Auckland Council reveals new public art installations

Publish Date : 07 Jul 2023
1001 Spheres. Credit David St George
1001 Spheres. Image Credit: David St George

Auckland Council unveils the first production of artwork funded from Auckland Council’s Public Art Regional budget since 2020 – 1001 Spheres, and announces two upcoming pieces for 2023, Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories and Ngā Manu.

From a thousand vibrant spheres in high gloss magenta and vermillion as seen in 1001 Spheres, to the illumination of a 160-metre section of mature native bush in Warkworth for Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories, each of the three pieces aims to inspire conversation and deliver on Auckland Council’s commitment to public art.

Auckland Council’s Head of Arts, Culture and Heritage Emily Trent is pleased the pieces are ready to be revealed to the public.

“Three incredible artists have each created transformative pieces of public art that will enhance and enrich our city’s cultural fabric. By investing in public art, we’re creating a shared space for all to engage, contemplate and be inspired.”

1001 Spheres opened on 1 July in Hillsborough, with Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories to launch in Warkworth on 15 July, and planned installation of Ngā Manu to begin in August.

1001 Spheres

1001 Spheres is a stainless-steel sculpture commissioned by Auckland Council to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa, created by Auckland-based artist Chiara Corbelletto. The sculpture is dedicated to gender equality in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The language of repeating circles of 1001 Spheres represents inclusivity and equality and references a quote from famous suffragist Kate Sheppard: “We are tired of having a ‘sphere’ doled out to us and of being told that anything outside that sphere is ‘unwomanly’”.

The double circular form of the artwork is three metres wide and is made of hundreds of intersecting wire strands enclosing more than a thousand vibrant spheres painted in high-gloss magenta and vermilion. 

1001 Spheres can be found in Monte Cecilia Park, Hillsborough. The closest access is entry via the Mount Albert Road accessway.

Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories

 Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories is a light and sound-based artwork delivered by Auckland Council in partnership with the Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust with invaluable guidance and support from the Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights.

Created by toi whenua artist Hokimai-anahera Rosieur (Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāpuhi and Te Aupōuri), Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories is a light and sound-based artwork of scale in Warkworth telling the story of Mahurangi and the enduring presence of Ngāti Manuhiri.

Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories depicts how the taiao (natural world) came into existence, with light and sound expressing Aotearoa’s birth, and the growth of the ngahere (forest). The au (currents) heard express the mauri of the Mahurangi river, while the era of tangata whenua is shared through whakatauki/ haka.

Illuminating a 160-metre section of mature native bush on Puhinui Reserve, Warkworth, the site features 36 LED lighting units and eight speakers across the treeline.

Te Hokinga Mahara – Collection of Memories opens on July 15.

Ngā Manu

Commissioned by Auckland Council and The Rotary Club of Pakuranga (Inc) to celebrate 50 years of Rotary service in the area, Ngā Manu will soon be installed on the Pakuranga Rotary Walkway.

Created by Dion Hitchins, Ngā Manu is a stainless-steel kinetic sculpture that will stand five metres tall with three large koru/wing forms that swivel in the breeze. Smaller bird forms mounted on the wing edges will spin in the wind, and at its fullest extent, the sculpture will have a span of 4.3m wide.

Ngā Manu refers to the whakataukī e koekoe te tūī, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū, sourced from the book Aroha by Dr Hinemoa Elder. It translates as the tūī squawks, the kākā chatters, the kererū coos and references that it takes all kinds of people to create a community.

Ngā Manu is undergoing the final fabrication and installation is planned for August.

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