World's biggest Gollum dives into Wellington Airport

  • The final installation in the terminal!
  • Richard Taylor and Rob Gillies at the 'unveiling'
  • Part of the Weta team who created the enormous Gollum installation
  • The Eye of Gollum on Rob Gillies
  • Rob Gillies and Richard Taylor inspecting a fish sculpture
  • Gollum is made from huge blocks of polystyrene milled and sculpted by man and machine

Check out this video of the installation!

Key facts for the installation:

  • Made up of 9 separate components that were brought in through the main terminal doors and then clamped together and painted onsite.
  • It is connected to the Main Terminal trusses by 10 suspension wires
  • There are 3 fish, each 4m long
  • 15 bubbles are coming out of Gollum’s mouth
  • The sculpture weighs 1.2 tonnes
  • 13 metres long and 3 metres high
  • The size of a small jet aircraft
  • Made of polystyrene and covered in epoxy resin
  • Window decals have been designed to represent the stream

A 13 metre long Gollum dove into Wellington Airport on Thursday night to catch fish swimming in the main terminal building.   

The sculpture, which is suspended from the roof, shows the emaciated physique and momentary expression of glee on the face of Gollum, submerged and reaching for his favourite meal of ‘juicy sweet fishes’.

The Gollum creation was designed and facilitated by Richard Taylor and Weta's workshop supervisor Rob Gillies to create an unforgettable experience into Wellington Airport, the gateway of the Wellington region.

Richard said, “We have had a long and wonderful relationship with the Wellington Airport team, who continually focus on presenting an exciting gateway into our city. We are thrilled to once again be creating something with Wellington Airport that will bring delight to the many visitors coming to our fabulous city.”

The Middle of Middle-earth

The Airport has also renamed their terminal, welcoming arriving passengers with a sign saying ‘The Middle of Middle-earth’.

“As the first and last impression to our region, the Airport is proud to work with Weta and have this magnificent sculpture on display for all to see. Everyone will be amazed as they enter the terminal and be able to walk under and around Gollum; it really does feel like you’re in the stream with him,” said Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport Chief Executive.

Art Directed by Rob Gillies, Gollum was 3D modelled into the airport display space. It was then created as a partly digital, partly physical sculpture by a team of 18 sculptors, model makers, painters and other specialists here at Weta.

Milled and sculpted from huge blocks of polystyrene and coated in epoxy resin, Gollum weighs in at 1.2 tonnes and stretches more than 13 metres into the airport terminal.

The three fish were hand sculpted using a fish sculpture from Richard Taylor’s bathroom as reference.

The piece had to be created as 9 separate components to fit through the doors of Wellington Airport. Its structural armature is scaffolding pipe designed to bolt together and it was installed over three nights 23-25 October.


To stay informed of all the wonderful events around Wellington leading up to the World Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, please subscribe to our newsletter.


Tags: The Hobbit