Press Release – Auckland Council
Auckland’s Learning Quarter will soon be home to a new public artwork entitled Loafers , by renowned New Zealand sculptor Francis Upritchard.
Francis Upritchard, Loafers, 2012. Image: David Straight
20 February 2012
New sculpture enlivens Symonds St overbridge
Auckland’s Learning Quarter will soon be home to a new public artwork entitled Loafers, by renowned New Zealand sculptor Francis Upritchard.
Upritchard, now based in London, is an influential artist, with a growing international reputation.
This project is part of the Learning Quarter Public Art Plan, which is a partnership led by Auckland Council in conjunction with the University of Auckland, AUT and the Committee for Auckland.
Loafers depicts a series of bronze figures atop shaped concrete plinths. The figures evoke aspects of student life in contemplating new ideas whilst slouching and sitting.
Installation of Loafers will coincide with the start of the academic year, and the sculpture will be situated on the Symonds Street over bridge.
“The Loafers plinths reference important ceramic artist Lucie Rie,” says Francis. “Rie pioneered domestic-ware in Britain, and her small works were developed at the same time as huge outdoor bronzes and in my mind, share a sort of 1950’s aesthetic.”
“We are extremely proud that the unique and thought provoking Loafers will be a permanent feature of the Learning Quarter,” says Carole Anne Meehan, Manager Public Art for Auckland Council.
“Upritchard has created a unique and site-specific sculpture that has been brought to life through New Zealand foundry, concrete and engineering expertise.”
Loafers joins the growing number of public artworks enlivening public spaces throughout central and wider Auckland.
These new artworks include James Wright’s Whakaparirau, to equip with wings at Hauraki Corner, North Shore, Opanuku Bridge by Jason Hall and A small house fits a hundred people you love on the Sturges Road over bridge by Anthony Sumich.
Specialist contractors who worked on the Loafers project include Created and Cast Bronze, Contrax and Beca.
Loafers is due to be unveiled on 7 March in time for the first lectures.
Notes for Editors
Loafers – a public art project by Francis Upritchard
From 7 March 2012
Symonds Street over bridge
Learning Quarter, Auckland Central
For more information, follow Loafers on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PublicArtAKL
Francis Upritchard is a New Zealand-born artist living in London. She has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Europe and America since graduating from Canterbury University’s Ilam School of Fine Arts in 1997.
In 2006 Francis was the winner of the Walters Prize, New Zealand’s most prestigious contemporary art prize. Francis represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art with the project Save Yourself, 2009, Venice, Italy. Francis returns to New Zealand regularly and last year was a member of a group show Stealing the Senses at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery New Plymouth