Welcome Cloak is set to say goodbye to Saltwater Creek. Photo: Supplied.

Un-welcome cloak: New home to be found for Saltwater Creek sculpture


After almost two years of wind damage woes, Saltwater Creek’s Welcome Cloak sculpture is to be moved to a “more sheltered” location.

The sculpture, which was paid for and commissioned by Nelson City Council, was taken down after its bottom bar was “bent” by high winds on 10 April.

It’s not the first time the controversial artwork has suffered damage – just two months after it was installed in August 2016, its strands were tangled in gusts of wind and it was removed for a five-month-long repair job.

Council’s acting group manager community services, Roger Ball, says the sculpture was assessed on 18 May.

“After consultation, including with the Arts Selection Panel, it has been decided to investigate a new location for the sculpture,” he says.

“The forces placed upon the sculpture when high winds are funnelled along Saltwater Creek are much greater than expected, so re-hanging the sculpture in this location does not seem a sensible option.”

Although its new home is yet to be decided, Roger says it will be within the city centre.

“Investigations are now underway to decide a new site that will be more sheltered but still display the sculpture effectively for the community to enjoy.

“It is hoped a new location can be found in the next few weeks.”

The Welcome Cloak was designed by Nelson artist Adi Tait and is made from strands of gold and anodised aluminium.

It was designed to reflect the water and symbolises the historical importance of Saltwater Creek as a landing site for iwi and the boundary of where the land and sea met.

The initial cost of the sculpture was $51,000, with the 2016 repairs and reinstallation bringing the bill up to around $59,000.

Council say the cost of the current repairs and reinstallation is yet to be determined.

Adi told Nelson Weekly that it “made sense” to move the sculpture.

“The current position is quite a wind tunnel. Somewhere more sheltered would definitely be better.”