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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
$10m city art transformation

Neon lights zig-zagging through a downtown alley, temporary artworks in Wynyard Quarter's silos and a bronze duck hiding in a Queen St park are among $10 million of art to be added to the Auckland landscape over the next year. The council has this month been considering 53 projects across Auckland - although almost half are in the Waitemata area which covers the CBD. Most projects are new art pieces, but some involve maintenance or alternations to existing works, such as Molly McAllister's iconic Maori Warrior which will be moved to a new spot within the CBD. Highlights from the programme, covering the 2012/13 financial year, include a series of photographic exhibitions on the back of billboards at Henderson train station, beautification of the Papatoetoe RSA, library and Burnside Park to celebrate the district's 150 year reunion, and "artistic treatment" for the exterior of a new car park by artists Reuben Paterson and Lonnie Hutchinson.

The $230,000 Eyelight Lane by artist David Svensson is described as a "meandering red neon line mounted on buildings on either side of Fort Lane that crosses [the] alley at three points". Meanwhile Critters, by Rachel Walters, completes a trio of animal sculptures "hiding in plain sight" in Myers Park. The $73,000 bronze duck will sit atop a manhole cover hiding in a bubble wrap envelope. The programme was endorsed by the culture, arts and events forum last week but will not be approved until it goes before it's put to a vote at next month's regional development and operations committee. Of the $9.88m budget, $2.68m will come from the public arts fund. The rest comes from the Auckland Art Gallery, local boards, art trusts, libraries, council controlled organisations and private donors.

Manager public art Carole Anne Meehan said public art supports Mayor Len Brown's vision to make the city the world's most liveable, as outlined in the Auckland Plan. "Public art enlivens spaces and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. "Managed well it can have huge economic and social benefits to a city and create places that can be enjoyed by all Aucklanders." A single policy on public art has not yet been adopted by the new Auckland Council. A discussion document is currently before local boards, key stakeholders and council-controlled organisations before a draft policy is prepared for public feedback.


20 APR 12 19°C by Urban+Explorer, on Flickr
CRITTERS in Symonds Street (University of Auckland)​
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Art-erial plan for Dominion Road

Sculpture and art installations are set to adorn Dominion Rd in a plan to turn the busy thoroughfare into an "art-erial". Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes came up with the idea. "It aims to use public art to excite, delight and satisfy the large numbers of Aucklanders and tourists who use or visit Dominion Rd," he says. The concept will be part of a regeneration of the corridor and he says it will make often lengthy journeys more interesting. Parklets - small strips of roadside given over to temporary art or landscaping - originated in San Francisco. Its first parklet opened in 2010, and there are now 27, with dozens more in the pipeline. Streetfront business owners, non-profits and community groups can apply to have them built, often taking over a carpark.

The Dominion Rd parklets could be installed on wide sections of footpath rather than the road, as buses need those lanes at peak times. Dr Haynes describes the art-erial idea as a "once in a lifetime opportunity", saying it help link Kingsland and Valley Rd village centres through an art walk. "The road is due to be upgraded in the next two years and there's a possibility of including installation spaces into the design," he says. Auckland Council owns or has designations over several sites on Dominion Rd. Dr Haynes says the best time for the arterial to be created will be during the road's upgrade. Preference will be given to local creatives and businesses to come up with designs. But at the heart of the idea is a Billy Apple Art Walk, a possible trail to three existing sculptures near Eden Park made by the renowned conceptual artist for the Rugby World Cup.

"The Billy Apple pieces constitute about half of the public art pieces in our area, but are by far the most significant," says Dr Haynes. Mr Apple's works include Corner Post, on the corner of Walters and Sandringham Rd, Wairepo Swamp Walk, the Monkey Hill Reserve steps on Walters Rd, and a mural planned for the Albert-Eden Local Board offices. "We are leveraging off what we already have," says Dr Haynes. "The board has to be very careful with its money, as it has very limited funding. "The arterial road idea came to me when we were preparing to meet officers to discuss the Billy Apple Art Walkconcept. Melbourne has its laneways, where it holds art events and installations in its inner-city lanes, partly to rejuvenate them. "I thought, why should all public art have to be in the city centre? What about the people who live and work elsewhere?

