Art & creativity  |  25 Jul 2019

A special public art work will land in South Brighton following a Christchurch City Council decision to approve the installation of a sculpture titled The Godwits.

The work – designed and created by Christchurch sculptor Bon Suter – will be installed in a Council road reserve adjacent to the South Brighton Bridge.  The work features seven painted stainless steel birds on top of tall poles – ranging in height from 5.3 metres to 6.6m – that allow the birds to rotate in the breeze.

An artist's impression of The Godwits sculpture.

An artist's impression of The Godwits sculpture.

The art work was commissioned by the South Brighton Residents’ Association, which has offered it to the city as a gift.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel today lauded the local residents for “literally getting the art project off the ground”.

“For me, the kuaka (bar-tailed godwits) are a true symbol of resilience,” the Mayor says.

“The godwits symbolise that determination to complete the long-distance journey – from one end of the world to the other – each year, touching down on our coast in September and heralding the arrival of spring.

“The Godwits sculpture captures the resilience of these remarkable birds, as well as their beauty, and links them to their integral place in the South Brighton community, while the work complements the striking natural environment.

“On behalf of the city I want to express my sincere thanks to the South Brighton Residents’ Association for this generous gift,’’ the Mayor says.

Each spring, the bar-tailed godwits leave their breeding area in Alaska to return to their Southshore summer feeding grounds. Up to 1600 birds may land, with the first arrivals touching down at Southshore Spit in September after an amazing flying feat. The wading birds head back to Alaska each March.