Every Angle


In this work, as in the sculpture “Bamboo Orchard,” which is also installed at the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, the shadows are part of the work.

11080016low 11080023lowThe shadows are cast as a series of V’s on the posts, as a circle and net pattern within the work, and as radiating fingers on the path and lawn outside the work. This is one of a series of works that I call modernist post structures, which use reciprocal frame structures as a sculptural form, and common fencing and farming supplies as a material. In this case, the form is inspired by a stylized bound sheaf of wheat. The title is a reference to David Bayly’s work, “Every angle different” which can also be seen in the sculpture gardens. Using many identical elements at identical angles gives a textured surface, similar to that of wooden shingles on a curved roof. The envelope of the straight lines, when seen in profile, approximates a parabolic curve. The repeated sloping pattern and constant measurements make for a dynamic space, both inside and around the work. There is also an op-art effect. A visitor looking towards the centre of the work while walking around it will find his or her eyes drawn upwards or downwards.

Dimensions: approx. 1.6 metres high, 2.5 metres diameter / Price: $2000 and site-specific costs.

Bamboo Orchard


11020003lowIn this work, as in the sculpture “Every Angle” which is also installed at the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, the shadows are part of the work. The overall form is inspired by young lancewood trees. I wanted to make a work that, approached from a distance, would relate to the cypress hedge and trees before and behind it, and that would use the path as a screen on which relatively clean sharp shadows would be cast. The first photo shows how the visitor first sees the work, emerging between the hedge and shelter belt of (I think) cupressus sempervirens.

10250007low The second photo shows the construction method. The hexagons use the reciprocal frame principle that also underlies the modernist post structures, but in this case the central hexagon is suspended flexibly from a bamboo pole, using cable ties, so that the work is a form of mobile. It’s not at all modernist in effect, so perhaps I can call this a post-modernist post structure.

11020012low The third photograph shows what it is all about: the shadow patterns on the path and grass. After seeing the work over the hedge, a visitor looses sight of it until, coming around a corner, the path leads right through the bamboo orchard.

The last photograph shows the work in its setting. 11020015lowBecause this is a site-specific piece, it is not for sale as such (and not intended to last beyond one year), but commissions will be accepted, at about $3000 for a similar size work.

Two modernist post structures


These “modernist post structures” (and some post-modernist post structures still to be documented) are developments of the “prototypes at Tahora.”

Lemon Squeezer (Modernist Post Structure series). Nine 4x4 tanalised posts (supplied by Hammer Hardware, Otaki)

Lemon Squeezer (Modernist Post Structure series). Nine 4×4 tanalised posts (supplied by Hammer Hardware, Otaki). The work, shown here in the lemon orchard at Otaki Forks Artspace, is to be relocated to the rose arbour at Artspace when that is ready for new works. It was made during Kei Te Tārai O Te Whenua | In The Land Sculpture.

Lemon squeezer (detail)

Lemon squeezer (detail)

The lemon squeezer at sunset

The lemon squeezer at sunset

Domino theory (modernist post structure series): 36 tanalised fence battens, installed at Artspace, Otaki Forks, February 2014

Domino theory (modernist post structure series): 36 tanalised fence battens, installed at Artspace, Otaki Forks, February 2014

Domino theory, detail

Domino theory, detail

Domino theory, detail

Domino theory, detail

Ladder-eye view. Photograph by Sonja van Kerkhoff, February 2014

Prototypes at Tahora


Some practical research on self-supporting structures. Not every design works. With a few sticks, leaning on one another, it is relatively easy to make a structure without fastenings which will support a few kilograms clear of the ground.

Sticks supporting one another

Sticks supporting one another

Bamboo proves more difficult. The first limitation is that as the number of elements increases, a rough surface texture becomes more important. The tape was used to give a bit of friction.

Working with this number of elements, of the same dimension, revealed the geometric requirements. Where N is the number of elements and D is the distance between the element cross-points, DN is the circumference of the inner circle (which is obvious), and D times the sine of the elevation (the slope of each element) must equal the diameter of each element. If it is more or less, the last element added will not be at the correct height to support the first. For example, if one wants to reduce the number of elements while maintaining the same shape, the diameter of the elements will have to increase. If one wants a greater elevation angle while maintaining the other dimensions, the number of elements will have to increase.

Fence battens were used for a number of experiments, with spirals and other variants, to serve as models for a larger work. Carmen McGlinn indicates the scale of the models.


Extending some elements beyond the crossing-points suggests a way of supporting a fabric roof.

The technique creates a very dynamic space within and around the structure.


It is not necessary for every element to touch the ground, suggesting a way of creating a workable entry.


If every second element does not touch the ground, entries are available all around.


24 elements, every fourth does not touch the ground. The projecting elements create shadows which runs counter to the rhythm of the structure.


More elements means more rhythm, and a texture effect



Spirals inwards and outwards are possible:




The outward spiral above served as a model for “domino theory, a modernist post structure.”