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An Island of Encounter

Photo David St George

New Zealand - Biennale Architettura 2016

New Zealand - Biennale Architettura 2016

The distinctive form of the Len Lye Centre, a building sheathed in sinuous stainless steel, can be seen at right. From teh 'Future Islands' catalogue:

"Now and then, architecture makes a place on the map the destination of a journey. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is, famously, a case in point. Half a world away, the Len Lye Centre is bringing architectural tourism to New Plymouth. You might think that the building, with its stunning stainless-steel façade and 14-metre-high internal concrete colonnade, is an unlikely presence in a relatively remote New Zealand provincial city. But New Plymouth can confound expectations. For instance, the parent institution of the Len Lye Centre, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is the only New Zealand public art gallery expressly dedicated to contemporary work. The Len Lye Centre’s boldness and capacity to surprise is also in character with the artist for whom it is named and whose collection it houses. Len Lye (1901–1980) left New Zealand as a young man and made a career as an experimental filmmaker and kinetic artist in London and New York.
Stainless steel was Lye’s favoured sculptural material, and his desire to make steel move is reflected in the dazzling face of the Len Lye Centre, shimmering in the bright Taranaki light. (John Walsh)

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  • Title: An Island of Encounter
  • Creator: Photo David St George

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