers from the Cloak of Tia. The left over feathers are available as limited edition commemorative pieces at the Lava Glass Gallery. One of the four inset plaques gives a full explanation of the making of this sculpture and the rhyolite pedestal on which it is set
Taupo Sculpture Trust aims to formulate other contemporary sculptures for the Taupo District and has received donations from Taupo Moana Rotary Club and Creative Taupo towards its work. The next planned sculpture is a water structure on the Colonel Roberts reserve, a sculpture that will respond to the environment around it.
View the Story of The Great Cloak if Tia here.
Contact Energy's Gift to the People of Taupo -Ngatoroirangi Toa Matarau
Dawn on Saturday the 14th of November 2009, saw around 1000 people join members of the Taupo RSA at the entrance to the Taupo War Memorial to unveil Contact Energy's Gift to the People of Taupo. The 9 metre high sculpture is a Waharoa or spiritual entrance that now stands as a gateway to the Taupo War Memorial Cenotaph on Tongariro Street in Taupo.
It was designed and carved by local master carver Delani Brown, who is of Ngati Tuwharetoa/ Raukawa descent. He worked closely with Ngati Tuwharetoa Kaumatua to receive the stories, wisdom and historical knowledge that underpin the stories depicted in the carving.
The Waharoa has been sculpted from ancient Totara sourced from the Waipohutu forest of the Pouakani Lands, it features carvings that tell a symbolic and spiritual story about the arrival of geothermal energy to the Taupo region.
The site for the Waharoa outside the Great Lake Centre was selected by Ngati Tuwharetoa as it is sacred to the whole community as a place to reflect and remember those who have passed on.
View the story of the Waharoa Ngatoroirangi Toa Matarau here.
New Zealand's premier street art festival takes place in Taupo during the Labour Weekend and features internationally acclaimed New Zealand artists.
Artists create artworks at various locations around the Taupo town centre over the weekend. The public are encouraged to explore the town centre and see these amazing artists in action, beautifying our district with unique and modern art.