A giant glowing worm has appeared above ground at the Dunedin
It is not a supernatural phenomenon, but the city's latest
piece of public art. The flexible worm, which can bend
because it is constructed from thousands of pieces of
interlocked and articulating marine-grade stainless steel,
was installed over the past two days.
Manufactured in Hamilton, it was transported to Dunedin in
two pieces and welded together by Farra Engineering on site
at the garden.
The $85,000 worm was designed by Christchurch artist Julia
Morison and commissioned by the Dunedin City Council using
funds bequeathed to the garden, to celebrate the garden's
150th anniversary this year. Morison was in the city to
oversee her creation's installation.
She said she chose a worm because of the mythological
symbolism of Ouroboros, a worm-like creature, usually shown
as a snake, which eats its own tail, symbolising constant
recreation, and for the more down-to-earth reason that worms
were the workers in a garden.
''They are kind of unsung heroes, and many unsung heroes have
probably worked in the garden over the years, so I liked
Hence, the sculpture would have two titles - Ouroboros and
Morison said she had been aware of concerns about the process
used to commission the piece, but had no comment, other than
to say she could not have made the sculpture within the
$60,000 budget the council had initially indicated for the
She was excited to see the worm installed.
Fascinated adults and children swarmed around the sculpture
as soon as it was opened at 10am yesterday.
''It sits here really well. It has been a challenge and we
had to make a few tweaks, but I'm very pleased with it,''
Botanic garden team leader Alan Matchett said the sculpture
was an instant hit.
''Straight away, there were people all over it and walking
around it. It's pretty impressive. It fits in the area really
well,'' he said.
''I think it's going to change a few people's opinions when
they see it. The right decision was made.''