As the winter solstice edges closer and days shorten, Auckland's 'light art' steps up.
Aucklanders can enjoy many notable public artworks lighting our streets and parks at night. They come into their own once the sun has set.
The lights illuminating Boy Walking, a landmark sculpture installed in Potters Park last year, are now switched on for night-time viewing and to bring new light to the area.
Created by New Zealand-born artist Ronnie van Hout, the whimsical and optimistic Boy Walking strides along the Dominion Road edge of Balmoral’s Potters Park; a park gifted to the city for local residents and children to enjoy more than a century ago.
Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee at Auckland Council, says: “Lockdown has made us appreciate the things we take for granted in our everyday lives, including the beauty that surrounds us.
“People are able to start venturing out again in the evenings. Perhaps catching a glimpse of a public artwork at night will bring smiles to their faces,” he says.
Along with Boy Walking, here are some of Auckland’s special artworks lighting up public spaces at night:
Drop a Loop, by Seung Yul Oh and Virtualight Limited, sees a series of 11 colourful light boxes hanging like water droplets at the entrance to Albany Stadium Pool. Adding colour and vibrancy to the space, the lighting adjusts as daylight levels change.
Te Ara I Whiti – The Lightpath, by Arekatera Katz Maihi, Iion Limited, Monk Mackenzie Limited and LandLAB Limited, is a vibrant pink path lit with LED lights that pulse as people pass by. Formed from an unused part of the Nelson Street motorway off-ramp, it enables cyclists and pedestrians to travel from Upper Queen Street to Victoria Street West.
Eyelight Lane, by David Svensson, is a zigzagging line of neon stretching from one end of Fort Lane to the other. A luminescent red, it illuminates the pipes, bricks, windows and doorways of the lane, adding light and energy to this vibrant inner-city space.
Transit Cloud, by Gregor Kregar, Sara Hughes and Davor Popadich, links the centre of New Lynn to the transport hub. Four large cloud-like constructions guide people along McCorquindale Lane.
I Love You / Aroha atu, Aroha mai, by Lonnie Hutchinson, can be seen lighting up the stairwells of the Ronwood Ave Carpark in Manukau. This neon artwork adds a sense of wonder to the Manukau landscape, turning one of its most functional buildings into a monument dedicated to love.
Boy Walking was installed in June 2019 and the cost of lighting was covered when the work was installed. Operationally, the ongoing cost to light up Boy Walking is part of Auckland’s street lighting system.