Client: Auckland City council
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Completion date: 2020
Auckland City council
The sculpture symbolises and reflects the significant and courageous achievements of the suffragettes more than a century ago and lights the way for women in the present and future.
It has a camellia shape, coloured in violet, at its centre. The colour violet was adopted by suffrage petitioners to represent dignity and self-respect, and for Beacon it speaks to contemporary themes of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
A poignant quote by Sheppard in her fight for equal recognition of women in New Zealand in the late 1800s: “We are tired of having a ‘sphere’ doled out to us, and of being told that anything outside that sphere is ‘unwomanly’.” This sentiment forms part of the inspiration for ‘Beacon’
It is a highly polished stainless steel standing 2.5 metres tall, during the evening it has a soft violet hue wash over it, and shafts of light beam into the sky from dusk until 10pm, adding another lighting dimension to the sculpture.
In 2018 Lang was commissioned to create a sculpture to commemorate Kate Shepherd and the suffragette movement, honoring the vision, tenacity, and leadership of Kate Sheppard, while speaking to contemporary themes of gender equality and women’s empowerment.