“Tangaroa’s Tapestry” beach sculpture

The Driftwood and Sand beach sculpture event is held annually in the last week of January on Hokitika beach. 

My entry this year was “Tangaroa’s Tapestry” 

In mid-January I was walking on the beach and found quite a lot of seaweed which was unusual. I collected it up for my garden and when I got home, I tipped it out and hosed it down. The colours and textures were amazing and I realised this had potential for a Driftwood and Sand sculpture. So I sorted it out and dried it. Another couple of beach walks yielded more seaweed and a suitable piece of driftwood for a frame.

I made a small sample first using a frame from supplejack vine and warped it with cordage made from shredded harakeke (phormium tenax).  I wove it up with seaweed as in tapestry weaving. Then I made a bigger frame and warped it up. The pieces were deliberately placed to enhance the colours and textures of the seaweed. 

The weather was warm and sunny for the duration of the festival  and I knew the seaweed would dry out quickly during the day when I couldn’t be there. So I left my garden sprayer full of water and put up a sign inviting people to spray the sculpture to enhance its colours and vibrancy. It was interesting watching people of all ages do just this.

The colours changed during the day depending on the location of the sun and many spectacular photos were taken of it at sunset. 

I was thrilled to receive a prize for the Most Natural sculpture. 

In the end, I continued to leave a full sprayer and extra water beside the sculpture every day for almost two weeks. It would be empty by the time I picked it up at the end of each day. I am still being surprised by people who tell me that they and/or their children watered the sculpture. 

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