September 12, 2018

Sculpture has Krispie appeal

A new use for stones from the former Lower Hutt Griffins factory has been found.

The granite stones, which were used to grind coconut for Krispie biscuits, are being carved into a sculpture by Tauranga based Barry Te Whatu and Sonny Davis of Waiwhetu Marae.

It will become part of the Waiwhetu Sculpture Walk the E Tu Awakairangi Hutt Public Art Trust is developing.

As well as traditional Maori motifs, such as taniwha including Ngake and Whataitai who Maori legend says originally came down Waiwhetu Stream where the sculpture is being built and will stand, it also incorporates motifs from various biscuits.

The sculpture is a homage to the biscuit factory, with the top a heart shape representing the Shrewsbury biscuit and the edge will be shaped like a Krispie.

“It is also about the workers, of part of the Hutt community, “Te Whatu said.

He and Davis said their “crazy passion” of sculpting took a lot out of them mentally, physically and spiritually.

They had worked on the sculpture from 8am to 5.30pm every weekday for the last few weeks.

Te Whatu completed about six to eight sculptures each year but he said this was a unique opportunity to work in granite as it wasn’t imported into the country anymore.

He usually worked with Taranaki stone and sometimes whale bone.

Davis, who usually worked in wood, said he was lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside Te Whatu.

The sculptures and trust were grateful to various engineers and scaffolding companies which had helped move the stones from an artist’s studio to the corner of Bell Road and Riverside Road.

The first two sculptures on the trail were unveiled in November 2015.

The trust was planning to have 10 sculptures along the trail and budgeted $10,000 for each.