Courtenay Place light boxes

A New Zealand first, the Courtenay Place light boxes form a highly public exhibition space in the midst of Wellington’s central city environment.

The eight 3-metre high steel and glass LED light boxes were designed as an integral part of Courtenay Place and were unveiled in May 2008.

The light boxes encourage people to reflect on this busy and diverse urban centre, even if just for a minute.

Each exhibition lasts for four to six months.

These light boxes are located at 77-97 Courtenay Place - view on Google Maps.

Current exhibition

Turumeke Harrington, Swamped


Artist: Turumeke Harrington
Curator: Chloe Cull

23 March - 3 June 2024

Swamped addresses the complex history of whenua on the site where it sits.

Swamped is an accessible installation from Te Whanganui-a-Tara based artist Harrington (Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne) and Ōtautahi Christchurch-based curator and educator Chloe Cull, which allows for engagement by children and adults.

Te Aro Pā was one of the largest pā in the Wellington area.

The pā was included in the area covered by the New Zealand Company’s Port Nicholson deed of purchase. Harrington’s tumu (stumps) reference the survey stakes used at Te Aro Pā to mark and divide Māori land, and the removal of these by Māori residents in protest.

The title Swamped references both the original swamplands that provided residents of Te Aro Pā with food and resources, and the overwhelming nature of modern life.

The artworks couple critical reflection with humour, encouraging passers-by to engage in a game of ‘I spy’. Hidden in each tumu are indigenous flora and fauna, and the species that succeeded them.

About the artist: Turumeke Harrington

Turumeke Harrington (Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne) is an artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She has shown extensively across Aotearoa, often producing generous installations and sculptural work at the intersection of art and design. Humour, play, and bright colours are frequently used to soften and subvert often tense and difficult subjects. In addition to her art practice, Turumeke has worked as an exhibition designer and technician within large institutions. Guided by whakapapa and practice of whanaukataka, Turumeke asks how to make and live as a good person.

About the curator: Chloe Cull

Chloe Cull (Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi te Ruahikihiki) is an Ōtautahi-based curator and educator, and is currently Pouarataki Curator Māori at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Chloe has worked in arts and education since moving to Ōtautahi in 2017. She is Chair of the Physics Room Board of Trustees, and is a contributor to exhibitions and arts publications as a writer and editor. Previously Chloe was a Toi Māori intern at The Dowse Art Museum, and Assistant Curator at Govett Brewster Art Gallery.

How to exhibit

For info on how to have your work exhibited in the lightboxes, see our exhibition opportunities page.

Previous exhibitions

View information and images from past projects. 

Contact us

Pippa Sanderson, Senior Arts Advisor

Mobile: 021 454 039