Pit lane set to see Red


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26 November 2008

Following a call for Expressions of Interest earlier this year, Hamilton City Council's Public Art Committee has chosen a dynamic and interactive work, Passing Red, by nationally-acclaimed, local artist Gaye Jurisich, to become the city's newest piece of public art.

Once built, Passing Red will fit across the full length of the Hamilton 400 V8 Supercars pit lane on Mill Street, a distance of approximately 200 metres. The work, sponsored by the Perry Foundation will be dramatic but interactive. It will be constructed out of straight, bent and curved, galvanised piping, and will be coated with scarlet red hardened paint.

The piece's relocatability was a unique requirement based on the fact that the work will be sited on pit lane in the months outside of the annual V8 Supercars streetrace but be temporarily removed each year for the duration of the event.

Once it is installed, Passing Red will contribute significantly to the landscape mitigation activity around Mill Street where the pit lane is located. Development of a Landscape Mitigation Plan was a specific condition of the Resource Consent granted for the Hamilton 400. The Plan suggests the introduction of some form of relocatable art for the location, a recommendation welcomed by both the Council and the Waikato Tree Trust as a solution for the site.

Waikato Museum director, and member of the Public Art Committee, Kate Vusoniwailala says Jurisich's work stood out for the committee.

"Passing Red is a visually engaging proposition that responds well to the site brief. The proposal references the high level of traffic passing the site each day along an 'arterial passageway', lanes of the road or race track, and the curves and meandering of a river. It was considered versatile in its meanings yet connected to the specifics and experiences of the pit lane site."

Jurisch says she found her inspiration for the title of Passing Red as a result of considering the way the work would be seen by audiences.

"It will come out of the ground at the east end, go across the pit area, then look like it goes under the road and out again, go across the second half of the pit area, then finish into the ground at west end. It will have tight corners, pinned down and free to wander. It could be like a track, a journey, a river, a celebratory ribbon, a symbol of hope. It could stimulate a game of in and out, climb and crawl. It will create and reflect shadows and at night be a flowing red guiding line of direction"

Vusoniwailala says, "When Council first called for Expressions of Interest we urged artists to think "creative and dynamic". We were hoping that the project would deliver to the city another piece of public art which adds value to the site and reflects Hamilton's unique identity. With Passing Red Jurisch has delivered on that and more."

Construction of Passing Red is set to begin offsite in the months leading up to the 2009 Hamilton 400 event. The finished work is expected to be installed on Mill Street following the event's 20 April conclusion.

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Page reviewed: 26 Nov 2008 12:00am