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Queen finds home at the Royal Hotel

An award-winning queen is now in residence in Wairarapa, and anyone can visit her.

Winner of the second prize in the hotly contested Elizabethan Era section at last year’s World of Wearable Art [WOW], Gloriana is an installation designed to represent a living statue and is dedicated to Elizabeth I and her reign.

Gloriana has been installed, in all her finery, at Featherston eatery Brac & Bow in the recently restored, appropriately named Royal Hotel.

Featherston artist Taralee Freeman co-created the installation – a towering figure made out of mixed media – with Wellington artists Marie Wright and Zach McDonald-Wright.

“It’s made out of paper, tissue paper, builder’s paper, vintage wallpaper, EVA foam, leather, and lots of creativity,” Freeman said.

This is the first time the creation can be seen outside of WOW, having travelled to Nelson and back after the show before being delivered to Featherston.

“We had to arrange a truck because the box is huge. We hadn’t seen her for nearly two years. I was quite emotional. I said to her, ‘You are quite beautiful’.”

But Gloriana made her final journey to the Royal Hotel like a local – in a 4 x 4.

The queen ended up at the hotel after it occurred to Freeman that “it’s the Royal; she’s a queen, she’s royalty. I would love for them, if they wanted her, to display her.”

When Freeman rang hotel owners John Richards and Theo Wijnsma with the suggestion, they were instantly enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“I feel very honoured that they would have her there,” Freeman said.

The installation will be at Brac & Bow indefinitely.

The design trio hadn’t expected to win a WOW award, and considered the entry being featured in the show as a win in itself.

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