circle of cultures
‘Embrace’ was created as part of the Glen Innes Town Centre Redevelopment Project (2002), stage one of which was a re-build of the public space in the town heart, Mayfair Place. Local Glen Innes residents and business owners worked closely to realise this sculptural space, in both the design and construction processes.
The core idea for Embrace came from Teaiivaiue Enoka, a local Cook Island elder who shared the traditions of the Cook Island marae, a stone circle where elders come together to make decisions on behalf of the community. The circle represents unity and peace for the people of Glen Innes.
At the centre is a ring of red fused glass, designed by local graffiti artist Tangiwai Haretuku, representing the fire, energy or hearth of the community. One hundred clay tiles form a ‘circle of cultures’ perimetre around the sitting stones. These were individually designed by children from Point England School, Glen Innes Business owners and tangata whenua representatives, and crafted by a group of GI community, through a collaboration with Michael O’Donnell, Tarariki Pottery.
300 small clay ‘stones’ were also created as part of the project. They were each wrapt in a karaka tree leaf and a poem. These taonga (treasures) were entrusted to the many people who were part of the project over the two years of its evolution. In this way, the connections of the sculptural ‘embrace’ live quietly inside the homes of members of the Glen Innes community.
Community Participatory Project
Mayfair Place Mall, Glen Innes, Auckland, New Zealand
Client: Auckland Council
Project Team: Tevita Tanaki, Teaiivaiue Enoka, Corrie
Temata-Fong, Danielle Meredith, Noeleen Rupapera, Tangiwai Haretuku
(design of red glass ring), Tarariki Pottery- Mike O'Donnell,
Virtualight - Peter Stoneham, Clare Glass Studios - Dermott Kelly, Auckland
Stonemasons, Nigel Scanlan, P&M Paving and Construction, Glen Innes
Business Association, Ka Mau Te Wero, Ruapotaka Marae, Isthmus Group
and many others.
basalt, clay, cast glass, stainless steel, LED Lights
Photos: Caroline Robinson of Cabal