By Jamie Duncan and Christopher Talbot
Garden gnomes are common across the world, but for New Zealand artist Gregor Kregar, building one of his own was a towering achievement.
It's nine metres high.
It's made of polished stainless steel.
It was built with the aid of a structural engineer.
And far from hiding away in a shady corner of a backyard fernery, this gnome on Thursday became a shining beacon welcoming motorists on Melbourne's Peninsula Link freeway.
Mr Kregar created Reflective Lullaby in his Auckland studio-cum-factory.
"Gnomes are quite often overlooked and seen as unimportant, but I like the idea that you can take something that can be forgotten, little things like that, and make them more the focus of attention," he told NZ Newswire.
"I wanted to create a mystical guardian for modern life."
Reflective Lullaby was shipped from Auckland and trucked to its new home by the freeway at Langwarrin in Melbourne's south.
A crane lifted the giant gnome into position.
Reflective Lullaby is not Mr Kregar's largest work.
"In terms of scale, it's quite large, but I've done quite a few large architectural pieces before that are even larger," he said.
The installation is part of the Southern Way McClelland Commission and is one of 14 public art works with a total value of more than A$4 million (NZ$4.49m) to be commissioned for the road over 25 years.
It replaces another steel sculpture, The Tree of Life, and in four years will follow it to a permanent home at the nearby McClelland Sculpture Park.
Mr Kregar said he's a little sad to leave behind the sculpture he conceived more than two years ago.
"From one side, it is sad, but I come to Melbourne quite regularly because I show here in a gallery, so I will be back to see it," he said.
"I hope the public appreciates it because that's what it was made for."