34. Turbine Lily – John Rawson

Medium: Recycled kauri, plywood, stainless steel, glass, epoxy resin, polystyrene
Size: 900mm H x 5000mm D 
Price: $9,000

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge


I have always been fascinated by man-made objects and machines which utilise the forces of wind and water. Windmills, waterwheels, wind vanes, kites, gliders, paper darts, water, wave and tidal turbines, whirligigs, surfboards, children’s mobiles, wind chimes and sailing ships all arouse my curiosity. Turbine Lily combines my fascination with water and wind driven machines with my love of the magnificent kauri trees, whose destruction made way for European lifestyles.

Turbine Lily features kauri timber, recycled from old ceiling boards fashioned into a gorgeous lily shape which floats on the water and rotates with the breeze.

Kauri (Agathis Australis) is a native New Zealand tree that grows in the northern part of the country. Living for around 1,000 years, it is one of the largest and longest-living trees in the world. Māori valued kauri because of its size, gum and for the making of waka (canoes). The first Europeans to visit New Zealand in the late 1700s found that kauri was ideal for shipbuilding and construction and by the mid-1800s sawmilling was a big industry. By 1900 most of the kauri forest had been cut down, introduced possums stripped the trees for food and today very few large tracts of kauri forest remain. Turbine Lily is a reminder of the fragility of this unique species.

John Rawson, a recognised artist, boat builder and wood turner currently lives on the Kaipara Harbour.

See also John’s artwork in the 2012 trail, Bridging Table.