The Rangiora Shelter was the first of two bus shelter projects by glass engraver, Claire Bell. Bell’s practice of glass engraving was originally inspired by the pioneering techniques of John Hutton, well-known for his towering angels at Coventry Cathedral. This artwork, also like Hutton’s, hovers between drawing and sculpture and is housed within a functional space.
Bell also harks back to Whanganui’s Arts & Crafts Movement with a composition similar to an Art Nouveu frieze however with strictly local content of flora and fauna of the surrounding Castlecliff dunes. From left to right, this includes images of an Ngaio tree, the large Convolvulus Hawk Moth, the meandering shore bindweed, a female katipo spider climbing on Pīngao, a New Zealand giant dragonfly, male and female spinifex and a Toetoe plant.
Bell worked around fourteen weeks to engrave the ten square metres of glass which make up the shelter. She has described her bus shelter artworks as “…moving art out of the gallery and into the community in a practical and magical way.”