South City prepares for a whale of a tale

South Alive has set the date for the unveiling of the whale sculpture: Friday, August 21. The latest South Alive newsletter (click the picture below for a larger version) says it will be a great occasion that “deserves some serious ceremony and celebration”.

The project was made possible thanks to a donation of $100,00 from retired Invercargill businessman Cliff Broad for a significant piece of public art.

South Alive organised a nation-wide sculpture competition which was won by internationally recognised designer David Trubridge.

Here’s how he describes his 7 metres tall by 10 metres wide creation: ““A rich connection to the land and sea and flourishing coexistence of  cultures.

“The geometric patterning of nature provides the blueprint for strength and growth and the tail flick of a great whale propels a forward momentum.”

Engineering drawings, manufacture of the giant tale and its painting and installation went to local companies: Kensington Consulting (engineering services), Sheet Metalcraft (fabrication), Pneumatic Contractors (painting) and Donaldson Construction (foundations). South Alive said that because of the size, scale and design of the sculpture there were significant engineering and manufacturing complexities to resolve which was made possible by the team effort and close co-operation of the local companies.

Ideas welcome

Back to the opening ceremony on August 21: a procession will start from the South Alive Community Park at the back of the South City Mall at 5.30pm and make its way along Ness Street and Dalrymple Street to the sculpture on the corner of Elles Road.

“We’d love to hear your ideas for the procession and opening event,” the organisers say. Get in touch with them at the South Alive office (Shop 6, South City Mall, Invercargill), by phone (03) 218 6882,  website or Facebook page.

  • South Alive newsletters are archived on this ICC website page. Check the April 2015 newsletter for an artist’s impression of the finished project .