We asked artists to develop and submit concepts to be installed on the Freyberg Steps. Designs needed to consider the sustainability theme of Artweek, the context of place – cognizant of both the physical and social environment, considering all its user groups, businesses, residents, visitors alike, bringing attention to the uniqueness of the space as a popular pedestrian walking route and intimate city community space. 

The chosen concept is Nature Wins! By Deborah Crowe

About Nature Wins! 

Greening the urban environment is a win-win for everyone – creating spaces and places that boost well-being, alongside making our air cleaner. As a Central Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland resident for over 15 years artist Deborah Crowe knows and enjoys the benefits of accessing green spaces in our city. Nature Wins! observes and exaggerates that notion and experience. Although not planting in reality, this artwork proposes a series of strong visual slices of bright complex photographic images that document an imaginary overgrown environment where nasturtiums, mānuka and clover flowers grow wild and entangle. 

The Freyberg Steps come to life for Artweek with an incredible commissioned work by Deborah Crowe. ‘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.
“In the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house - our houses” Alan Weisman in ‘The World without Us’. 

Nature Wins! comprises of a multi-layered digital collage of approx. 200 – 300 high-definition photographic images shot in and around Central Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland over the past 5 years. 

The blooms dominating this digitally collaged wild garden scape are there because bees love mānuka and clover and, although sometimes classified as a weed, the entire nasturtium plant - leaves, flowers, stems and seeds - is edible.

Part of Artweek in the City Centre

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Last updated: 17 September 2021