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9 beautiful Auckland artworks to explore

Published: 3 December 2018

Auckland Council’s public art collection includes more than 400 artworks across the region. Many of the works are great for children to explore and interact with, and visiting them is a fun and educational way to spend a day with kids. Here are a few of our favourites.

Drop A Loop, Albany Stadium Pool

This work by Seung Yul Oh adds an intriguing and colourful glow – both day and night – to an otherwise muted building. Kids love the work because the light boxes are cloud-shaped and involve light and colour.

Upon A Pond, Albany Stadium Pool

Seung Yul Oh’s quirky structures are like oversized bendy straws and shiny bubbles. Children love playing with the mist that puffs out of the three tubes, and they’re fascinated by the sheer scale of the work.

Wind Tree, Wynyard Quarter

This sculpture by Michio Ihara was first installed in Queen Elizabeth II Square in 1977, where it stayed for 24 years. In 2011 it found a new home at Jellicoe Plaza in the Wynyard Quarter. Stainless steel trusses float and shimmer above a pool that reflects light up through the sculpture – and also provides a place for children to play on hot summer days.

Wind Tree sculpture, Wynyard Quarter
Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Neighbourhood Picnic, Sandringham Reserve

Artist Katy Wallace worked with a reserve playground renewal design team to create a family picnic space, a play area and a well-defined village green space for staging community events. The woodland-themed play area uses recycled and unprocessed materials, and the reserve has a pebble mosaic that was produced by students from Edendale Primary School.

Neighbourhood Picnic
Neighbourhood Picnic 2016, Katy Wallace. Auckland Council Art Collection. Photo: David St George

Te Ara I Whiti – The Light Path, Nelson Street

Te Ara I Whiti is a hot-pink cycleway and walking path along the Nelson Street off-ramp. It features laser-cut carved designs at intervals along the length of the western side of the path, and LED lights that pulse as people pass them. The concept was created by Monk Mackenzie Architects and LandLAB, in association with artist Katz Maihi.

The Lighthouse: Tū Whenua-a-Kura, Queens Wharf

The Lighthouse - Michael Parekowhai
The Lighthouse: Tū Whenua-a-Kura by Michael Parekowhai, Queens Wharf.

The Lighthouse: Tū Whenua-a-Kura by Michael Parekowhai, is a 1:1 replica of a 1950s family home. Its interior features an installation of light and a sculpture entitled The English Channel. Explore the artwork by looking through its windows and doors and by climbing the exterior staircase. What famous person can you see inside?

Tokens From The Game, Todd Triangle, New Lynn

Children’s boardgame pieces – a camera, a dodgem car, a bell and a tent – are scaled to giant proportions in this work by Peter Lange in New Lynn’s Todd Triangle green space. The brick sculptures encourage play and exploration and are familiar objects associated with fun and games.

Tokens from the Game
Tokens from the Game 2011, Peter Lange. Auckland Council Art Collection. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Twist and Thief, Beresford Square and Karangahape Road

Spot the surprise combination of Twist, a girl dancing with an elephant by Beresford Square, and Thief, a boy tussling with a pig over a turnip on Karangahape Road. The sculptures by Tanja McMillan and John Oz celebrate the area's history as a farming district, then a shopping area in the early 1900s.

Sculpture of a person fighting with a pig over a sausage.
Thief, Tanja McMillan and John Oz, 2015. K’ Road opposite St Kevins Arcade.

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Share photos of your favourite Auckland artworks on social media using #PublicArtAKL and visit Public Art Auckland for more information.

Read more:

Arts Free My Summer