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Lights on in Tin Tacks Reserve

Published: 4 September 2019

Tin Tacks Reserve in central Onehunga is to be home to a bright new public artwork in the form of a large free-standing lightbox.

The new artwork will be a dynamic sculpture that changes throughout the year.

“Much like an outdoor gallery, the lightbox will display images that can be refreshed over time” explains Emily Trent, Public Art Manager for Auckland Council.

“Our aim is to tell stories of the Onehunga area using local artists.“  

The inaugural lightbox commission is by Lisa Crowley, an Auckland-based interdisciplinary artist with a strong interest in the history of photography. Crowley’s works focus on the theme of ‘retrieving female voices from Aotearoa’s suffrage history.’ Femmina, the first image, borrows its titled name from the pen name of Mary Anne Muller, an early New Zealand feminist and activist.

The image explores how women’s ability to represent themselves shifted and grew after the right to vote was gained.

The second artwork to be displayed, Reiri Karamu (The Ladies’ Column), is an extract from a 19th century Māori language newspaper, Te Tiupiri - The Jubilee (1898).

The column was edited by Māori suffragists Mere Mangakahia and Niniwa I Te Rangi and provided an opportunity for Māori women to express their views on both national and local affairs. Mere Mangahakia was the first woman to speak in the Kotahitanga Māori Parliament, advocating for the right for Māori women to vote. Niniwa I Te Rangi was involved in the then Native Land Court, successfully advocating for her own property rights.

Standing 3 metres tall and 1.5 metres wide, the lightbox structure runs from an off-grid solar power system and is designed to be energy efficient to help maintain sustainability objectives.

The lightbox will be illuminated between the hours of 6am and 11pm every day.

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