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 six to twenty four metres in length, the whales would be cast from 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 which were then scanned in 3D. These hi resolution 3D files have then been manipulated by the artist, adding things like skin texture, some character and improving the anatomic correctness of each whale.
A 1/24th scale model of the seven whales has been 3D printed and is now on display in the Whale Song Info Centre and 3DLAB in Coastlands mall.
Come and have a look!
Learn more about how to make a life sized whale here.