This sculpture (by Frank Wells) was created using local materials – macrocarpa timber grown in Queens Park and quartz stones from Awarua – and is a depiction of the nor’wester winds.

Click theimage for a larger version

The nor’wester can blow at any time of year, but is less common in winter. Many of the strongest nor’westers  blow ahead of cold fronts. A front lying across the South Island will often extend from north-west to south-east, reaching northern parts of Southland before it reaches corresponding areas on the east coast. The steep air pressure gradient ahead of the cyclonic system associated with a front gives these nor’ westers their strength; they will commonly reach gale force and cause isolated damage to trees and buildings.

The arch at the far end of the enclosure represents the cloud formation commonly known as the Nor’ west Arch. Nor’ west is the wind direction predominantly experienced in this area of the Park, so Frank decided to have some form of wind dial, hence the two prominent sculptures in the north and nor’ west directions.