Auckland public art

Though Auckland has seemingly little compared with Wellington public art, there is more than you might think scattered around the city. Here’s a few that have caught my eye over the years.

Starting with the most controversial, Michael Pārekowhai ‘The Lighthouse’. Gifted to the people of Auckland by Barfoot & Thompson to commemorate 90 years in business in 2013, as is often the case it was hugely contentious until it was finished and then most people loved it! It’s certainly striking and memorable, and a great reason to wander to the end of Queens Wharf.

Phil Price’s ‘Cytoplasm’ is a wonderful kinetic sculpture in Waitemata Plaza in Viaduct Harbour.

Further along the waterfront in Wynyard Quarter are the fun ‘Sounds of the Sea’ funnels, and Michio Ihara’s ‘Wind Tree’. Originally installed in Queen Elizabeth II Square in 1977 it sat in storage for many years before finding a perfect new home in Jellicoe Plaza.

Also on the waterfront if the other side of the city is Hiroaki Ueda’s ‘Opened Stone’, found along the  Waikowhai Walkway.

Few from Auckland CBD, Greer Twiss’ ‘Karangahape Rocks’ next to Symond St Cemetery, Richard Gross’ 1936 statue next to Auckland City Hospital, a striking statue somewhere near Wakefield St, Barry Lett’s ‘Red Dancer’ on the outside of the Aotea Centre, and Paul Dibble’s ‘Woodpigeon on a Circle’ by Auckland Art Auckland.


To finish with the most recent sculptures, some quite delightful owls thanks to The Big Hoot, in which 47 giant owls and 60 owlets were scattered across the city for three months to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Author: jontycrane

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