Alice astonished by the Len Lye fountain


As I strolled across the Harbour side of the CBD heading towards Te Papa museum, I stopped in my tracks when I reached Frank Kitts park.  There I saw the most unusual water fountain I had ever see before.  What struck me was the movement of the fountain.  To me it looked like a tall skinny man trying to dance.  I’m sure you’ve seen many a man struggling on the dance floor with the shoulders raised up and flinging their arms around themselves for no specific reason.  Well this is exactly how this fountain moves.  The fountain, although appearing to be one long stick, does not stay in one place, instead it moves from side to side in a whirling motion.  After a few minutes the fountain stopped moving and the water disappeared.  It appears the fountain may be on a timer, and when I looked at my watch, I noticed that the time was a few minutes past the hour.  So perhaps this is similar to a modern day grandfather clock, or cuckoo clock, chiming on the hour?


On closer inspection I discovered that this fountain was produced by the Len Lye Foundation using sketches from Len Lye.  Lye was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1901.  He became known for his art work and filmography.  Especially his films made by drawing directly onto celluloid.  He lived for many years in Samoa and in New Zealand with the Maori and in Australia with the Aboriginies, observing their rituals and traditional art.  More information on Lye can be viewed on thiswebsite.

The pedestrian footpath between Lambton Quay and Oriental Parade by the water is full of activities.  Aside from the park and museum, you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop by for a bite and drink.  There are also activity places to hire canoes and roller blade, as well as options for rock climbing.  The red helicopter is also a common sight on the scene.


Published by Alice Letts

Online training for parents and children. Online piano and music tutoring. Online tutoring for English as a Second Language (ESOL) with an emphasis on pronunciation. Online meditation coaching for parents and how to incorporate meditation into daily family life.

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