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Kotuku | 2002

by Caroline Rothwell

Kotuku is Caroline’s first work in Christchurch and was designed specifically for installation in a large pond in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. It floated there until 2003 when it was moved to the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust site.

Caroline Rothwell’s Kotuku is a 2-tonne fibreglass sculpture, which depicts a three-headed kotuku (white heron, native to New Zealand).

Image credits:

Kotuku, Caroline Rothwell, 2002

© SCAPE Public Art & Caroline Rothwell

Kotuku is concerned with the ways that light and shade and the tricks of visual perspective distort our experience of form. With three birds’ heads arising from a single glistening white body, Kotuku appears like a three-dimensional Rorschach inkblot, each side forming a mirror image of the other. The result is a haunting and enigmatic work, at once strongly recognisable as the native heron but also – like the inkblot used in psychological testing – an abstract form ready to engage with the viewer’s imagination.
— Lara Strongman

Caroline Rothwell

Caroline Rothwell is an internationally renowned contemporary sculptor based in Sydney. Her large-scale works have featured in many exhibitions in Wellington and Auckland, including at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.