A new $130,000 sculpture on Wellington’s waterfront has had a mixed reception.
The 2.2 meter high and 8.9 meter wide sculpture – which spells the word Wellington with a missing letter – is designed to be interactive, with people able to stand in place of the missing letter ‘i’ .
Georgina Campbell of the NZ Herald has her doubts:
Really not sure I can get on board with that… I doubt people understand the potential “Instagram” that’s flying past. Looks like a big sign with a misspelling.
Gwynn Compton, Kapiti Advisor:
Good idea. Bad execution. The “I” part where you replace the letter should be a separate base to clearly show that there is a missing letter, rather than a weird elongated L. You can see the steel rail (presumably) holding it all together. It should have been easy to have a separate pedestal to stand on to be the I rather than that confusing long L.
And it’s not an original idea, as Regional Councilor Thomas Nash commented:
Inspired by the old “I Amsterdam” sign campaign? Now we just need to do all the people-centric urban design elements of Amsterdam! Like places where people can walk, hang out in parks, cycle safely, lock bikes, etc. Not to mention social housing and secure rental.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. RNZ quotes WREDA acting chief executive Josh Gardiner as saying the sign is designed to be moved around the city and foster a sense of “I belong in Wellington”.
“It not only gives visitors to the city a great shareable memory of their time here, but also gives proud locals the opportunity to play in their own photos to share with friends and whānau,” he said.
“It is also a part of Wellington that is once again welcoming visitors affected by border restrictions, including those from Auckland who are the city’s largest domestic visitor market. But no matter where our visitors come from, we can’t wait to roll out the welcome mat – or the sculpture in this case.
Mary Poppins or Mayor Andy Foster? pic.twitter.com/rbGJQhuAUO
— Georgina Campbell (@GeorgeKCampbell) January 18, 2022
WordArt says hello. pic.twitter.com/OikYETvC64
— Chris Hyde (@chrishydejourno) January 18, 2022
Just wait until conspiracy theorists talk about ‘Cyrillic’ propaganda prominently displayed outside Te Papa pic.twitter.com/zDDKbcPuft
— Sean Gillespie (@SeanDG) January 18, 2022
The posers here do not respect the ancient art of city name iconography, mastered long ago by Tawa pic.twitter.com/lcgNNAlyq4
— Charlie Mitchell (@comingupcharlie) January 18, 2022