Past projects

Temporary public artworks are funded from the Council's Public Art Fund.

Lockdown Laundry in Wellington’s Cuba Mall where passers-by air and share their lockdown memories by pegging them to a clothesline.

Lockdown Laundry in Wellington’s Cuba Mall. Passers-by airing and sharing their lockdown memories. Photographer: Adibah Saad

Resize

Lockdown Laundry

Katja Starke

3 August – 6 September, Various libraries

During July artist Katja Starke travelled all over Wellington to capture peoples’ experiences of the Covid-19 lockdown using her trusty typewriter. Wellingtonians shared their unique and personal perspectives of lockdown with Katja, then hung them out to air on the Lockdown Laundry washing line for others to read. Now, the entire collection of lockdown stories will come together in a roving display at some of Wellington’s central and suburban libraries.

The exhibition will be at a different library for one week from midday on Mondays.


  • Monday 3 August – Newtown Library
  • Monday 10 August – Miramar Library
  • Monday 17 August – Waitohi/Johnsonville Library
  • Monday 24 August – Karori Library
  • Monday 31 August – Te Awe Library, Brandon Street, CBD

Visit lockdownlaundry.nz

You can hear more about Katja’s project in her interview with Jesse Mulligan on Radio New Zealand.

Banners by Elisabeth Pointon displaying the words 'Spectacular', 'Outstanding' and 'Big Deal' in large block letters hang in an gallery space with white walls.

Elisabeth Pointon: What Goes Up. City Gallery Wellington 2019.

WOULD YOU LOOK AT WHAT GOES UP.

Elisabeth Pointon

Saturday 25 July 2020, 12.30pm

City Gallery Wellington is taking to the sky with one of artist Elisabeth Pointon's aerial banners from their current exhibition What Goes Up – featuring banners and documentation from the artist's year-long trilogy of works in 2019. The banner will soar over Cuba Street and the general city centre area for approximately 30 minutes.

For more information visit City Gallery Wellington website.

This project and flyover are supported by Wellington City Council Public Art Fund and Airbubble Aerial Advertising and Banner Towing.

Resize

Chevron Hassett: One Thirty

16 November - 7 December 2019

Artist Chevron Hassett presents a photographic series of five Naenae locals installed on buses routed from Naenae to Wellington city.

Chevron Hassett ( Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Pākehā), grew up in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae, where he used to graffiti buses - his first creative and subversive public works. Harnessing this spirit, the artist now sites portraits of young people from Naenae onto buses, representing the mana and potential of Naenae. In creating this project, Hassett asked his peers to choose sites important to them, 'where their hearts felt full' around Naenae, where they grew up.

Now, Hassett launches these images on their own journey as they traverse routes on five buses from Naenae through to Wellington city during December 2019 and beyond. This project, One Thirty, - named for Naenae's bus route - features images of Journey, Nesi, Wasa, Grace, and Chevron himself.

One Thirty is shown in conjunction with Chevron Hassett's Toi Pōneke Visual Art Residency exhibition Home is where my heart will rest, 16 November - 7 December 2019.

Chevron Hassett ( Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Pākehā), was born in 1994 in Lower Hutt, Aotearoa.

Hassett uses still and moving image to explore concepts of whanaungatanga, tikanga māori and kaupapa māori operating across ancestral and urban landscapes. His practice spans community projects with youth to contemporary art projects and writing. He achieved a Bachelor of Design (Hons) from Massey University, Wellington in 2016. In 2017, he won the Nga Manu Pirere Award from Te Waka Toi/Creative New Zealand. Hassett is also currently showing work as part of Strands at The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, until 22 March 2020.

See Chevron Hassett's website for  more information.

Building with a domed top.

The Weight of Information

17 November - December 2018
Thomas King Observatory, Space Place, 40 Salamanca Road, Wellington 6012, New Zealand -41.28461, 174.76781

The Weight of Information is an artwork by Julian Priest based on a very small satellite that is scheduled for launch into Low Earth Orbit on Nov 17th 2018. The TWOi satellite is a tragic hero who has made it into the heavens only to be pulled back down to Earth by gravity.
TWOi collects information from its sensors and immediately deletes it, in an attempt to ascend by forgetting. In the inaugural art/science residency at the Thomas King Observatory at Space Place, Julian Priest will transform the building into a public ground station to track the satellite's progress in a series of public events.

See Julian Priest website for details and opening times.

The Weight of Information is supported by Wellington City Council's Public Art Fund and Museums Wellington.

