Is it a broad bean, a giant smartie or a discus?

Protoplasm Sculpture on Lambton Quay

No – it’s a protoplasm!

I walk past this beautiful work of art every morning and and have always wondered what it represents. So today I decided I’d look up Protoplasm and see what it’s all about because I love whatever it is so much. I don’t know whether I’m attracted by the shapes,the perfectly rounded surfaces, or the gorgeous shade of chartreuse green. Possibly all three. But I do know that I long to hold a disk in my hand and rub my hands over the beautifully smooth curves.

Anyway I googled it – as you do – and found out that Protoplasm is the name given to the inside active part of any living cell.  In this sculpture the pebbles and the movement (yes on windy days there is definitely movement!) simulate the random active cells. I’m not scientist, so I’ll just accept and question no further.

The sculptor Phil Price says “Protoplasm is so simple and yet it was so complex to make. It has taken around six years since I first had the idea to realising this work. I tested a plywood replica for many months in the face of the Canterbury Norwesters.

“In this final Protoplasm, every structural member, being shafts and beams, is calculated to withstand the force that can be applied to the entire surface area. The bearings are over-engineered to a huge degree, to probably about ten times what is needed.”

Wellington has a number of sculptures dedicated to the action of wind. No surprise why…it’s our city’s magnificent point of difference with an abundance and strength to be reckoned with. I guess you could call it a plus even though it drives us crazy. Without the challenges wind brings, we wouldn’t have such fantastic works of art gracing our streets.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s