Work by artist Julie Moselen was one of the first pieces to be installed on the Sculpture On the Gulf trail early this week. Photo Warwick Grey

Waiheke’s Perpetual Guardian Sculpture On The Gulf is forging ahead with several works installed in recent days.

Early this week, as Covid case numbers rose sharply, chair of Sculpture on the Gulf Warwick Grey told Gulf News that all the sculptures have arrived and the event is going ahead as planned.

Despite the Covid outbreak affecting freight and the remnants of cyclone Dovi lashing the coast over the weekend, half a dozen artworks were up on the trail on Monday. And Warwick expects that the content of the exhibition will begin to unfold over the week.

“The works are stunning, everything’s happening and we’re looking forward to it,” he says.

However, the current context couldn’t be more challenging. On Monday Aotearoa Art Fair was postponed to November, while last week the Auckland Arts Festival cancelled all live events and performances. New Zealand’s tussle with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is currently predicted to peak in March, while the three-week outdoor sculpture event opens on Friday 4 March and runs until Sunday 27 March. But the systems in place will be robust enough to keep everyone safe, says Warwick. There is plenty of room on the walkway – two kilometres, in fact – to space visitors out one metre apart.

“If people honour that, they will be fine,” he says.

Warwick says there is capacity for 2000 people per hour to go onto the trail, “but that is more than we normally get on a busy Saturday morning”.

“The whole thing, in terms of getting the event permit issued, is based on the current guidelines for Covid.” • Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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