Brick Bay Sculpture Trail
Arabella Lane, Snells Beach
Did the title catch your eye? Well we will get to that part soon… It was a humid, soggy morning, when we set off on the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, map in hand. The track starts from the architecturally designed Glass House, perched on the edge of a lake. Through bush, around lakes and into small grassed areas, we meandered our way along the 2 km trail admiring the interesting contemporary works of art.
I was armed with the camera, taking photos and trying to keep up with the hubby, while he read the artwork descriptions from the trail map. Yes, a man who used a map (now that’s a work of art). He was also great at locating the hard to find installations, as although most of the pieces are positioned in obvious spots (grassed areas, on water, high on hills), there are a few hiding up trees. During our trek, the hubby and I had many an interesting ‘discussion’ regarding these descriptions and trying to define what constitutes art. Combining two of my passions (and since this is my blog, not his), my belief is that art is like wine – everyone has different tastes, and the same glass/artwork will taste different or mean different things to different people.
Here are some of my highlights:
Artful Wine – Wine and art do somehow seem to complement each other. Some of you may even remember a previous post I wrote about visiting a sculpture display at a Carterton Vineyard. I’m a big fan of both, so I was impressed by the large corkscrew sculpture made with bricks. Aptly named ‘Brick Corkscrew‘, this piece was created by Peter Lange to blend together the art and wine found at Brick Bay. This artist is also the creator of brick Caravan, located outside the Museum on Hamilton’s Victoria Street, and the eye catching lounger on Karangahape Road, Auckland, that the Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret ‘girls’ perform on.
Play on Words - Visitors to Lorne Street, Auckland, will be familiar with the granite works of Mary-Louise Browne. Her installation at Brick Bay (Meteorol) is in a similar style, with steps that lead you from the words ‘RAIN’ to ‘MIST’, with one letter changing on each step to create another word.
Thought Provoking - Both hubby and I thought ‘Awaiting Transportation‘ by Lucy Bucknall, was the most thought provoking artwork on the trail. Created in phosphor bronze, it speaks to immigration and displacement created through war, depicted through Mr and Mrs Otter, dressed in their finery with suitcases at their feet. I really liked the placement of the installation, at the end of the crisscrossed boardwalk.
Look Up and Look Down - You have to remember to not just look at the path. I loved the finish of Chris Hargreaves’ ‘Artificial Stations for Preceding Atmospheric Movement‘. The box kite hanging in the trees is decorated with clouds and sky. While ‘Mahoe‘ by Jeff Thomson, provides a colourful installation of corrugated iron Mahoe leaves on the bush floor.
The Kids Will Love - Here are three pieces of artwork which should keep the kids interested along the walk.
David McCraken’s shiny bomb ‘Incendiary Artwork‘ and rocket ‘Squeeze Me (Offensive)‘
Three bright giant windmills, that reminded me of going to a country fair as a child – ‘The Memory Windmills‘, by Leon van den Ejkel
Honey I shrunk the sheep – loads of little sheep wearing numbered jerseys. Gregor Kregar’s tribute to the Rugby World Cup, ‘Matthew 12:12 Cup 2011‘
Mirror, Mirror - Gregor Kregar is also the artist of ‘Fragmented Interactions‘, a towering stainless steel sculpture that reflects its environment – bush, sky (well, grey clouds on the day we visited), and you, as you walk by.
Loo with a View - Tracey Tawhiao decorates an out-house with bright graffiti-style Wairuaatua symbols. Further around the track there were also similarly decorated spades and garden forks hanging through the trees.
Using Your Head – My sixth form art folio focused on bodies as landscape forms. So, I quite liked the huge corten steel face of ‘Tor‘ by Richard Wedekind.
Outside the Box – The weirdest ‘art’ installation for me was Laura Marsh’s ‘Mine‘. A huge wooden box, with a swing door, with the word ‘Mine’ subtly displayed inside. But, once again, each to their own.
Shhhh, Listen! - The art on display was not all visual. There were also a couple of audio artworks on the trail. At the top of the Kauri Climb section, there were three sets of large brightly coloured trumpet shapes which you put to your ears to listen through (‘Listen – Stop‘ by Phil Dadson), as well as a thirty voice choral interpretation of Amazon frogs, that starts when you walk onto a jetty (‘The Sex Choir‘ by Sam Hamilton) and a scary male voice that whispers through the trees at you when you are walking through a thick bush area (‘Spoken Indexes‘ by Dean Roberts).
Not ‘actual’ art, but artful, none the less, we were also treated to the melodic tunes of the native tui during our walk, and saw many fantails flittering along beside us. As we emerged from the bush, we discovered one of my favourite installations on the Sculpture Walk…
Carnivorous Zombie Ladybirds - Yes, you heard right!
Antionette Ratcliffe’s ‘The ladders in your stockings go up to your suspenders‘ was one piece of art that both hubby and I agreed was very cool. Dozens of painted ceramic ladybirds (complete with fangs) taking over an oak tree. See, they never show you what happened to the ladybirds on The Walking Dead, so now I know.
I dare say I’ll come home one day to find hubby has glued plastic animals to our tree trunks to make them more interesting. Should be fun.
The trail takes about an hour and is an easy walk, although the Kauri Climb makes for a good step aerobics routine. There are plenty of benches dotted along the path should you need a rest stop, and take care if it has been raining, as the wooden boardwalks become a tad slippery.
The sculptures change on a regular basis, and all the art work is for sale.
Admission to walk the Trail is $12 per adult and the last entry is 4 pm.
Top Tip: Wear appropriate footwear. Make sure you leave enough time for a coffee or wine from the Glass House when your walk is finished. You will have earned a treat by then and I can highly recommend their chocolate brownie.