Sculpture Installation

Farra teams up with Michel Tuffery to manage the installation of 'Ngā Kete' at the Otago Polytechnic.

Designed by Michel Tuffery, the 2.5 metre sandcast bronze sculpture, Ngā Kete, was chosen by a panel of art professionals to adorn the courtyard outside the Otago Polytechnic's Mason Centre in Dunedin.

The complexities of the structure required a team effort from many parties throughout New Zealand during the manufacturing and installation processes.

Wire rope at Pilots Beach - Courtesy of Michel Tuffery

Creating the mould for Ngā Kete was one such complexity. Tuffery needed to find a way to replicate the intricate patterns from a historic cable at Pilots Beach and incorporate it into the basket weave design of the sculpture. The best solution was to create a 3D cast.

Courtesy of Michel Tuffery

After the cast was created, it took many hours for Ngā Kete to get to its final form. The sculpture had to have the bronze poured, carved, dusted, cleaned, welded, and the final touches completed, then Ngā Kete was ready to be shipped and installed on site.  

The site installation is where Farra came in.

Courtesy of Michel Tuffery

The installation of the sculpture required Farra to:

  • Conduct finite analysis of the structure to ensure its integrity.
  • Arrange certification of the plinth below the sculpture.
  • Organise the installation of the in-ground lighting.
  • And last but not least, install Ngā Kete.

Courtesy of Michel Tuffery

Farra's Team worked closely with Tuffery to get Ngā Kete installed in time for the sculpture's opening and the design fits in well with inspiring the next generations of learners that walk through the Polytechnic's doors.

See more of Michel's work  on his facebook page, micheltufferyartist or over on his website,

Key Facts

Ngā Kete's Diamonds: The 18 Diamonds, symbolic of the Pātiki patterns represents the 18 Rūnanga of Te Wai Ponamu (South Island).

Site Visits to Completion: Michel Tuffery started site visits in late 2017 and installation of the sculpture occurred 15th October 2018.