Location: Median strip between Roslin Street & SH1 (near McDonald’s)
Materials: Poplar (tanalised), Mounted on concrete base with steel supports bolted to pole
Artist: Leigh Christensen
Definition of Name:
Zip – A zip is a device that is made from either metal or plastic on either side, with interlocking pieces. Used for fastening items such as bags and clothing.
Interpretation of Definition:
The zip is used as a metaphor for the cars merging from two or more lanes into one single lane.
Meaning of the Sculpture/Carving:
This is designed to indicate the traffic travelling along State Highway One. The teeth of the zip are the vehicles. State Highway One runs through Tokoroa and many visitors stop off along their journeys to appreciate the beautiful scenery and culture of Tokoroa. This piece metaphorically represents the cars as they merge towards the Tokoroa township like a zip as its name suggests. Many cars and people go through Tokoroa along the state highway on their way to other locations.
The wood used for this carving is Poplar. Poplar is a species of the Populus tree. It is a common wood used in woodwork, usually used in furniture and children’s toys. It is widely used due to its cheapness and durability, and works best when used with paint as a finish. Poplar is a hardwood, and is often confused with pine although it is softer. The appearance is a cream coloured wood, with streaks of brown or gray. Poplar is easy to work with and easily manipulated. Sanding of this wood needs to be done carefully and fine sandpaper used due to its soft nature. It can also be stained but needs a couple of coats of pre-stain wood conditioner.
The artist of this piece is Leigh Christensen, born in Auckland, New Zealand. Leigh is a non-Maori sculptor who has a deep respect and interest in Maori carvings. He learnt carving from a Maori master carver Alan Nopera, and unlike many who have tried he is now a successful and authentic Maori carver. Leigh’s art succeeds due to his high skill level, and ability to match cultures effectively.
He has an ability to understand the traditional techniques and skills of this ancient past. He fuses Maori and European works together to produce many interesting, complex and beautiful pieces.