When I first saw Dinornis Maximus I thought it was an actual wind measuring instrument, something that the Weather Bureau had put up to test which way the wind was blowing, or how fast – a kind of new-fangled wind sock. Or maybe a new wind turbine for generating electricity. But no, it’s a kinetic sculpture.
It has grown on me – I regularly drive past it en route through Woden – and I find I am now less distracted by it than previously. Initially I thought the blades might fly off. Up close, though it seems pretty stable.
The day we went to take a look, it was freezing cold, but there was no wind, which is why I felt able to get so close.
Dinornis was the giant moa, a flightless bird, from New Zealand. Extinct now of course, and thought to stand more than three metres tall. This sculpture is 11 metres tall, and its arms rotate every which way, whatever way the wind takes it. A bit like life, really.
The artist is Phil Price, a NZ sculptor. I do like the irony of the artist naming this sculpture with swinging arms after a flightless bird. It moves and moves, but never gets off the ground.
Here’s a quick film on YouTube of the sculpture’s arms moving about.