Catherine Russ, at left, of the Palmerston North Sculpture Trust, leads a guided walk around Palmerston North's sculptures during Local History in November 2013.
This sculpture was commissioned by the Palmerston North Public Sculpture Trust and then gifted to the city. The Sculpture Trust was formed in 2006 by members of the local arts and business community who saw an opportunity to enrich the central area of the city.
"Body Language - Spirit of Place" was the fifth work to be commissioned. It is by artist Terry Stringer and was installed in October 2010. It is bronze, three metres tall, and is situated on a paved area close to an underpass in front of the Palmerston North City Council Administration Building, so making it possible for both pedestrians and motorists alike to view it from all sides.
The sculpture is made up of fragments of body extremities, a head, a hand and a foot which blend together to make the shape of a figure, standing poised with its head quizzically tilted at the 'door of the city'. The head, with a winged temple, suggests thoughts taking flight and faces the learning institutions across the Manawatu River. The hand inclines toward the city’s cultural area and the foot, as seen from The Square side, holds a rose between its toes, reflecting the enjoyment of nature that flourishes in this central green space. The work serves to humanise the nearby architecture.
Sculptor, Terry Stringer, is a leading New Zealand artist with an established reputation. His works are exhibited in high profile sites throughout the country including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. He has frequent solo exhibitions here and overseas. His contribution to the development of New Zealand Art was recognised in 2003 when he was awarded the honour of becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. (ONZM)