New location confirmed for city Umbrella

The former Don Street Umbrella Sculpture, Our people – Time and Place, has found a new home.

The sculpture and the named bricks laid underneath were carefully uplifted from Don St in July in order to allow the City Streets Upgrade to begin.

Invercargill City Council Manager Parks and Recreation Caroline Rain said the artwork, by the late Southland Museum director Russell Beck, would be relocated to the Town Belt Doon Street reserve at the end of Esk Street.

The location was chosen after Council considered several locations, looking at dark sky positioning, visibility from Queens Drive, accessibility and parking, Mrs Rain said.

“It will make an amazing focal point coming off Queens Drive,” she said.

Consultation with both the Beck family and the Southland Astronomical Society had taken place.

Andrew Beck said that at the time of installation he and his father were keen on other locations, but that Don Street had been the only available option at the time.

“Although it looks like an umbrella it is actually a sundial and an astronomical map that requires unimpeded access to the sky,” Mr Beck said.

“The new location for this scientific work of art is much preferred and I’m sure Dad would have approved.

“We very much appreciate the respectful approach, consultation and consideration our family has been given during the relocation process, and we look forward to seeing the umbrella in its new location.”

The artwork was installed on the summer solstice in 2000 and featured bricks stamped with the surnames of all those living in the city at the time. The bricks will be relocated along with the umbrella.

The move is planned to commence in early 2022.