A sculpture to celebrate the University of Waikato’s first 50 years was unveiled at sunrise this morning.
The work “L” is by artist Sophie Hermann and sits between the Student Centre and L Block on campus.
“L” is the Roman numeral for 50 and five of the wooden black and red elements represent the university’s first five decades and the sixth is a symbol for the future. About 50 people braved a wintery wind to attend the event.
The day began with a karakia to bring the sculpture to life, performed by tohunga Mataia Keepa, before Ms Hermann gave an insight into her inspiration for the work. She said it represented “what was here before, where we’ve come from and where we are going”.
Meaning of the sculpture
The vertical forms represent the kahikatea and tawa forest that sat on the land many years ago and the peach tree in the middle is a nod to the nearby peach grove that once flourished in the area.
The poetic text inscribed in the wood and on the surrounding glass is a metaphorical representation of the four compass points.
Ms Hermann said she wanted people to engage with the art, use it as they would outdoor furniture. “Make them yours,” she said.