City’s sundial umbrella moves to new location

Invercargill City Council Parks and Recreation manager Caroline Rain shows where the umbrella sculpture will be moved next year.

ONE of Invercargill’s best known artworks will soon have a new home.

The Umbrella Sculpture, Our People — Time and Place was removed from Don St in July to
allow the Invercargill City Council’s (ICC) city streets upgrade roadworks to begin.

It has been in storage since then but next year it will be relocated to a more prominent location at the Town Belt Doon St reserve at the end of Esk St.

ICC Parks and Recreation manager Caroline Rain said the sculpture and the named bricks laid underneath were carefully lifted.

The new location was chosen after the council considered several sites, looking at dark sky positioning, visibility from Queens Dr, accessibility and parking.

“The new location better allows us to connect artwork across the city. It will make an amazing focal point coming off Queens Dr,” she said.

ICC estimates the total cost for the relocation would be about $90,000.

The artwork, by the late local sculptor and former Southland Museum director Russell Beck, was installed on the summer solstice in 2000.

According to a panel explaining the concept of the artwork, the sculpture was designed to embrace the people of Invercargill with their time and place in the universe.

Consultation with both the Beck family and the Southland Astronomical Society had taken place about the new location, Mrs Rain said.

The artist’s son, Andrew Beck, said at the time of installation, he and his father were keen on other locations, but Don St had been the only available option at the time.

“Although it looks like an umbrella, it is actually a sundial and an astronomical map that requires unimpeded access to the sky.

“The new location for this scientific work of art is much preferred and I’m sure Dad would have approved. ”

The move is planned to begin early next year.