Pack & Send Tauranga Ship ‘Emrys’ to Swansea University

“I didn’t anticipate it would end up how it did, I loved every part of the process and felt it belonged back in Wales.”

To honour her Welsh heritage Te Aroha artist Julia Rees undertook a labour of love taking 22 months to create a gigantic ‘red dragon’ sculpture estimated to weigh around a tonne.

Julia has lived in New Zealand for 14 years, a tad homesick her vision was to create an ode to the Prophecy of Merlin. This is an enduring legend of the Red Dragon which is centred on Dinas Emrys, Welsh for Emrys’ fort (a rocky and wooded hillock near Beddgelert in Gwynedd, North-West Wales).

Julia honours her Welsh heritage

Julia’s intention was never to sell her winged fire breathing creation and her desire was to send it back home for the Welsh residents enjoy it. After Philip Saunders saw her impressive project in a local newspaper they contacted her determined to help her with her predicament, to source a suitable home for it. He facilitated Swansea University’s offer to temporarily house Emrys over the short term but Julia was still faced with the monumental challenge of getting a
weighty 2.8m high piece of artwork from New Zealand to Wales.

Pack & Send Tauranga specialise in Large, Valuable, Awkward and Valuable Freight

With Pack & Send Tauranga’s help Julia had the correct wooden crate made for Emrys to be packed into, they then processed the logistics of the delivery from Auckland to Wales via their Sea Freight service. As the sculpture wasn’t for profit and was a donation to the Welsh people Pack & send Tauranga’s owner Richard Dagg spent quite some time finding Julia an ultra-competitive price after contacting several shipping companies to get her the very best rate possible.

The vision began four years ago and Emrys is ready to go ‘home’

One side of Emrys the dragon is a factual representation of Wales’ history from the stone age to modern times which also celebrates famous Welsh sports stars, philanthropists and celebrities including Anthony Hopkins, Bonnie Tyler (who Julia has met) and Catherine Zeta Jones. The other side tells of the region’s more famous fairy tales. There are 29 oil painting panels on its body and most materials are from New Zealand origin, however some of the slate is from Wales which has been made into a map on the base. It took 18 hours to cut the slate with a grinder and 20 hours to attach the scales!

Julia has even self-published a book about her lofty project, her aspiration is that it will be one day displayed in the Wales Millenium Centre, the Opera and Cultural Hub of the area. She will also commission her son’s college to sing a traditional Maori farewell song to add to the video footage she has made of the dragon project to symbolise its journey to Wales. The last piece of the dragon, the plinth around its base will be also carved to represent this lengthy trip by sea.

“I didn’t anticipate it would end up how it did, I loved every part of the process and felt it belonged back in Wales” says Julia passionately. There’s been no detail left out of this incredible piece of artwork and something Julia from Jupigio Artwork should be very proud of.

Sending basically ‘Anything, Anywhere’

Pack & Send Tauranga have once again lived up to their ethos of providing “no limits logistics” and it has been Richard’s pleasure to assist talented local artists with their freight requirements large or small.

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