Sculpture Trust still rocked by placement of Edinburgh stone

Otago Sculpture Trust members and supporters hold a re-unveiling of the Dunedin-Edinburgh Stone....
Otago Sculpture Trust members and supporters hold a re-unveiling of the Dunedin-Edinburgh Stone. Photo by Jane Dawber.

The Dunedin City Council must feel as though it's stuck between a rock and a hard place.

A commemorative stone marking the sister city relationship between Dunedin and Edinburgh has been blasted by leading Dunedin artists.

The Dunedin-Edinburgh Stone was sited between Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Water of Leith on November 22 last year, while a reciprocal stone from Dunedin was installed on the Edinburgh waterfront.

"The placement of the Dunedin stone, compared to Edinburgh, is pathetic. It's an unconsidered installation," Otago Sculpture Trust member Stephen Mulqueen said.

"The Dunedin stone is jammed up again the fence-line and can't be fully appreciated by viewers. To experience any three-dimensional object, you have to be able to walk around it," Mr Mulqueen said.

"Its placement is an embarrassment and it clearly fails to match the elegant placement of the sculpture on the Edinburgh quayside. The plaque also fails to mention the project's instigator and maker, Sylvia Stewart."

The project was conceived by Scottish sculptor Sylvia Stewart, who travelled to Dunedin in 1999 to select a basalt volcanic magma rock from the Water of Leith, which was installed at Rennies Isle in Leith on the Edinburgh waterfront.

She created the Aberdeenshire granite rock for Dunedin in 2007, to symbolise the historic cultural bond between the two cities.

Otago Sculpture Trust members and supporters placed a series of half circles around the sculpture last weekend to illustrate the problem with the installation.

"The rocks create a ripple around the artwork," sculptor Peter Nicholls said. "When you throw a rock in water, you get concentric ripples. But the fence stops the ripples occurring around this work and the rocks show that. The fence negates the effect of a 3-D object by preventing people from moving around it."

The Otago Sculpture Trust also held an unofficial "re-unveiling".

Former DCC community life general manager Graeme Hall said the area where the rock was sited was planned as a sculpture area.

"We put it where it was considered appropriate and where it had a relationship with the Leith. Everybody we spoke to said it was a good idea, at the time."




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