Graeme North



  • Sculpture


  • Steel
  • Concrete

Graeme North, ‘ARFT’ (1981), Forum North, Whangārei

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


'ARFT' was commissioned while North lived in the Whangārei District. Created using scrap steel left over from the building of Forum North, the work was erected in 1981 on a mound between what is now the old library building in Rust Avenue, Whangārei, and Forum North. The sculpture was demolished without consultation in the 1990's to make way for a site office while the new Whangarei Public Library was being built.

After protests from the wider community most of the pieces were eventually found where they had been dumped, although they were in need of repair and refurbishment, with some parts lost.

North undertook refurbishment of the concrete heads and made replacement parts, before 'ARFT' was once again re-erected by the Whangārei District Council on its current mound, fairly close to its original site.

The artist's statement about the work that that was prepared when the work was first erected now appears to be lost, along with the origin of the name, although it has been suggested that it is possibly derived from word play based around the Astronomical RaFT we call earth.

~ we thank Graeme for providing this text.