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$15K statue with nowhere to go

By Hayley Gastmeier
[email protected]
A nine-foot-high concrete statue worth $15,000 may have nowhere to go.
Elain Hurndell is part-way through the creation of Grace, a life-size angel which she is making “for the people of Masterton”.
Grace, sculpted from the body of Ms Hurndell’s 22-year-old daughter, will represent anti-bullying and the young people of Wairarapa whose lives were tragically cut short.
The Masterton women wants Grace to be a focal point for people who need a place to connect with their loss, and she thinks Hosking Garden in Queen Elizabeth park is the ideal spot.
“She needs to go into the Hosking Garden because she can be seen from the main road, she can be seen from all the people taking their groceries from the trollies, she can be seen by the average person at any time.
“The reason I want her in the sunken garden is because whoever is sitting around her cannot be seen from the main road. And plus you can light over 1000 candles around her base.
“If she is in a sunken garden that will protect the candles.”
Ms Hurndell, a hairdresser and creator of artistic headstones, applied to the Masterton District Council to fund the angel, which so far she has spent $6000 on, and asked them to consider placing the statue in the historic park.
When completed, she estimates Grace will have cost her $15,000, which “in the world of sculptures is nothing”.
MDC spokesman Sam Rossiter-Stead said Ms Hurndell’s application for funding was referred to the Community Development Task Group for consideration.
“And we have written to both the Friends of the Park and the Wairarapa Youth Council asking for their feedback on the proposal,” Mr Rossiter-Stead said.
Ms Hurndell said if her funding application was not granted, she was “probably going to have to start a petition”.
Councillor Gary Caffell, chairman of the Parks and Open Spaces Task Group, said the decision as to whether or not MDC would support the sculpture being installed in the historic garden had not yet been put to council.
“Personally, I don’t favour it going in the Hosking Garden.
“I don’t believe it’s a good fit for the garden but I must stress that’s just my opinion and other councillors may have other ideas.”
He said he “was sympathetic” to what the statue signified.
“It’s a very good idea, I just think it needs to go somewhere else other than the Hosking Garden.”
Yesterday the clay mould of Grace was taken to Deco Precasters to be poured with concrete.
“Then she’ll be brought back here by crane so I can finish her,” said Ms Hurndell, who expects the nine-foot statue to be completed by November.
She said many people in Masterton were backing the project.
“As soon as she is poured and has her wings on and she’s brought back here and is sitting on her base – by crikey I’ve got clout, because she is incredible.
“Once the community start seeing her nearing her final stages they will get very excited.”

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