A table full of pottery mug with people examining them.
Resize

OVER TIME

Wednesday 28 November 2018, 10.30am-3.30pm (rain or shine)
Civic Square
Free

Artist collective Public Share invite Wellingtonians to join them for a tea break in Civic Square to celebrate the anniversary of New Zealand women voting for the first time. The collective creates ceramic objects for use in public tea breaks.

For this event, Public Share are making stirrers stamped with the names of countries in which women have won the right to vote. They will be made from clay collected from Kate Sheppard’s home in Christchurch. Come along for a cuppa and conversation and take away a commemorative stirrer.

For more information see the: Public Share Collective Facebook

Paua and Chopsticks 2018
Resize

Eat My Culture

1-24 September

Eat My Culture aims to make visible the nuances of cultural relationships by partnering New Zealand artists of Asian, Pasifika and Māori descent with Asian restaurants and takeaways in Central Wellington to create shop-front window art installations based on their interactions.

Eat My Culture presents the following collaborations:

  • Dylan Herkes with Golden Gate Takeaways 1 - 24 September
  • Ross Liew (Oscar Low) with R & S Satay Noodle House 3 - 24 September
  • Simon Kaan with Big Thumb Chinese Restaurant 7 - 24 September
  • Salome Tanuvasa with Grand Century 7 - 24 September
  • Steven Qian at Ozeki Restaurant 7 - 24 September
  • Bhavesh Buthadia and Abhi Topiwala with Great India 7 - 24 September
  • Madelin Cheng with Regal Chinese Restaurant 20 - 24 September
  • Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui

    Supported by Wellington City Council's Public Art Fund

Cartoon image of two ladies and a baby sitting at a table, surrounded by New Zealand and Asian food.

Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui

AAAH Public Art Projects
3-23 September 2018

AAAH2018 Artists Billboard Campaign

This series of posters created by Kerry Ann Lee, Kim Lowe and Ant Sang, have a dual purpose of being artworks in their own right and also used to promote AAAH.  Keep an eye out for these striking works pasted up around Wellington City.

AAAH 2018 Artist Billboard Campaign

AAAH2018 Artists Billboard Campaign is proudly sponsored by Wellington City Council Arts and Culture Grant, and Public Art Fund.

Dramatically lit photo of a woman in the middle of am art performance.
Resize

MAUSINA

Wednesday 19 September 2018, 3-3.45pm (rain or shine)
Parliament grounds
Free

Selected by Wellington City Council’s Public Art Panel to commemorate 125 years of women's suffrage, Māori women artists of internationally acclaimed theatre company MAU join with women from Wellington's Pasifika communities for a performance ceremony in the grounds of Parliament.

Directed by Lemi Ponifasio, Mausina pays particular attention to community, family, nature and the potency of female existence. Combining Te Reo and Pasifika languages, Mausina expresses adaptability and resilience and turns a mirror to the turmoil of the modern world.

For more information see: MAU Wahine facebook.

Chinese lady standing in the middle of a Wellington street.

Chinese footprints: A walking tour of Wellington's history

1-3pm Sunday 16 September

3-5pm Sunday 23 September

Lynette Shum (Oral History Adviser) and historian Nigel Murphy have created a walking tour that traces Chinese histories through central Wellington. The rich history of the Chinese in Wellington is largely invisible to the casual observer, yet if we look beyond the surface, the past begins to reveal itself. This 2-hour walking tour points out sites of significance for Wellington's Chinese community including businesses, eateries and Haining Street's 'Chinatown'. The tour concludes with a pot of Chinese tea at the Poon Fah Association clubrooms.

Chinese footprints: A walking tour of Wellington's history

Supported by Wellington City Council's Public Art Fund

A man dressed up as a barber talking to a crowd.

Political Cutz 2017

By Barbarian Productions and Maverick Creative.

When: Monday 4 to Saturday 9 September 2017
Where: Public Trust Building, 131-135 Lambton Quay

Political Cutz is a pop-up hairdressing salon/cafe/lounge offering free haircuts in exchange for political and civic dialogue. It's a unique and engaging project that seeks to energise the public in the lead-up to the General Election and make politics great again!

Images of the invasive plant Morning Glory, with its green leaves and bright blue flowers, laid over a photo of some native bush.

