This is Jenny Scown’s photo of Nga Uri o Hinetuparimaunga, at Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand – it’s from Chris Booth’s website.
It’s been a long time in the planning but we are getting closer to a final decision on a major new piece of sculpture in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
There are some lovely older works in the Gardens of course: the very grand Governor Phillip Fountain, the art nouveau Levy Fountain, the replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, right through to groups of creatures such as the Mare & Foal, Lion & Lioness, and the variously numbered Seasons. (A marble bust of Persephone by Marshall Wood looks pensively off into the distance in my office.)
More recently we have installations from the 1996 Sydney Sculpture Walk – Bronwyn Oliver’s Magnolia Seed and Palm, Fiona Hall’s Folly for Mrs Macquarie and Brenda Croft’s Wocanmagulya inside the Garden fence – and a few other modern pieces.
It’s over ten years since we have a new ‘piece’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens, but the next one will be a doozy. I can’t give too much away at the moment but New Zealand sculpture Chris Booth has come up with a concept that appeals to the trustees of a Deceased Estate (which stipulates that a major sculpture be commissioned for a harbour-side location) and to the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust (i.e. us). I think I can say it will likely involve sandstone, local plants and attracting some of our animal friends (e.g. reptiles and micro-bats).
Chris Booth has done lots of spectacular work around the world and is about to be engaged (I think) by Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. Have a look at his website.