The Lightship is a site for contemporary art, which was launched by the Ports of Auckland in October 2020. The large-scale digital light wall on Quay Street provides Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland with a unique place for public art to be enjoyed. It is a 110-metre-long, 13-metre-high light wall that wraps around the western façade of the port’s new car handling building. It is made up of seven panels with nearly 8,500 individually programmable LED lights and is visible from busy Quay Street, city wharves, local buildings and the water. 

The latest work on display is Broken Sovereignty, a new work by artist Daniel John Corbett Sanders. The commissioned site-specific artwork is on display from now until June 1, 2022 and extends the artist's original critiques concerning the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in art galleries. It reflects on the use and misuse of LGBTQ+ representation in advertising and will be accompanied by a series of discussions with Sanders around issues of LGBTQ+ representation.

Set at billboard scale, the letters spelling the place name are designed with the colourful symmetries of the original Pride flag, slowly beginning to glitch and break. 

On the brink of Auckland’s reopening to international tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic, Broken Sovereignty welcomes visitors back to a city we all wish to be progressive. But as the iconic rainbow letters of AUCKLAND begin to flicker, the work encourages us to question the role of homonationalism inside a campaign to create a thriving Auckland. 

Brought to you by Ports of Auckland. 

The Lightship Broken Sovereignty banner


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Last updated: 07 October 2020