The aim of the 4 Plinths Sculpture Award is to foster art, artists and audience interactions, and to provide an opportunity for established and emerging artists to work in the area of large-scale public sculpture.
Temporary sculpture on the 4 Plinths enables artists to realise a public sculpture, with all the challenges of scale, robustness and rigour that come with working in a tough environment and in a highly visible space.
The project forms part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival’s visual arts programme.
The first installation was Green Islands, 2008-10 by Regan Gentry. His wire trees were an ironic response to the absence of vegetation in the stark, open site.
The second was Mimetic Brotherhood, 2010-12 by Peter Trevelyan. His four rubberised, abstract shapes engulfed the plinths, their shiny steel surfaces reflecting and mimicking everything within range – clouds, the harbour, and passers-by.
The third was Out of the Dusk, 2012-14 by Joanna Langford. It reflects the artist’s response to environmental degradation and to the industrial features of the harbour close by.
The fourth was Rita Angus used to grow her own vegetables, by Glen Hayward was in place from 2014-2016 and featured four replica shards of broken pottery from the Rita Angus house garden. Constructed of laminated macrocarpa and painted to the finish of crockery, the shards were 50 times the scale of the originals with the patterns carefully reproduced.