Public art

Public art on the waterfront

Seven works of art pass through one of Auckland's historic quarters and compliment the views along the Waitemata Harbour foreshore.

Each work represents one of the myriad forms, themes and styles of work that have characterised New Zealand's art scene over past decades.

Michael Parekowhai - Britomart art worksMichael Parekowhai - Britomart art worksNgati Whatua - Te Ahi Kaa RoaMolly Macalister - Maori WarriorGreer Twiss - Flight Trainer for AlbatrossEric Orr - Fire WindowPhil Price - CytoplasmDenis O'Connor - Raupo RapMichio Ihara - Wind TreeCompany - Sounds of SeaCompany - Sounds of SeaRachel Shearer - The Flooded Mirror and Silt LineMap of the waterfront sculpture walk.

1 Britomart art works

Michael Parekowhai - Britomart art works 1. Artist: Michael Parekowhai, 2004
Location: Britomart
Materials: Stainless steel, light boxes, photographs, native trees

Please note: this work has been removed for the City Rail Link construction. It will be replaced close to the original location when construction is complete.


2 Te Ahi Kaa Roa

Ngati Whatua - Te Ahi Kaa Roa. Artist: Ngati Whatua, 2004
Location: Queen Elizabeth II Square
Materials: local basalt rock

Please note: this work has been removed for the City Rail Link construction. It will be replaced close to the original location when construction is complete.


3 Maori Warrior, Molly Macalister

Molly Macalister - Maori Warrior. Artist: Molly Macalister, 1967
Location: Quay Street
Materials: bronze

Molly Macalister's statue was commissioned by Auckland City in 1964 and completed in 1967. The 3m-tall figure is enveloped in an artistic interpretation of a traditional Maori cloak.

The warrior looks to the horizon holding a mere, a symbol of peace, in his right hand. It was intended that the welcoming figure would seem to greet visitors and new settlers who, at that time, arrived on passenger liners that docked at the wharves in downtown Auckland.


4 Flight Trainer for Albatross

Greer Twiss - Flight Trainer for Albatross. Artist: Greer Twiss, 2004
Location: Quay Street
Materials: stainless steel
Sponsor: Auckland City Sculpture Trust

Please note: this work was removed in 2014 for construction work. We are looking for a new site along the Waitemata foreshore to relocate it to.


5 Fire Window

Eric Orr - Fire Window. Artist: Eric Orr, 1996
Location: Viaduct Harbour
Materials: cast iron, fire, water, granite

Please note: in late 2016 this work will be having a complete overhaul. It will not be operational during this time.


6 Cytoplasm, Phil Price

Phil Price - Cytoplasm. Artist: Phil Price, 2003
Location: Waitemata Plaza
Materials: epoxy and glass, composite skin with foam core
Sponsor: Auckland City Sculpture Trust

Phil Price's kinetic work is one of the most popular on the Viaduct walkway. It comprises 16 pod-like discs that move both individually and collectively in the wind. No two views of the work are the same, and herein lies much of Cytoplasm's attraction.


7 Raupo Rap

Denis O'Connor - Raupo Rap. Artist: Denis O'Connor, 2005
Location: Viaduct Harbour
Materials: red granite, whitegranite, stainless steel
Sponsor: Auckland City Sculpture Trust

Raupo Rap takes the form of a giant hook elevated on pillars. The hook references the tool traditionally used by waterside workers to load and unload ships - it is a symbol of work at the dockyards. But there are many layers of meaning in this work.


8 Wind Tree

Michio Ihara - Wind Tree. Artist: Michio Ihara, 1972
Location: Wynyard Quarter
Materials: stainless steel

Wind Tree is one of five artworks produced as a result of the Auckland International Sculpture Symposium held in Auckland in September 1971. It was first installed in Queen Elisabeth Square in 1977. It was removed in 2002 to make way for new landscape elements as part of the redevelopment of the Britomart rail station and square upgrade. In 2011 it was revealed on it's new location in the Wynyard Quarter.


9 Sounds of Sea

Company - Sounds of Sea. Artist: Company (Finland/Korea), 2011
Location: Wynyard Quarter
Materials: stainless steel & powder-coating
Sponsor: Waterfront Auckland, Public Art and Landmark Incorporated

Sounds of Sea is based on the ventilation funnels and speaking tubes used on ships and are designed for sitting, listening and speaking.

The artists were inspired by the unique site and "hollow" structure of the warf. The sculptures are a reminder to the history of the waterfront and its on-going role as an active shipping harbour, transforming the wharf into an old ship deck.


10 The Flooded Mirror and Silt Line

Rachel Shearer - The Flooded Mirror and Silt Line. Artist: The Flooded Mirror: Rachel Shearer (New Zealand), Silt Line: Rachel Shearer & Hillery Taylor, 2011
Location: Wynyard Quarter
Materials: sound and patterns in stairs

The Flooded Mirror tells an abstract sound story of the interconnections between sea, geology and humans. Shearer has developed sounds inspired by mineral structure as a metaphor for those processes that affect the land formation, geological strata, culture and communities. Shearer says: "It is like an aural map of energy flow narration ancient general histories and specific recent histories."


Descriptions by Public Art New Zealand, Ngati Whatua and Dr Robin Woodward, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art History, University of Auckland.

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