Recently, members of the engineering and art communities were treated to a preview of Lye’s God of the Sea and Cave Goddess at the University of Canterbury School of Engineering in Christchurch.  PhD candidate, Alex O’Keefe has almost completed this 8 metre high gallery work, a precursor to the much larger Sun, Land and Sea (see article below March 2, 2015) and he was able to demonstrate the ‘lightning bolt’ and the mechanical animation of the Serpent and the Cave Goddess, both constructed from high tensile stainless steel strip.  Alex is looking for a space in Christchurch large enough to bring all the elements of this work together for its first public performance. 

For over 20 years the School of Engineering has provided opportunities for students to study Lye’s work and, in turn, bring about solutions to the challenges of scaling Lye’s sculptures to the size he intended.  Dr Shayne Gooch, a Len Lye enthusiast of many years, is instrumental in providing this program of study.  John Matthews a graduate of the Engineering School and Chairman of the Len Lye Foundation supports the programme through his New Plymouth based company, Technix Industries Ltd.

The demonstration provided an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the long and fruitful relationship that the Foundation enjoys with the University. 





Above: Evan Webb, Alex O'Keefe, John Matthews and Shayne Gooch with Lye's Cave Goddess.


Left: A 'bolt of lightning', as demonstrated in the High Voltage Laboratory, will be part of the finished work.