Monday, March 23, 2009


You can say what you like about Mark Whyte’s sculpture, but you can’t say he doesn’t get a good likeness. That being so, when the curtain was pulled back as part of the launch of 12 Christchurch Heroes and revealed a sculpture of Charles Luny in her place, children’s author Margaret Mahy instantly spotted the mistake. (Mark Whyte’s other claim to attention is his membership of the artist-rich space metal band Into the Void along with James Grieg, Dave Imlay, Paul Sutherland, Jason Grieg and Ronnie Van Hout). It is hard to understand why W A Sutton was named one of 12 Christchurch heroes, or Margaret Mahy for that matter. Whyte has already bronzed two undisputed heroes –VCs Charles Upham and Sargeant Henry Nicholas – but these ‘new’ Christchurch heroes suggest heroism is simply an extension of celebrity. Well, that’s public sculpture for you, ignominy or bust.
Image: Heroes by Mark Whyte.