If you're in the city centre this week, why not take a moment to enjoy the array of art on display in public spaces, both new and oldFrom Silo Park to Britomart, Aotea Arts Quarter and more, check out our top picks below to get started.  

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Aotea Art Walk

Why not take a self-guided tour? Take in the sights of City Rail Link’s Aotea Station construction site with a tour of the artworks installed around the area from a number of leading Aotearoa artists. See the trail map. here.

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Te Maharatanga o Ngā Wai, Remembering our waters | Sale Street

While many of the natural waterways which once flowed through Auckland’s city centre have been lost from sight – channelled, piped and progressively covered over – a new Māori design kaupapa, will see those urban waters remembered. Two laser-cut corten steel pourama (light columns) spill light through the lettering, casting kupu reo (words) onto the pavements with themes of kapua (cloud), ua (rain), awa (river), moana (sea) that describe the natural water cycle, and an overarching message: oranga wai, oranga tāngata (healthy waters, healthy people).

Scan a QR code on the side of the two steel pourama and hear a poem by celebrated New Zealand manu kōrero/poet Hone Tuwhare recited in both te reo Māori and english by the children of the young men who have led this project.  Hone Tuwhare remains a national treasure, and stands as one of the most important Māori literary voices of the twentieth century. Read more, here.

Hear the story behind the design and poem, here:

 

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Mai i ngā maunga ki te moana, Janine and Charles Williams | Amey Daldy Park, Wynyard Quarter

Wynyard Quarter’s pump station in Amey Daldy Park has an exciting new look inspired by Aotearoa’s manu māori, our native birds.

The new mural, created by mana whenua artists Janine and Charles Williams, is named ‘Mai i ngā maunga ki te moana’ (from the mountains to the sea). At 12 metres high and spanning 16 metres wide around the pump station structure, the mural features 12 native birds to remind us of our roles as kaitiaki (guardians) of our natural environment. Each manu (bird) faces their respective habitats, be it moana (ocean), takutai (beach/shore) or pararau/repo/maunga (forest/swamp/mountains). Read more about the work, here.

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Papatūānuku, Mei Hill, Tīramarama Way, Wynyard Quarter

Papatūānuku, Mei Hill | Tīramarama Way, Wynyard Quarter

New mahi toi (artwork) celebrating the flora, fauna and Māoritanga (Māori culture) of Tāmaki Makaurau has come to the waterfront. Mei Hill (Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa) is a renowned mana whenua contemporary artist who uses glass as a primary material in her mahi (work), and she has installed a piece titled ‘Papatūānuku - Mother Earth’ on Tīramarama Way in Wynyard Quarter. The beautiful display features quintessential Kiwi elements such as poi and a whai (stingray). Read more about the work, here.

Shane Cotton mural Britomart

Maunga | Shane Cotton mural | Britomart 

On the corner of Commerce and Customs Street's is a permanent art piece covering the western wall of Excelsior House. Created by Shane Cotton in collaboration with artist Ross Liew, Maunga is a series of 25 works painted onto the side of the five-storey high building. The idea of the pot comes from a motif theme by Cotton, representing New Zealand and how people bring their own landscapes and sceneries with them when they enter Auckland. Though pots may have been something that European colonists brought with them to store their belongings, the idea has been adapted visually into Māori art.. Head along and check it out for yourself and see what meaning you can take from the artwork. 

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Guide Kaiārahi | Reuben Paterson at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Made from hundreds of shimmering crystals, Reuben Paterson’s (Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi) Guide Kaiārahi is a ten-metre-high waka rising vertically from the Gallery’s forecourt pool. Commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Edmiston Trust, the sculpture, made of 595 iridescent crystals, navigates a spectacular journey from Papatūānuku (earth mother) into the embrace of Ranginui to cast a galaxy of stars

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The Lightship | Quay St Wharf

Created from nearly 8500 LED lights, this large scale contemporary art installation is 13 metres high and 110 metres long. The Lightship is a Ports of Auckland initiative paying homage to the city’s artists. In a world filled with upheaval and turmoil, The Lightship is used to connect people through light on the Auckland waterfront,. The art on display changes frequently. Read more about it here.

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Installations at Silo Park

Installations at Silo Park

Come on down to the newly extended Silo Park and explore the new installations created by Tessa Harris and Reuben Kirkwood, both artists of Ngai Tai Ki Tamaki. Harris' waka-inspired pavilion called Te Nukuao is a reflection of mana whenua identity as well as providing a practical shelter from the elements. The area’s concrete surface features concrete etchings designed by Kirkwood, inspired by the stars used to guide the waka hourua at sea.

Wall art

(Photo: Sacha Stejko)

Sun burst by Sara Hughes 

Diverse and colourful artworks in the shape of a heart were created on various walls in the city centre back in 2016 as part of a series of Hearts of the City artworks, and are still going strong today! Check out Sarah Hughes colourful artwork on Fort Lane which references the architectural details of Auckland's art deco and heritage sites. Like a sun burst this heart is exploding with everything life has to offer - Sara hopes that its rays will be positive and life affirming to passersby. 

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Glass panels by artist Sara Hughes for the New Zealand International Convention Centre

Sara Hughes artwork | New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC)

When open, the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) will host over 3000 conference delegates and provide a public laneway with exciting new hospitality offerings. Its façade is already adorned with the country's biggest ever public artwork - enormous glass panels (550 in total) by artist Sara Hughes. Hughes was brought up in rural Northland near the Waipoua kauri forest, with this being the inspiration for the detail on the glass. 60 different colour tones are used to create a breathtaking result, which aims to invoke the feeling of walking through native bush in Aotearoa, a welcome juxtaposition in a busy and metropolitan city space. The panels will sit alongside an equally huge terracotta tile work being created separately by artist Peata Larkin - together eventually spanning a grand total of 5,760sqm once fully installed. 

Last updated: 26 January 2022

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