What happens when you take a classical Italian statue and give it a contemporary and uniquely Kiwi twist?
More than 1,500 people found out the answer to that very question on Saturday March 20, when they visited Dulux’s colourful Urbis Designday installation at Studio Italia, a Newmarket based showroom that sells upmarket Italian furniture and homewares.
Guests of the annual one day design event, which is organised by Urbis Magazine, were treated to a masterpiece of colour upon entering the Studio Italia showroom, with 10 brightly coloured “Statues of David” standing guard to greet them as they walked through the store’s doors.
Renowned theatre and production designer, Guy Richards of NewImproved, was responsible for creating the concept for the Warhol-esque style installation, which saw Michelangelo’s iconic Statue of David being taken on a tiki tour of New Zealand with Dulux’s Colours of New Zealand range.
“The idea was to explore the relationship between classical Italian art and design and the beautiful and diverse colours of New Zealand,” said Richards of his design inspiration.
Using Dulux’s stunning Colours of New Zealand range, “David” was transported from his native Florentine habitat and was put into iconic and loved Kiwi locations such as K Road, Newmarket, Courtenay Place, Colac Bay, Lake Tekapo and Mount Inaccessible.
“Travel snaps” of David on his tour of some of the country’s most loved and cherished spots were also dotted throughout the showroom.
“I’m sure that many of the guests at Urbis Designday would have seen Michelangelo’s original Statue of David in Florence, but I highly doubt anyone would have seen David like this,” said Richards.
While each of the 10 boldly coloured David’s attracted looks, smiles and laughs from guests, they also drew bids, with a number of attendees jumping at the chance to take one of the David’s home with them, by bidding for them in Dulux’s silent auction.
A total sum of $2,000 was raised as a result of the auction, with the proceeds going to the Cancer Society of New Zealand.
“This was the first year we have been involved in Urbis Designday, and we had a lot of fun organising and setting up our display of Davids. All the Designday guests we spoke to seemed to enjoy our installation, and most importantly, all the statues were purchased and the proceeds are going to the Cancer Society, one of the major charities we sponsor,” said Renay Robertson, marketing manager, Dulux New Zealand.
This year Dulux was a strategic sponsor of Urbis Designday, which is one of Auckland’s premier design events. Now in its fifth year, the event links Auckland’s top creative fashion, theatrical and spatial designers with the city’s leading showrooms to create inspiring and artistic installations. Designday guests hop on and off a fleet of taxis to visit participating showrooms throughout the day long event.