Seeing Beacon lighting up for the first time, artist Lang Ea said: “I am very pleased. This is how I had conceptualised it.”
The sculpture and lighting were installed at Milford Reserve in March before lockdown, and last week the lights were switched on - revealing the artwork’s full effect both day and night.
Visitors to Milford Reserve now see a soft violet hue wash over Beacon and shafts of light beam into the sky from dusk until 10pm, adding another lighting dimension to the area.
Councillor Alf Filipaina, who is Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee which also looks after Public Art across the region, says the sculpture delights on all levels.
“The capital cost of Beacon and its lighting system were covered in Auckland Council budgets pre-COVID-19, and the cost of power is part of Auckland’s Parks lighting budget.
“At a time when all of our budgets are being reviewed, it’s awesome to see our public art being given extended viewing hours without incurring incremental cost,” he says.
“Beacon was already magnificent in daylight, but now our kids and their families will see a shiny silver circle change into something even more magical at night,” he says.
Lang says her sculpture symbolises and reflects the significant and courageous achievements of the suffrage movement in New Zealand more than a century ago. “It lights the way for women in the present and future,” she says.
Envivo engineering and Taranaki-based company Global Stainless worked together to fabricate the artwork, while lighting was specified by Thorn Lighting NZ.
Standing 2.5 metres tall, the sculpture needed large sheets of stainless-steel plate to be meticulously welded together, ensuring the joined weld seams were invisible in the finished artwork. Global Stainless brought their extensive experience to the project, with a history of fabricating and polishing large stainless-steel works for artists globally.
The spheres made for Sir Anish Kapoor’s spectacular Tall Tree sculptures, located in South Korea, Singapore, France and at the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in Spain, are other examples of the high quality of workmanship Global Stainless are known for internationally.