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Flight of the Return

'A symbol of freedom and lightness...'

Flight of The Return sculpture in Paxie's Lane, Napier. Flight of the Return, by Napier artist Philipp Meir, is a stainless steel installation of some of Hawke’s Bay’s most regular visitors – gannets.

Philipp initially studied architecture before completing a BA in Visual Art at EIT Hawke’s Bay, and an apprenticeship in Germany to a master builder.

He has exhibited his work throughout New Zealand and Australia, and in Singapore, and been a regular collaborator with many New Zealand councils around New Zealand on public art projects and sculptural playgrounds.

This sculpture has special meaning for Philipp, who moved with his family from Germany to Hawke’s Bay when he was 10. He says, for him, the gannets represent a symbol of freedom and lightness.

The sculpture was created thanks to a grant from Napier City Council’s Arts Advisory Panel. The lane is a busy thoroughfare connecting Hastings Street and Marine Parade in Napier.

Paxie’s Lane is named after a Greek family who were part of Napier’s retail culture since before the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, starting with their café named The Zealandia in the adjoining Paxies Building. A tea shop or restaurant continued to operate after the earthquake rebuild of 1932 until 2006 when the last Paxie proprietor, Nick Paxie, died. The lane was named in the Paxies’ honour in 2013.

Flight of the Return images

Flight of the Return Location Map

Paxies Lane


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