DCC studies art project

Those with an opinion about Dunedin's public art installations will soon have a new project to get their teeth into.

Fresh from spending $45,000 on Regan Gentry's Harbour Mouth Molars, the Dunedin City Council is eyeing contemplates its next public work of art.

Council community arts adviser Cara Paterson - a member of the art in public places committee - was reluctant to reveal details when contacted, but confirmed a project and location had been identified.

"It's really, really, really exciting," she said.

It is fair to say not everyone is convinced, including Cr Neil Collins.

Speaking at this week's community development committee meeting, he said he "recoiled in horror" at the money spent on the harbour teeth.

"I view with some trepidation the next project soon to be considered."

He believed the money would be better put aside for a "couple of years", and the accumulated fund eventually used to install a new city fountain.

Asked if the project was likely to generate as much controversy and debate as the last work, Ms Paterson was cagey: "Who knows?""I didn't really think we would get quite as much comment about the last work as we did. It's a learning process for me."

The committee was working with the artist to confirm details, and hoped to have resource consent to proceed within the next few months.

The work would be installed sometime during the 2010-11 financial year, with an undisclosed budget funded from a mixture of council and other sources, Ms Paterson said.

The council called for expressions of interest for projects that were "site-specific", and worked through applications from Dunedin and nationally.

A shortlist of "two or three" potential projects had been drawn up, and since reduced to one project suitable for the site, she said.

The council had a $100,000 budget for public art installations over a two-year cycle.

The committee would also meet over the weekend to discuss a third project scheduled for 2011-12, with expressions of interest then to be called for.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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