Floating over visitors in Whanganui’s War Memorial Hall, is one of Matt Pine’s (Te Āti Awa, Te Āti Hau Nui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) few permanent public artworks.
Whilst studying at London’s Hornsey College of Art in the 1960s, Pine was influenced by American minimalism and British constructivism. He was a prolific artist with many temporary minimalist works made of everyday materials that often reflected his connection to Whanganui.
Cone Piece harmoniously echoes its surroundings, acting almost as an extension of the original modernist architecture, to memorialise those lives lost at war. The circular ends of two fibreglass cones symbolically channel rays from the light wells downwards through the connecting cones and onto the Book of Remembrance on the ground floor. Pine draws on his personal experiences as a son, cousin, and nephew of those who perished at war and are listed in the Book of Remembrance.
Cone Piece was reinstated with a private ceremony the day before ANZAC weekend 2021.