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New K' Rd artwork passes the heel test

Sat 29 May 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News

A new artwork in Auckland's gay hub has proven it is sturdy enough to take the heels of drag performers. 'Chaise Lange' has been unveiled outside Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret on Karangahape Rd. The bench seat, designed by potter Peter Lange, is the first official public artwork to be installed on K' Rd since 1968. It contains 1,200 handmade tiles reinforced with rolled steel. The flax-like effect captured in the green and cream tiles projects is described as an impression of a woven mat, while the 'undulating foundation' of rolled steel aims to give the sense of a ribbon unfurling. It replaces the run-down concrete seat which had been outside the cabaret bar for two decades and is expected to be included in the Caluzzi drag shows, as its predecessor was. Western Bays Community Board chairman Bruce Kilmister hosted the unveiling in front of a curious crowd that spilled down the street, before Caluzzi performer Ling Ling gave it her heel stamp of approval. Kilmister then tested the seat out himself by having a momentary lie down, before members of the public nabbed their chance to be among the first to sit on the piece. The artwork cost $30,000, jointly-funded by the Karangahape Rd Business Association, the Western Bays Community Board, the Auckland City Council, the Uptown Arts Trust and Caluzzi. In attendance at the unveiling in Auckland last night were MP Jacinda Ardern and Auckland City Councillor Greg Moyle. The last public artwork installed on K' Rd was the Greer Twiss bronze fountain unveiled on the corner of Karangahape Rd and Symonds Street in 1968.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 29th May 2010 - 12:18pm

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