An engaging trail of art is waiting to be discovered in the city centre this Artweek where Freyberg Place, Khartoum Place, and many of the laneways have been transformed with a diverse selection of works to enjoy across the whole week. Explore a series of striking installations in the city centre’s laneways and public spaces, marvel at the Forest of Light in Khartoum Place, and visit outdoor exhibitions in Britomart. 

Spend an evening in the city centre this Artweek and follow the art trail outlined below.

1. Light on Te Komititanga | Outside Britomart Train Station

Start downtown at the beautiful Lower Queen Street square, Te Komititanga, and walk through the glowing Light on Te Komititanga installation featuring two exhibitions - GOD-HOUSE and A State of Reimagining. Weave amongst the lightboxes, admire from afar, or up close, as you pass through this special public space. This interactive, impactful collection of digital artworks remind us to free our imaginations and reflect on the power of our local artists.

2. Kupesi Sisi Huelo ‘oe Taulanga Waitemata moe Funga Tāmaki Makaurau | Bledisloe Wharf

Emitting its light onto the water and into the environment Kupesi Sisi Huelo ‘oe Taulanga Waitemata moe Funga Tamaki Makaurau adorns the Lightship, harbour, and city. A sisi (garland) of light beams (huelo), this patterned adornment was created from and for the spaces of the Port and its surroundings. 

3. NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year Finalists | Atrium on Takutai, Britomart

Head back downtown and into Britomart where you can explore three outdoor exhibitions currently on display. Start by wandering through the Atrium on Takutai where the finalists for the NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year Awards are presented on beautiful display board by Angus Muir Design. NZ Geographic magazine’s Photographer of the Year 2021 is not only a showcase of the country’s beauty, but also its complexity. The judges have combed through more than 6,000 entries to choose 54 finalists across six categories.

4. By its Own Light | Te Ara Tahuhu, Britomart

Move through the Atrium and onto Britomart’s Te Ara Tahuhu walkway where Henrietta Harris’ exhibition ‘By its Own Light’ is blown up big for all to view. Contemplative or caught unawares, her subjects are rendered with delicate precision or scribbled out with splotches, exploring perfectionism and perspective.

5. Maraea Shaw | Customs Street East

Make your way to Customs Street East and view new works by Maraea Shaw (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Toa Rangatira), an artist studying at Whitecliffe. Her series of bold portraits proudly displayed on the construction hoardings is the first in an ongoing series of public art collaborations between Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Britomart.

6. Ripple | Exchange Lane

From Customs Street, walk along to Queen Street and head up toward Exchange Lane. Here, a suspended light work by Angus Muir named Ripple hangs above the lane paying homage to the historic shoreline where this installation now sits, the lights create gentle reflections and movements mimicking the sea. 

7. Nature Wins! | Freyberg Place

Walk up Queen Street and into the High Street District. In this area you’ll find a number of exciting installations to view, highlighting this years Artweek theme of sustainability. First up, ‘Nature Wins!’ by Deborah Crowe covering the Freyberg Steps across from the Ellen Melville Centre. ‘Nature Wins!’ reimagines a popular central city space on the planes of the concrete steps to propose a semi-hypothetical ‘other’ world where remarkable growth, lush oversized foliage, and extraordinary blooming wild gardens are abundant on our doorstep. This bright and optimistic work acknowledges nature’s resilience and suppleness.

8. Wisteria Lane | Durham Lane

Continue up High Street, and turn down into Durham Lane to view Wisteria Lane by artist Bobbie Gray. This enchanted vine of fluorescent flowers showcases the potential of plastic as a material for making art and demonstrates what some see as trash, others see as treasure and aims to bring the natural world front and centre into the built environment.

9. The 3 Kete of Knowledge | Little High Street

Wander back to High Street and toward Little High Street, here an installation entitled The 3 Kete of Knowledge is suspended above the lane. The artwork is by Paul Woodruffe, Teare Turetahi, and Ashlee Tawhiti and it refers to the story of Tane who traveled to the heavens and retrieved 3 Kete filled with knowledge. The artists have used this story to illustrate the use of materials technology that has proven to be unsustainable and harmful to our environment.

10. Out of Water | 55-57 High Street

Turn back on to High Street, and continue heading up. As you reach the Victoria Street Car Park, you’ll notice an incredible hand painted piece on the pillars. This work was painted across 10 days by artist Erin Forsythe and is called ‘Out of Water’. A selection of native flora and fauna has been painted around four pillars, drawing attention to extinct, threatened, and lesser-known species. Lichen, moss, and seaweed covered branches wrap around each pillar while other plants seem to climb from the street to the sky. Fish, leaves, bats, birds, and feathers swirl amongst these branches and around the pillars encouraging passers-by to engage with the space and artwork from multiple angles allowing for discovery and delight.

11. Hello I'm ...Missing you | Elliott Street

After you’ve viewed Out of Water, head down Victoria Street and over to Elliott Street where you’ll find Margaret Lewis’ Changing Lanes installation – Hello I’m ... Missing you. Stitched by Margaret Lewis, one of Auckland's contemporary textile artists and designed by Bhavesh Bhuthadia, this installation explores the many diverse communities of Tāmaki Makaurau, especially those living, working and playing in the central city. HELLO I’M invites people to think about how they might start a conversation, merge with other central city communities and even find the courage to start a new conversation or at the very least, empathise with the sentiments stitched onto our oversized Hello badges hanging up in Elliott St.

12. Forest of Light | Khartoum Place

The art trail comes to an end with a magical installation in Khartoum Place. Make your way up Wellesley Street East, toward the Auckland Art Gallery, and turn on to Lorne Street where you can make your way to Khartoum Place. Here, La Lumiere has lit up the space as a beautiful ‘Forest of Light’. This large-scale lighting installation reflects the return of light back into the city in 2021 after the darkness of COVID-19. Enjoy the magic in the square where fairy light strands spill from the tallest trees, La Lumiere’s Forest of Light is not to be missed.

Last updated: 15 November 2021