Art in the open air

Publish Date : 18 Jun 2021
Wind Tree (1)
Waihape Credit Eke Panuku Resize

Wander through Wynyard Quarter and discover art in many different shapes and forms, around every twist and turn. Here is an open air art gallery experience for you to enjoy along the way:  

The Wind Tree

The Wind Tree (pictured above) was originally located in the Britomart Queen Elizabeth 2 square and was relocated to its current home in Wynyard Quarter to make way for the Britomart redevelopment.

It was designed by Japanese artist Michio Ihara in 1972 as a result of the Auckland International Sculpture Symposium. It is now part of the Auckland Council Art Collection.

It's made from stainless steel, is 22 metres long, 5 metres wide and 5.5 metres high. Its trusses are designed to swing in the wind whist the pool of water below reflects light back up at the sculpture.


The new surface panels within Eastern Viaduct are the mahi toi of mana whenua artist Reuben Kirkwood of Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki. The artwork connects to the other surface work Reuben Kirkwood has designed for the 36th America’s Cup on the breakwaters, along Hamer Street and within Silo Park extension.

The artwork is inspired by the silhouette of a waka hourua sail and the design represents the rā kautū (upright triangular sails of waka hourua scattered across the Waitematā).

The concept whakarauika (to gather together) is displayed within the centre overlap of the two sails as smaller internal triangles. Groups of waka sailing in the same direction are easily identified with their sails pointing in the same way. Fleets of wind-blown waka are arranged as sailing one way or the other to signify the name Waihape, meaning ’to tack’ in sailing.

Silo Art Resize Panuku

Te Nukuao

Te Nukuao which means ‘shelter’ is both a marker and a signal of the deep connections tangata whenua maintain as kaitiaki of the land and waters of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Artist Tessa Harris of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki explores the narrative, form, and symbolic presence of waka hourua sails as a design driver and reference to the history of Wynyard Quarter as a 'water space' pre-reclamation.

The waka inspired structure Te Nukuao, explores three waka hourua sails and is about journeys, both past and present, and the space it creates offers shelter from the elements.

Tessas Pavilion Resize Panuku

Daldy Street Play Tank

The play tank is designed to resemble a hīnaki (eel trap). It's circular arrangement, inner entry tube and netting design all replicate sticks, flax netting and cordage elements used to make the traps.

Ngāti Whātua Orākei selected the artists Hana Maihi and Delani Brown to work on the structure. Stories and whakatauki (Māori proverbs) about the harvest and the lunar cycle are illustrated on the timber fins. Each steel support tells stories about the harvest and lunar cycle, and stories and symbols are carved into the timber pou which feature pāua shell inlay.

Jump on and explore more.

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