Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Outdoor Wednesday: Sculpture by John Edgar at the Auckland Domain
John Edgar's Photo courtesy his website.
This photo is courtesy Auckland city council. Because when I was there, as I wasn't sure if this is the sculpture, I didn't take the photo from a wide prospective, and take them together.
My first reaction when I saw it from afar, was it looks like a grenade. Then as I walked closer, it was an enlongated shape. An unexploded torpedo which is appropriate as the Auckland War memorial is just near by. Upon closer look, at the end of it, were two red spots, I then thought of it as a caterpillar. The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle. A favourite book of my students.
No offence, John if my interpretation is wrong. Perhaps the Domain Parks keeper should go and replace your plaque.
This helpful grass cutter came all the way, stopped his machine and asked if he could help me. Ka Pai to him. It was him to led me to a woman who led me the way.
I went on a three hour outing by myself in search of a sculpture by John Edgar. I know his Mum as we both work with ESOL students at Mt Albert Baptist Church. Yesterday, I had lunch with his parents and his Dad told me about the sculpture. I had to go and see it. Edgar Snr had told me that it was by the duck pond and near to Robbie Burns Statue.
I came home and found on the google that John Edgar is an internationally renowned New Zealand sculptor working with stone, jade, metal and glass.
This is his CV: I was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1950. Graduating from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1972 with a degree in chemistry, I worked for some time as a research chemist, before taking up working with stones in 1977.
What amazed me was he went on to pursue his dreams, and I admire his parents for letting him do it. How often we hear parents wanting their kids to stay on a path that bring in the daily bread. How true is Robert Frost's poem, "Two roads meet, and I took the other, and that has made all the difference."
Going back to my outing, I thought I knew my co-ordinates. Over twenty years ago, I worked at the Auckland Hospital which bordered the Auckland Domain. I used to spend my lunch time at the duck pond feeding the ducks. I knew where the "Millennium Tree" was. But I couldn't find Robbie Burns or Edgar's sculpture. The grass was wet and muddy as it had been raining.
Being a typical woman, I asked people, and I asked many, many people. Some pointed me to different statues. They were all very friendly and helpful people. This makes me very proud to have adopted Auckland as my home. Eventually, I came to the Edgar Sculpture, but I couldn't be sure because there was no plaque. Anyway, I took photos, and not far from them was Robbie Burns, standing high up. More people led me eventually to the lady in the Museum. She went on the google, and confirmed my Edgar sculpture. I left a happy person.
Granite - Coromandel/India
John Edgar's upright stele of grey granite is like an ancient stone memorial marking a sacred site. Does the work's title Transformer refer to the role of the sculptor, carving form out of raw stone, or to the hand of time? The ovoid shape that lies near the vertical form suggests that a second monument has been toppled and worn away by the weather. This implied history through time is made more enigmatic by the narrow slices of red stone that have been laminated into the forms: looking like digital bar codes, they evoke cryptic messages in a secret language.
Special thanks to Trethewey Granite and Marble Ltd and Maunsell Limited for their support of this sculpture.