The Golden Promise, 2015
Massey University, Albany Campus
50thJubilee Heritage Commission: Permanent
Heritage Sculptures Mark Massey’s Golden Jubilee
Heritage sculptures are being unveiled at the three Massey University campuses to commemorate the 50th anniversary of becoming a university.
Professional external advice was sought by the respective campus arts committees to help select the artists who crafted the sculptures.
The first to be unveiled, at Albany yesterday, was a giant chicken wing called The Golden Promise created by Reuben Paterson. An established Auckland artist renowned for his work using glitter, Mr Paterson used the metaphor of a wing symbolising protection and nurturing offered by the university to students at the campus, which was previously the site of chicken farming.
“This work especially refers to – and celebrates – the development of the university from its beginnings as an agricultural college, into what it has aspired to become over the course of its own history – and just as the university has transformed and grown over this time, so too has the pastoral land on which it is located at Albany,” he says.
Professor Kerry Chamberlain, who chairs the visual arts committee at Albany, says the sculpture fitted the brief for the work to be not merely decorative, but an artistic statement linking place and history and the University’s aspirations. He acknowledged the work, located inside the Quadrangle, may be controversial, but says a function of art is to intrigue and challenge.
“Reuben wanted to engage students and make people laugh and smile while simultaneously recognising the work as a serious and symbolic sculpture.”