Multi-sensory kinetic installation work ‘Finale: Bouquet’ arrives at Te Papa Toi Art gallery | Stuff.co.nz

TE PAPA
Leo Wright-Duncan, 4, and Isaac Wright-Duncan, 6, are visiting from Melbourne and took the opportunity to soak in Finale: Bouquet at Te Papa’s Toi Art gallery.
A new installation artwork at Te Papa’s Toi Art gallery is a creation by Australian artist Nike Savvas, with colours inspired by native New Zealand flora.

A new multi-sensory, kinetic artwork at Te Papa by a Greek-Cypriot Australian was inspired, in part, by the colours of New Zealand.

Nike (pronounced ‘Nikki’) Savvas already had the idea for the nearly 8-metre high installation, but was stuck on what colours the 210,000 fully recyclable plastic tabs should be.

Visiting the museum, she came across watercolour artworks of native flora by early 20th century New Zealand artist Sarah Featon.

Savvas took the colours of pōhutukawa, kākā beak and forget-me-nots in Featon’s work and turned them into Finale: Bouquet, which appears like an explosion of confetti in the entrance space to Toi Art.

The exhibit, which opens on Friday and will run until January 12, 2020, is made up of thousands of colourful tabs suspended mid-flight, creating a festival of colour and movement.

“It’s like a huge abstract expressionist painting, a painting in the making, with tens of thousands of brushstrokes.

Artist Nike Savvas was born in Sydney and now spends her time between Australia and the UK.
TE PAPA
Artist Nike Savvas was born in Sydney and now spends her time between Australia and the UK.

“It is live, and a live experience.”

Savvas said there weren’t many gallery spaces that would have been able to be home to the work.

“I was really excited at the potential of doing something that big.”

Installing the work was no mean feat, however, requiring three weeks and five people to contribute to its construction.

The installation team had practised naming colours in Māori as they went to pass the time.

“And that’s fast, by the way,” Savvas said.

The artwork is comprised of 210,000 tabs of recyclable plastic in six different colours, all based on native New Zealand flora.
FELIX DESMARAIS
The artwork is comprised of 210,000 tabs of recyclable plastic in six different colours, all based on native New Zealand flora.

As well as space, the work had been enabled by Te Papa’s “calm” and collaborative approach.

“It’s art for the people, which is my motto.

“There’s no one way to engage with it or understand it.”

Finale: Bouquet by Nike Savvas at Toi Art Te Papa is nearly eight metres high and has a floor area roughly the same size as a tennis court.
FELIX DESMARAIS
Finale: Bouquet by Nike Savvas at Toi Art Te Papa is nearly eight metres high and has a floor area roughly the same size as a tennis court.

Te Papa head of art Charlotte Davy said Savvas was an exciting artist whose works had been exhibited in institutions such as London’s Southbank Centre, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

“Savvas’ ability to command space is remarkable. Finale: Bouquet is an immersive, colourful and optically dazzling art experience.”

Finale: Bouquet will be at Te Papa's Toi Art from Friday until January 12, 2020.
TE PAPA
Finale: Bouquet will be at Te Papa’s Toi Art from Friday until January 12, 2020.

BY THE NUMBERS – Finale: Bouquet

* 7.8 m high

* 18.9 m long

* 8.7 m wide

* 210,000 recyclable plastic tabs

* 6000 strands

* 6 colours

* 68 grams per strand

* 400+ kg – approximate weight

* 816 hours to install

* 6 people to install

* Finale: Bouquet is open on Level 4 of Te Papa. Exhibition entry to Toi Art is free.

Source: Multi-sensory kinetic installation work ‘Finale: Bouquet’ arrives at Te Papa Toi Art gallery | Stuff.co.nz

Random sensory quotes

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…”

— M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992) ‘The Art of Eating’