In June this year we announced the winner of the Collin Post 4 Plinths Project. The award went to Sabine Marcelis, a Dutch designer, and for the first time in the Projects 18-year history it went to an artist outside of New Zealand. Sabine receives $50,000 to deliver a work for the four plinths outside Te Papa.
Although Dutch, Sabine’s family immigrated to New Zealand when she was 10 before returning to Holland when she was 23 years old. She now runs her practice from the harbour of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. After graduating from Design School she began working as an independent designer within the fields of product, installation and spatial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterised by pure forms which highlight material properties.
We were thrilled to award this project to an international artist of Sabine’s standing, the 2023 winner of the Elle Décor Designer of the Year award. In her work, Merging Blocks, Sabine has developed a work that incorporates the plinths as part of the work, and uses colour and materiality within the merging blocks to inject warmth into the grey bollards with large planes of coloured glass.
Light plays a crucial role in the work, where during the day sunlight reaches through the blocks to cast beautiful colour reflections on the ground, and at night the artwork will be lit by integrated lighting, illuminating the perimeters of the boxes, allowing a soft glow around the volumes and highlighting their shape. The Trust’s Arts Advisers said of the work: “It is both exciting and beautiful with its materiality and use of colour giving the work a jewel-like quality."
Sabine is the second award recipient under the partnership with Collin Post’s family which commemorates the life of Collin a long-time stalwart of the Trust, and of art and culture in Wellington more generally.
The work will be installed in time for the New Zealand Festival of Art’s launch in late February.