The work is simply two bamboo wind chimes hanging from a tree in the Owen St park in Newtown, Wellington. The chimes were hung from a large tree branch that reaches out over a dramatic dirt bank. From the top of the bank you look out through the trees into Newtown. The Chimes were hung in a way to represent the eyes of Tāwhirimātea (Māori god of wind). The sculpture is a tribute to Matariki and the wind that Wellington is so famous for. Each chime clackers as the wind blows, and these sounds correspond with the sparkling of the Matariki constellation above, Tāwhirimātea’s eyes.
“The eyes of Tawhirimatea look over Newtown in the form of the Matariki cluster of stars. In between Ranginui and Papatūānuku, Tāwhirimātea goes wild. The wind roars and the rain comes down but for a brief moment you have clarity and see the glistening constellation in all its glory. The eyes of Tāwhirimātea sparkle and a moment of awe is realized.”
The idea was to create a natural public space, with sounds given voice by nature, to remember and reflect on Matariki.
Materials used: Bamboo sticks, hemp twine and vinyl tape.
The chimes were hung on July 08, 2020, just before Matariki, and were taken down on Aug 12.
To finalize this piece I have also produced a sound recording. All of the sounds were recorded at the site on a ZOOM. The chimes were recorded along with other environmental sounds. I also took along a Deluge (battery powered synthesizer) and improvised some stuff to accompany the natural sounds. All things recorded that day were inspired by the elements and energies of the site.
The track is called ‘Tāwhirimātea’.
The chimes may reappear in the stairwells of Pyramid Club or in the trees at Dan, Nell’s and Rita’s house.
Thanks to Pyramid Club and Dan Beban for the support, Jonny Marks for facilitating the website and Sophie Hathaway for the installation assistance.