News | 21 December 2022

Changing the streetscape

Pōneke artist Andrew Beck’s work Shadow Windows has been embedded into the streetscape of the newly upgraded Swan Lane and Garrett Street.

Painting being done on the ground.
Shadow Windows being etched onto the ground.

Over the past two years Andrew has worked collaboratively with landscape architects ‘Local’ and a wider team from the Council to embed an artwork into the precinct.

Shadow Windows consists of a series of window shapes etched into the pavement surfaces along Swan Lane and Garrett Street.

Andrew’s inspiration came from the rich architectural history of the surrounding areas and the diverse history of the site; the window forms of existing and erased heritage buildings acting as fragments of unseen histories that people can see.

 
Person admiring their work.

The street’s architectural history starts with settlement and establishment by Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Tupaia and Ngāti Haumia, to mid-19th century colonial settlement, to street meetings and social unionist movements, to Lewis Glover’s gift of Glover Park to the city on his death.

The window forms carved into the ground will also become vessels for light and shadow as they capture the movement of sunlight across the public space, says Andrew.

"Rather than a monument that occupies space, Shadow Windows seeks to open up and create absences in the urban environment. By exposing these histories and structures the works hope to act as windows for thought and contemplation on what is being uncovered.

Man crouching down
Artist Andrew Beck.

“Shadow Windows are openings to the partial histories, memories, decay and structures that persist through city change. These artworks sit quietly and become a part of the texture we navigate as we move through the city.”

When you visit the precinct, take a moment to walk down the street and imagine the past streetscape, glimpsed through this new artwork, acknowledging the absence of previous Te Aro buildings and times now past. 

Shadow windows on the ground
Beck's Shadow Windows.

Beck’s site-specific, permanent artwork Shadow Windows will be installed in December 2022 across Swan Lane and Garrett Streets and officially launched in February 2023.

Shadow Windows will be joined by a new artwork acknowledging the Waimapihi Awa in the new year.

Find out more about the upgraded Swan Lane and Garrett Street precinct.