A sculptural sign for Instagram-able times

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WELLINGTON, Wednesday: Creative Collective The Glue Society has developed a giant sculptural sign on the capital’s waterfront, aimed at presenting unique photo opportunities for locals and visitors.

Unlike the fabled Hollywood sign, this one can be relocated and repainted.

Artist and project director Pete Baker said: “The WELL_NGTON sculpture is missing the letter I.

“One person at a time can stand on a platform to replace the letter so they are physically part of the sign and can literally say ‘I am in Wellington’.

“It is likely to be one of capital’s Instagram-able moments of the year. The official hashtag to use when posting photos is #inwellington, ensuring people could add to the buzz of Wellington was upper mind in the design.”

Commissioned by WellingtonNZ, the sculpture was designed and built entirely in Wellington. It sits just over 2.2 metres high and 8.9 metres wide. Each letter weighs between 80 and 120kg.

WELL_NGTON will be temporarily positioned on the waterfront side of Te Papa near Chaffers Marina.

WellingtonNZ acting GM Josh Gardiner said: “The sign is designed to foster a feeling of  ‘I belong in Wellington’ and create photo-sharing fun that, via social media, showcases the capital to the world.

“WELL_NGTON is designed so it can be repainted and relocated to other beautiful Wellington sites. It may also be used to support major events occurring in the city.”

“It not only provides visitors to the city with a great shareable memento of their time here but also gives proud locals the chance to star in their own photos to share with friends and whānau.”

Currently painted in three colours – yellow, red and teal – Gardiner says that situation is far from permanent.

“WELL_NGTON is designed so it can be repainted and relocated to other beautiful Wellington sites. It may also be used to support major events occurring in the city.”

Wellington mayor Andy Foster says the interactive sculpture is a fun way for Wellingtonians to put themselves in the big picture for their city.

Baker: “Wellington and the people that love it are at the very heart of this public artwork – from the locations it will be installed in and the name it spells out to the people who become part of the artwork itself.

“We love to create projects which the audience can engage in and participate in. We hope this work will inspire both optimism and joy.”

The sculpture was manufactured and installed by Wellington company Human Dynamo under supervision of The Glue Society.

The budget for the project was $130,000.  It includes design, manufacture, initial installation, two reskins of the sign as well as removal from the waterfront and installation at a different location.

About the sculpture

  • Engineered to withstand the worst of Wellington’s weather
  • Constructed using hard-wearing boat building techniques
  • Materials used include canalised plywood with a galvanised steel base connecting each letter that are dyna-bolted to the ground
  • Each letter has internal steel brackets designed to transfer the load
  • Letters coated with dura tea polyester paint and a coloured top-coat
  • Future iterations can be painted a different colour or have new vinyl designs


Commissioned by: WellingtonNZ
Artist and Project Direction: The Glue Society
Fabricated by: Human Dynamo

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