Things have been changing at Holly Kai Park. The work started in May, with a revamp of the west side beach, the redevelopment of Holly Kai Gardens and the relocation of our live events venue, The Pavilion – all of which I’ve previously written about.
With the closing of the June Art at the Park exhibition, we’ve taken time out to complete the work in revamping the hilltop art display area overlooking the east side of the island which we hope will make exhibitions at the park more attractive. While there are still some finishing touches still to make, we’ll soon be gearing-up for a resumption of art displays at the park, the next one of which should open towards the end of July or early August.
The new Art Hill is much broader and flatter, forming a horseshoe shape defined by the Holly Kai river, which loops around it at the base of the cliffs. This has allowed us to swap-out the old art decks for newer, larger units, as well as offering a dedicated area for displaying sculptures (3D art can also be displayed along the grass paths leading around the hill-top).
The decks are half as big again as the old ones, and are now positioned around the “outside” of the hill, each one overlooking the river to its rear, while opening to the main path around the hilltop in front. Hopefully, this will make visiting individual art displays easier, whilst allowing artists to display their work in a single place, rather than having to split it across different decks.
However, the biggest changes to the park come with the inclusion of a new Storyteller’s Garden, and a new stage area for hosting Art at the Park opening events (and, possibly, other activities at well).
The Storyteller’s garden suopercedes the old stone gazebo, and has been centrally placed on the hilltop so that it offers a view of all the surrounding art decks (handy for Stories at the Park), and provides a place to simply sit and enjoy the art and the park, whether or not stories are being told. It has been made possible through the generosity of Alex Bader, who provided his new Tiered Garden Wall Building Set for me to try. I’ll have more to say on this another time, but suffice it to say it is another excellent kit from Alex, and really provided the means to provide the hill-top with a focal point.
The new Art at the Park event area is admittedly a little spartan at present. It sits on the east side of the hill, overlooking the main boat slips for the park, and also forms one of two main entrances into the art display area. It takes the form of the remains of an old castle or fort, with a wooden stage erected on one side, and light projectors installed in the towers to give a little night-time colour (if you have ALM enabled in your viewer).
As noted above, there are a few more nips and tucks to make around the hill-top, but otherwise, all major renovations at the park are now finished, and we’ll be resuming a full programme of events in the near future, with a new Art at the Park exhibition opening, as well as out weekly gatherings at Caitinara Bar for music and dancing (every Wednesday and Friday between 16:00 and 18:00 SLT) and Sundays between noon and 14:00 SLT.
In the meantime, my thanks to Nber for trusting me with the remodelling, to Alex Bader for his invaluable generosity, and to Caitlyn for her patience, eye for detail and her suggestions which have helped complete the work.
I hope very much that we get to see you at the park!
Holly Kai Park Revised SLurls
Holly Kai Park is rated Moderate.