"What we have in Auckland is arterials. If we were going to have art events and installations on any arterial, Dominion Rd, with all its colour and chaos, is the obvious choice." Mr Apple says if he was invited to contribute he would consider works using geometry and the median strip to link the top of the road to the bottom. Dr Haynes says up to six other sculptures could be installed at Bellevue and Ballantyne Square Reserves, Potters Park and the intersection of Dominion and Balmoral roads. Local board notes show a "splash pad", including water features and fountains for children, is to be installed at Potters Park and a piece of sculpture could complement the site. Auckland Transport is looking at possible installation sites and the board will be briefed next week. Dr Haynes says administration costs for the roadside spaces trial will need to be met by Auckland Council, but it won't cover materials and installation costs.

"We [the local board] can't meet all the costs ourselves - but given the clear benefits of the project, we would look to the governing body to give it serious consideration." Dr Haynes says public input will happen when the Dominion Rd upgrade is considered. Trish Clark, the chairwoman of Auckland Council's advisory panel for public art, says the council is committed to assisting local boards in developing "the best public art outcomes for their areas. The road upgrade is the perfect opportunity to integrate public art projects, as was done with Billy Apple's existing works in the Eden area," she says. But she says any decision is some way off and the different options will be discussed with Auckland Transport, the local board and artists. Dominion Road Business Association manager Gary Holmes says the arterial idea is "innovative" and will add to the road's character. "It's been neglected for many years and hasn't had the infrastructure and investment required. "It's often hard to achieve colour and variety on a road as busy as this - but with upgrades about to happen, it's a perfect fit."
 

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I think they miss the point of the parklet - it is to return road space to other users, installing them on the already small footpath doesn't really achieve the same aim.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
$119K artwork mistaken for chimney


A new $119,500 sculpture at the Albany Park and Ride is being confused for a chimney. ''It looks like a smokestack or something,'' commuter Sarah Lee Russell, from Albany, said. The seven metre-high limestone sculpture, called LUNA, was commissioned by Auckland Transport and was recently erected in a new extension of the park and ride. Artist Caroline Robinson was commissioned to create the piece and she said, earlier this year, it was intended to ''communicate within the Oteha Valley, relating a quietness and steadiness, in dialogue with the earth, the water, the tall trees of the forest as well as the surrounding buildings and structures.'' Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Margaret Miles said: "There was a question mark from the local board in terms of the cost and whether it was appropriate to spend money on public art but we recognised that it's one of the goals of Auckland Transport to include art in big car parks like that.'' The price of the sculpture was included in Auckland Transport's $5.5 million budget for the extension of the park.

Miles said the board was concerned it would take up car parks and commuters would not be able to stop and look at the tower. ''I'm sorry but if you're ... wanting to catch a bus in the morning I don't think you've got the time to start reading about what this structure is.'' She said the sculpture story was ''quite special'' although she didn't really understand it. And she is not alone. Even Albany councillor Michael Goudie faced questioning from residents on his Facebook page. '150g for a statue at Albany park and ride ??? Foundations more than my driveway ??? Whats going on. Plans look like a chimney to me [sic],'' a local wrote. Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said a plaque explaining the sculpture would be placed on the tower and a story sandblasted on to a window pane at the bus station. The remainder of the extension is due to open early August and it will bring the total car parks at the site to 1100. The Albany station car park first opened in November 2005 with 370 car parks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heavy metal McCaw may transform city

New York Harbour has the Statue of Liberty and the Waitemata Harbour could soon have its very own Statue of Victory - a 14m-tall metal All Black figure in the image of Richie McCaw. A Chinese sculptor will be approaching the Auckland Council next week with plans to construct the statue using scrap metal from old cars. He hopes it can be placed on Queens Wharf. Yi Yang, 24, a student at AUT University, wants to present the statue - expected to cost about $20,000 to build - as a gift to the city. "All great cities have got a statue, and I think it is about time Auckland has one too," said Mr Yang.

"This statue will celebrate the pride of New Zealanders in winning last year's Rugby World Cup, and of course honour the All Blacks who brought that pride to the country." Yang is fanatical about Transformers and has been sculpting larger-than-life replicas of the robots with two friends since he was 19. The hobby has since turned into a business and he has been commissioned to sculpt giant figures in China and Singapore. His 14m creation of Autobot leader Optimus Prime, which he sold for about $50,000, is now on permanent display at the Shenyang Centre business district, and others are at the Transformers theme park ride in Universal Studios Singapore.

