Art in the outdoors — southern style

The Ghost Bird / Ngai Tahu / Rakiura’s Titi: This mural on the corner of Tramway and Elles Rds was created by artist Deow (Danny Owen). ‘‘Say when the ghost bird takes flight on the new moon, all titi scamper from their islands and start flight on their epic journey north. The girl symbolises the next generation, the next one to tell the legend. The Southern Lights reflect over the South Coast and the Foveaux Straight. As the birds glide past the skyline of Bluff, Omaui, Centre Island, Riverton, The Longwoods, Takatimus — all seen from the city of ‘Water and Light’ Invercargill.’’ Well-known for his graffiti and street art throughout Invercargill, Riverton and Bluff, one of Deow’s most visible works is on the southern wall of the Kelvin Hotel in the inner city.

A number of outdoor artworks throughout Invercargill have been put into storage for various reasons such as the inner-city redevelopment, street upgrades and restoration of objects.

Remember the bronze weka in Esk St which was installed in 2006 in celebration of Invercargill’s sesquicentennial? The huge umbrella and raindrops created by sculptor and former Southland Museum director Russell Beck in 2000, which was also a sundial? Or the cast iron statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, which had originally
overlooked the Invercargill Athenaeum (public library) on Dee St, before being relocated outside the former Southland Museum & Art Gallery in Queens Park, then removed for restoration work?

During the recent Covid-19 lockdown there were plenty of opportunities for people to walk or bike and check out the diverse outdoor artworks, from glass sculptures to murals which are scattered throughout the city.

Here are a few to whet the appetite.