One of Northland's most significant street sculptures and the latest adjunct to Kawakawa's growing reputation as an expanding centre for the visual arts will be officially blessed and named at the weekend.
The bronze and glass sculpture is the work of local artist and designer Richard Smart and its creation has involved more than 1500 hours of voluntary labour and commitment.
In keeping with the philosophy of international architect and artist Frederick Hundertwasser, whose functional art in the form of a public toilet facility has put Kawakawa firmly on the world map, the latest sculpture has also been designed to serve a functional purpose.
The artwork on the Gillies and Wynyard Streets junction will serve as both a street light and as a mounting for new directional signs to point the way to visitor features within the town. The sculpture will be officially "unveiled" by Far North Mayor Wayne Brown at 1 p.m. on Saturday (22 August).
The work was conceived in 2002 and has been driven behind the scenes jointly by the Kawakawa Community Trust and the Eastern Community Board.
With the help of $20,000 in seed-funding from the community board, the trust commissioned Richard Smart to design and build a directional sign. The finished work adds to Kawakawa's identity, reflects the town's associations with Hundertwasser and adds to the contributions already made by local artists such as Lisa Davis to enhance the main street.
Richard was also responsible for the design of the welcome arch at the entrance to the town and played a significant role in the redevelopment of the visitor precinct behind the famous Hundertwasser toilets.