"I am very sure the All Blacks statue will be a huge tourist attraction, and will also be a new Auckland landmark," said Yang. He had not thought about a name for the sculpture, but felt it could be fitting to call it the "Statue of Victory". Metal McCaw would be made in China and shipped here in parts tobe reconstructed, he said - just asthe Statue of Liberty had been made in France and its 350 individual pieces were shipped to New York in 214 crates. Yang said he was finalising the proposal, plans and design for the four-storey-high statue and would be approaching the council within the next few days.

Auckland Council spokeswoman Angela Jones said the council's public art team would consider the proposal when it was received. Waterfront Auckland spokesman Luke Henshall said the plan had to be carefully considered. "While we're the first to admit Richie is a legend, large-scale public artworks such as this would need to be carefully considered as part of the overall design approach for the high-profile open spaces of Queens Wharf," he said If the plan is approved, it would not be the first statue of a New Zealand icon to be sculpted by a Chinese artist. The statue of Sir Edmund Hillary, which has become a landmark in Orewa, north of metropolitan Auckland, is the work of sculptor Chen Weiming.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Big images put faces to future of community


It must have been quite strange for young Koalani Patuwai, 3, to see her face hugely enlarged and plastered to the side of a building in Glen Innes. And so too for Dolly Walker, 84, whose spirit and wide grin brightened the side of another wall in the East Auckland suburb yesterday. But the toddler and kuia took it all in their stride, as their giant portraits told a little piece of their community's story. The black-and-white posters are part of international art project, Inside Out, which seeks to transform messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. The New Zealander charter is called Face to Face, and is being orchestrated by Glen Innes-based Production Company Mad Ave Studios. The project involves a large number of Glen Innes residents who took part in an initial workshop that was held at Ruapotaka Marae to brainstorm themes around identity, storytelling, connectivity and community. The posters were put up around the community yesterday and the project is being officially launched today.
 

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Council rejects McCaw sculpture offer

Auckland Council has rejected a Chinese sculptor's offer to build a 14m metal All Black figure in the image of Richie McCaw for the Auckland waterfront. Yi Yang, who has been sculpting larger-than-life replicas of Transformer robots professionally in China and Singapore using scrap metal from old cars, had submitted a proposal to the council's public art panel for consideration last week. The plan was to make the four-storey statue in China and ship it in parts to Auckland to be assembled. Yang wanted to donate the sculpture as a tribute to last year's Rugby World Cup win, and had planned to call it Statue of Victory. In a letter to Yang, council public art manager Carole Anne Meehan said: "The panel does not recommend the acceptance of your proposed gift as our existing public art plan calls for a landmark work of a very different nature to the one you have proposed."

Ms Meehan said the panel had considered how the offer fitted with Auckland Plan objectives for the city centre and waterfront. She said the city's public art development needed to have a "strategic, integrated and coherent" approach. Yang said he was very disappointed with the decision, and intended to appeal against it through the council's ethnic advisory panel. "At the moment, there is no public structure to mark the All Blacks' World Cup victory and this statue aims to be that." Yang's other sculpting works are being displayed in China's Shenyang Centre business district and Singapore's Universal Studio Transformer theme ride. "I think the public art team has got it wrong because I believe the statue will be a huge tourist attraction, and will be a new landmark for the city."
 

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The last thing we need is an ugly sporting sculpture on the waterfront for the RWC, I'm glad they said thanks but no thanks.
 

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The last thing we need is an ugly sporting sculpture on the waterfront for the RWC, I'm glad they said thanks but no thanks.
My main objection was that it wasn't of an Auckland sports person. Surely a statue of Peter Blake or Shaun Fitzpatrick would be far more appropriate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would have liked to have it somewhere in the city - it would not have looked out of place in Aotea Square with Metro's plans to light up their building :) It is also a gift and will cost us next to nothing.
 

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Yes no need for it. 4 storeys! His ego trip. And what does the ethnic advisory board have to do with anything? He is an artist first of all and that is how things should be judged.
 

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I would have liked to have it somewhere in the city - it would not have looked out of place in Aotea Square with Metro's plans to light up their building :) It is also a gift and will cost us next to nothing.
Taking some art because its free is probably the worse reason to take it and should play no role in the decision as to whether this work is interesting or relevant. The same thinking of 'it's free' is what lead us to have purple spiky thing next to the motorway exits in the city.
 
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