Balancing Act consists of a group three larger-than-life pencils set into a concrete plinth alongside the Whanganui River. The sculpture won first place in the inaugural Sculpture Wanganui 2010 event and is installed on Somme Parade.
The sculpture takes its inspiration from the iconic Staedtler pencils used by artist, Daniel Clifford, throughout his studies in fine arts. The inscriptions on the pencils in Te Reo and English, ‘Korero o mua’ or ‘tradition’ also draw on the different ways history is communicated either through the spoken or written word.
Sculpture Whanganui's independent judge Rob Garrett said Balancing Act stood out for a number of reasons;
“Its scale, colour, simple and recognisable forms make it highly suitable for a variety of public locations where it will be easy to see from a distance and will likely draw people in to inspect it up close.. Daniel Clifford’s artwork is also appealing because it is distinctive and different, unlike any other public artwork or monument in the city and therefore a distinctive point of difference for Wanganui that should become a point of attraction for locals and visitors alike ... His work brings a lovely mix of Clifford’s local knowledge, as the artist grew up here and was educated at UCOL, and his international experience. Currently based in Brisbane, Clifford has been involved in creating sculptural works for events such as the Shanghai Expo."