Location: Roslin Street children’s play area
Materials: Matai, On concrete plinth
Artist: James Davidson
Definition of Name:
Calling – “A strong urge toward a particular way of life or career; a vocation.”
Interpretation of Definition:
This pole represents a warning device or musical instrument. This warning sound can be seen as a ‘calling’ for all to be warned of approaching danger.
Meaning of the Sculpture/Carving:
The sculpture is a Pukaea, or a traditional trumpet. It was used as a warning device, or a musical instrument. A Pukaea could be up to seven feet in length, and was known as a Tetere in other areas. A Pukaea is made by hewing, a way to convert the wood from its round form to a flat surface, pieces are most commonly matai wood. The wood is spilt through the middle and both pieces are then hollowed out, forming a hollow tube when placed together. Bark was used to keep the pieces together and a mouth piece was formed using the hewing process. This artist work represents his ‘calling’ from Raukawa, this was made just a few days before the Symposium started in 2006.
The Matai timber was donated by Te Putahitanga O Nga Ara Trust.
This sculpture was made out of Matai, because it splits straight. The piece was hollowed out, and bound together again – this is why the rope on the sculpture is significant.
The wood Matai heartwood can be a yellowish colour when cut fresh, although it darkens to a dark redish brown when exposed to sunlight. The timber could be confused with Rimu on first look, but Matai wood tends to have more pronounced growth rings. Matai is also strong smelling when first cut.
Matai can be found extensively throughout lowland forests, with heights of 25-30 metres recorded. Older more mature Matai are a sought after, in demand wood as it is one the highest and finest grades of native species. Matai is revered for high yields of heartwood timber that is clear and has an attractive finish.