On 29 June to coincide with the celebrations for Matariki, Ferns, by artist Neil Dawson, was re-installed in Civic Square, almost exactly three years after the original was deemed to be unsafe and taken down.
The new Ferns is as close as possible to the original, which was suspended above The Square in 1998, but has a stronger internal structure and is cut from stainless steel, which is more robust than the original aluminium.
The Trust, which commissioned the new work was humbled by the response from organisations and individuals throughout Wellington who contributed to make it happen. ANZ Bank was the first to provide us with funding as an original sponsor and they were followed closely by Wellington City Council Public Arts, the Nikau Foundation, Wellington Community Trust and the Deane Endowment Trust. Still it could not have been managed without the support of many of our members and the general public who have generously given to make the re-commissioning and installation possible. Over $100,000 has come from individual donors.
The iconic Ferns sculpture sat above Civic Square for 17 years, capturing the spirit of Wellington and adding enormously to our sense of place. It has featured in countless photographs, videos, advertising campaigns, and is often used to promote our city. Loved by Wellingtonians and visitors to the city, the Trust has worked hard with the artist and Wellington City Council to return the sculpture to Wellington’s civic heart.
Principle funding from ANZ bank, The Public Art Fund at Wellington City Council, Wellington Community Trust, Kate and Graham Fortune and Collin Post