Creation no pipe dream

Dunedin engineering artist Lawrie Forbes shows off Metamorphose, made from fire sprinkler pipes....
Dunedin engineering artist Lawrie Forbes shows off Metamorphose, made from fire sprinkler pipes. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Pipes from an old fire sprinkler system have been given a new life - as a pipe-cleaner man.

The 3.3m-tall sculpture weighs about 300kg and is called Metamorphose because it has morphed from a sprinkler system into a piece of art.

It is the latest sculpture by Dunedin engineering artist Lawrie Forbes, and was created after a Central Otago client asked him to build an "artistic sculpture that could act as a base for a flying fox" he is building.

"Basically, I came up with the idea of making a pipe cleaner man. My dad used to smoke pipes, so as a kid I used to waste his pipe cleaners making men."

Mr Forbes said the $8000 sculpture's arms reach forward and hold a steel rod with a ring on it.

The wire for the flying fox would be attached to the ring.

"I believe it's a piece of private playground equipment for adults."

He said Metamorphose also contained a time capsule that could only be accessed if the sculpture was cut open or when it rusted and broke down over time.

"And also, inside it is the original model of the pipe cleaner man - I made a small scale model of Metamorphose out of pipe cleaners."

Mr Forbes said the sculpture would be transported to its new Central Otago home next weekend but Dunedin people could see it exhibited in Vogel St today.

"I really wanted to put it on display so people can see it. It needs public viewing."

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