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K' Road Seat/Artwork Opening


Fri 28 May 2010, 7:30pm–8:30pm

Where: Caluzzi Bar & Cabaret, 461 Karangahape Road, Newton, Auckland

Restrictions: R15

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


K’ Road Invites Aucklanders to Take a Pew

Like wine and cheese, the creation of good things takes time. So it’s been with the design and manufacture of a new public artwork about to be installed on Auckland’s Karangahape Road later this month.

The ceramic, wood and rolled steel seat-come-artwork, four years and $30,000 in the making, will replace the derelict ferro-cement street furniture which once graced the area outside what is now Calluzzi Bar and Cabaret.

The former quarter century-old seat, which incorporated shrubs and greenery into its original off-beat design, was a favourite with locals and tourists, who enjoyed being snapped sitting amidst the chaos of its pockmarked and undulating exterior. Caluzzi’s drag queen dancer’s also favoured the drama of alighting on the quirky creation as a means of enhancing their evening performances.

So, when it became clear, the old seat had to go, K’ Road Business Association (KBA) Manager Barbara Holloway, was determined to replace it with something she believed would resonate just as strongly with users.

‘It’s been a long time since anyone cared enough to install a public art work in K’ Road,’ says the woman who pioneered installation of the brightly coloured ceramic seat and table which have become synonymous with Ohehunga township. The commissioning of the Greer Twiss bronze fountain in 1968, was the last time, she says, making it high time the street was favoured once again.

Auckland potter Peter Lange, renowned for his large scale works and penchant for injecting humour into his pieces, was approached by the association to do the job. And the result has been a Pacific-influenced 300-400kg steel reinforced ceramic seat made up of twelve-hundred hand-made tiles, which gives the impression of a flax mat unfolding.

‘I liked the image of material unrolling,’ says Peter, ‘and the illusion it looks like something it isn’t.’

And although he approached the task of decorating one of the city’s most colourful streets thinking he had to produce, ‘something which was a little bit over the top and not too tasteful,’ the end result is surprisingly tasteful and delicate – considering he’s allowed for the possibility of three large transvestites electing to dance on it. The humour in the work this time being reserved for the name Peter has chosen, ‘Chaise Lange.’

This seat has been jointly funded by the KBA, Western Bays Community Board, Auckland City Council, Uptown Arts Trust and Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret and is to be gifted to the city by the business association. It is scheduled for installation on Friday 28 May 2010 at 461 K’ Road with the official opening, which is open to the public, set for 7.30pm that night. ‘’We’ve chosen Friday night to fit around Caluzzi’s drag queen diva’s giving a performance on the seat.’ says Barbara.

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