A wander around our beautiful Caroline Bay these days is a real treat. The landscaping done a few years ago in conjunction with Timaru City Council and the landscaping team at Boffa Miskell has settled in and is growing well.
There are appealing paths lined with natives running along below the railway tracks and others heading to the beach, these ones lined with dramatic plantings of Phoenix palms. After a fairly perfect growing season it looks fantastic.
Whilst there the other day I took a few shots of some more of the Heartland Sculpture Challenge sculptures dotted about the city. The entry by Rory McDougall is the focus of my article today.
The piece ‘Triffid’ was so admired by Jill Maclean, an art teacher at Craighead School at the time and Timaru Law firm, Raymond Sullivan McGlashan, that they decided to jointly purchase it as a gift to the city. “It’s just sited so well, I love the others but I really thought Triffid should stay for Timaru," Ms Maclean said.
Our Keltic knot sculpture is arresting and graceful. It is a carved black marble sphere and sits atop its plinth in a lovely courtyard in front of the World War 2 tribute shelter to the right of the Bay Hill entrance.
The artist, Rory McDougall, was raised in the Highlands of Scotland. At the young age of 12 he attracted the interest of his art teacher with his clever doodles and patterns. He was introduced to the book "Keltic Art - Methods of Construction" by George Bain, was inspired and hasn’t looked back since.
He spent some time at art schools in Scotland but left these formal studies behind for more ‘hands-on’ study in metalcraft and stone masonry in Germany. He travelled to New Zealand and now lives on the West Coast, in Hokitika.
His fascination with Keltic art and its iconography continues to influence his works today and you can see this clearly when you look at his work. He has exhibited extensively and has several public art objects around New Zealand and pieces in many private art collections throughout New Zealand.
It was wonderful to see people walking through the Bay and enjoying the ambience and the late summer sunshine. If you haven’t been for a time then perhaps, if it’s a perfect autumn weekend, it’s time for a visit. Enjoy the trees, check out the sculptures. Personally I couldn’t help but reflect on and appreciate the generosity of people who are so invested in our community they are happy to donate good quality art to add to the publics enjoyment now and for many generations to come.
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