Thursday, November 11, 2010

The iceman cometh

In a statement, Lady Hillary said she was "very confident" the museum would "care for these items appropriately as their custodians for all New Zealanders".

"And I know they'll display them with pride as reminders of Ed," she said.

Museum officials said the gift would be displayed "in the heart of the museum", in the atrium foyer and stairwell.

The artefacts would be "visible to all who visit the museum".
Relics, dear boy, relics: the sacred artefacts of Sir Ed are being distributed, as far from his children as is geographically possible. Future generations will be able to worship Sir Ed here, in the foyer and the stairwell. It will remind all of us of what it is to be a New Zealander, apparently.

Meanwhile, time is running out:

Ms Stamilla said she was becoming nervous, because making the full-size sculpture and casting the historic moment in bronze would take eight months.

"We've made it clear that if [Eden Park management] don't hurry up it's not going to be made.

"Wellington is well on the way to getting a sculpture built, and I think we are going to miss out.
I expect you can see the trick here. Ms Stamilla has designed for Eden Park a sculpture which it never requested and now tells everyone that that the trustees had better accept it pretty damn quick or it will be too late. This is the marketing style of those "you may already have won" offers which used to come through the post. Not only will we miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime offer but Wellington will have one and we won't.

Before the trustees make this fateful decision they need to make a simple visual observation: the proposed sculpture is hideous. If it were built in Wellington, people would say it represented a man being blown away by the wind. Since it is intended for Auckland, people will expect it to rotate or glow in the dark, or something similarly gaudy. But without added extras the design is gruesome enough. Before we go any further, can we look around and see in what countries statues of this kind are to be found? Here is a clue: their names usually end in -stan.

Ms Stamilla's feeling for sculpture is somewhat archaic, to say the least. I am quite sure she did not learn this sort of thing at Elam. But never mind: she has other skills. Like Leonardo and Michaelangelo, she is quite versatile:
Natalie Stamilla art and design is a versatile business, with experience in signwriting, painting, graphic design and sculpture. What ever the design or art project, Natalie Stamilla can aid the process from concept to completion. There are always a range of solutions to suit every budget.
The citizenry should be asking whether Ms Stamilla's skillset includes engineering or health and safety. How would this horrible thing stand up; what would happen if it did not?

Thankfully, we have other options going forward. The trust could simply buy the Herald's rather peculiar photograph of the Ms Stamilla, her maquette and cardboard cut-out man. They could call it Jones and the Giant Head. Or they could get Dan Arps to gather together some non-organic rubbish and dump it in the car-park.


Rusty said...

It transcends taste, as it is about Rugger. Therefore we must love it.

Stephen Stratford said...

What a chancer. Good on her for enterprise, less so for artistry - or, as you say, health and safety.

But please reassure me that "going forward" was an ironic usage.

Samuel said...

Why the hell is it so far off the ground?

As far as I can tell the most memorable thing about the photo is the way that Jones seems to be levitating just a few inches off the ground, in the millisecond before the try.

Make it twice life-size and jack it up two metres in the air and it just looks ridiculous. Nobody at the 1987 World Cup remembers seeing Jones flying over their heads to the tryline.

Thus as a representation of an actual moment in rugby fans' memories it's a complete failure.

And to me it doesn't even particularly look like Jones. What's wrong with this country when we can't even do slavishly representational sculpture drawn from a photo properly?

I don't really want to think about the physics of all that bronze in the air either. Maybe Stamilla can cast us a few Iwo Jima marines to prop it up during the tournament.

Samuel said...

'Joe Blo' in the Herald's Your Views has similar thoughts to Paul's:

"I feel the perspective is kinda weird.

Isolating the player with the ball and a little mound of dirt. I don't get the feeling of Jones busting his way forward over the tryline.

In fact the motion is in the reverse direction , with Jones looking like a typhoon victim hanging on for dear life in a 500 kilometer wind."

Paul said...

Photography is such an economical medium, compared with monumental sculpture. Neither this artist nor the makers of the Iwo Jima statue seem to appreciate the difference between images and objects. The world is becoming littered with unnecessary bronzes, going forward.