This is the poster for an art exhibition; designed to also be part of the Dunedin Heritage Festival; opening on Friday, at the Collaborations Gallery. Photographers, artists, jewellers, sculptors are all taking part ... and a poet - me!
I was invited by the Collaborations Gallery owner, jewellery-maker and artist, Cecilia (Jane) Orr, to be part of the exhibition and write a poem about this historical, railway footbridge, its demise and (due to skilful engineering and a desire to retain heritage) its subsequent 're-birth'. (I will post the poem after the exhibition opens.)
The fall of the footbridge was due to a freak accident when a train was travelling underneath and the flaps of a container wagon freed from its bolts, flew up and broke the one hundred year old bridge. An Australian tourist using the bridge at the time fell off the bridge, but luckily was okay. (So thankfully, Kiwi-Ozzie relations are still intact!)
As Collaborations Gallery is dedicated to collaborative works and projects, I have in turn asked my son, the artist Mike Cooke to paint a painting in response to the poem.
Here is a link to local tv report on the damage done to the bridge that day in February, 2008.
I have used the footbridge at various times in my working life, so I am able to appreciate the feeling it gives you of access and height; suspension and strength. The bridge was a special old thing, so I am very pleased to be a part of this exhibition.
Collaboration ... it's a word I am hearing more and more about these days.