Work is progressing on two new public artworks for Hamilton after they received the blessing of the city council.
A bronze sculpture of influential Hamiltonian Dame Hilda Ross will be sited in Worley Place. The work, by well known sculptor Tim Elliot, is titled Where Health Joins Hands with Happiness.
It depicts Dame Hilda playing the piano for children at the Port Waikato Children's health camp which she co-founded with life-long friend William Paul.
The sculpture is a project of the TOTI charitable trust which invited artists nationally to submit ideas, and Elliot's piano concept was a clear favourite with the public.
TOTI says the statue portrays "an ebullient and passionate persona, a hands-on leader for her community". The statue will be outside Starbucks at the corner of Ward Street and Worley Place in the central city precinct - an area well know to Dame Hilda for for more than half a century.
"It is my belief that art ought to be read as no more than something inherently beautiful, accessible to all, understood and appreciated by everyday people," Elliot says.
Elliot says his art aims "to provide content that appeals to everybody, rather than pandering to lofty academic ideals held by art critics".
Chedworth Properties has won council support to site a sculpture Twist on public land within the Greenhill Park 136ha residential subdivision north of Fairview Downs.
The work will be created by Raglan-based artist Richard Page who primarily uses locally-sourced basalt rock to create his carved sculptures. The exact location for the work has yet to be decided.
The two sculpture projects planned by external organisations have won approval from the council's Community and Services Committee and can now be created, although final approval must be made through the council's public art development process before they can be installed.
The council endorsed the concepts by TOTI and Chedworth Properties and representatives of both organisations will now liaise with staff on logistical details.
Both works will be created at no cost to the council and ownership will be vested in the council. They will be added to the arts portfolio of the museum and initially insured for their construction value. That value may may be re-assessed later.
Hamilton Mayor Andrew King thanked the backers of both projects and said he thought the barefoot child in the Dame Hilda piece was a nice touch.
"Well done TOTI and Chedworth for investing in our great city," King said.