ABOUT WHALE SONG
Kapiti Artist Mike Fuller’s “Whale Song” is an inspirational public sculpture and community education project proposed for the Kapiti Coast region, approximately 40 minutes travel by car north of Wellington and next to the new Kapiti Expressway.
“Whale Song” is a reflection on Kapiti’s proximity to the coast, Kapiti Island, early whaling and the surrounding marine environment. By engaging with these incredible creatures of the sea, visitors will better understand the need for marine conservation, ensuring a thriving ocean and a healthy planet for future generations.
These proposed sculptural works will also enhance the wider region’s reputation as the “Arts Capital of New Zealand” and add to the “sense of place” for locals and visitors to the area. “Whale Song” will act as a wayfinder for those travelling the expressway, drawing visitors into the community, adding significantly to Paraparaumu’s identity and continued economic resilience.
This large sculptural installation comprises a family of seven life-sized Humpback whales swimming in pod formation, suspended over the proposed one acre site.
Several of the whales, those closest to the nearby stream and away from the public viewing area, would be equipped to periodically spout water from their blowholes, creating rainbow effects against the sky.
The song of the male whales could also be played via speakers with Aeolian harps located from inside the whale structures to mimic the sound of the Humpback in the wild.
Ranging from four to seventeen metres in length, the whales would be cast from recycled aluminium thermally coated in bronze. Each would be supported on a structurally engineered pole ranging in height from one metre above the ground to 18 metres. The installation system is similar to that of wind turbines, highly engineered and robust. To achieve a realistic likeness, the artist has produced a 1/32nd scale model of each whale in readiness for 3D scanning that will create the 3D CAD drawings that would be used to scale up to full size for production.
Learn more about how to make a life sized whale here.