Morning Glory

Resize

Incursion

By Shaun Matthews

When: 10 March - 7 April 
Where: Otari Wiltons Bush, Mt Victoria Town Belt, Wellington Botanic Garden and Te Papa’s Bush City

Weeds ‘take over’ central Wellington’s parks and green spaces in Incursion, a series of large photographic images on fabric by Shaun Matthews. Hung high amidst the trees and bush, Matthew’s images ‘smother’ the plants behind them to remind us of the huge and devastating impact weeds have on our native ecosystems. 

Shaun Matthews
Shaun Matthews - Instagram

Detail of the billboard tittled
Resize

Puawānanga - Stars of the Forest

When: June 2017
Where: Corner of Tory and Vivian streets.

During Matariki the stars, specifically the rising of Puanga mark the beginning of the New Year. In whakapapa and in Māori cosmology, puawānanga (Clematis paniculata) is the daughter of Puanga and Rehua.

Artists Angela Kilford and Aliyah Winter connect earthly and celestial realms in their temporary billboard project throughout June. The artists create a constellation of puawānanga blooms celebrating the close connections between all things through whakapapa.

Puawānanga - full whakapapa chart (27 KB PDF)

Woman having her hair cut in front of a blackboard listinghair-style options that have local politicians' names.

Political Cuts by Barbarian Productions on Wakefield Street

Political Cuts

1 – 5 September, i-SITE Visitor Centre, 101 Wakefield Street
Times:
 10am – 4pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday; 11am – 6pm Thursday

Political Cuts is a pop-up hair salon offering cheap coffee and free professional haircuts to young people in exchange for political discussion in the lead up to the general election.

This non-partisan, conceptual performance art project targets a younger (and potentially disengaged) audience in an attempt to give them a platform to engage in political discussion in a fun and theatrical way.

Each cut will be shared online with a personal summary of thought by the newly coiffed / caffeinated visitor.

For more information:
Political Cuts - Barbarian
Political Cuts - Urban Dream Brokerage 

A park installation featuring a man in a traditional Maori outfit.
Resize

PARK(ing) Day

The Wellington Sculpture Trust, in association with the Wellington City Council, is holding Wellington’s second version of PARK(ing) Day. Artists, architects, students and other Wellingtonians will take over car parking spaces throughout the central city on Wednesday 9 March.
 
PARKs are located around the central city, forming a walk from the Railway Station to Cuba Street. To make it easy, at every PARK a map will be available to take you on your PARK(ing) Day journey.

 When  9 March 2016
 Where  Central City
Two people sit in front of a billboard-sized picture of a pigeon.
Resize

Hello Pigeons

Kedron Parker & Adam Ben-Dror

A designed meeting between two species, human and pigeon.

 When  2–6 March 2016
 Where  The Performance Arcade, Wellington Waterfront
A white silhouette of a microphone and cursive text against a black background.
Resize

Shine

Jhana Millers

The first verse of Rihanna’s song "Diamonds" is translated into various languages, recorded from passers-by, then replayed through speakers attached to structures along Wellington Waterfront.

 When  2–6 March 2016
 Where  The Performance Arcade, Wellington Waterfront
Hands weaving flax.
Resize

No Stone Unturned

Angela Kilford & Elijah Winter with Te Roopu Raranga o Manaia

Opening night:  6pm, Wednesday 2 March 2016

No Stone Unturned is an opportunity to explore ecology and diversity in the city through a series of walks led by artists Angela Kilford and Elijah Winter. The project questions how we value different types of knowledge. The artists employ whakapapa (genealogy) and raranga (weaving) to explore the connections between people and place.

No Stone Unturned will occupy a 20ft container at the Performance Arcade, where a collaboration between the artists, participants and the Manaia weavers from Hikoikoi, Petone, will take place. Here the dialogue started in the walks will continue through learning and making.

Walks exploring the ecology of nearby streets

  • depart the Performance Arcade
  • daily, 3–6 March
  • 11am–1pm and 5pm–7pm
  • maximum of 8 participants per walk 

The walks are free and operate rain or shine. Cancellation may occur during high winds. Participants can book on a walk by emailing: angelakilford@gmail.com

Take part or watch harakeke (flax) weaving with the Manaia weavers

  • daily, 3–6 March
  • no previous experience required
When 10am–11pm daily, Thursday 3 March – Sunday 6 March 2016
Where Performance Arcade 2016, Wellington Waterfront
Watershed Sculpture - spouting pipes collecting water on a hillside.

Watershed by Kemi, Niko & Co

Extend Yourself

Kemi, Niko & Co.

A Rolleston Heights Summer Residency 2015/16

Head to the hills between Mt Cook and Brooklyn, and discover a series of interactive public artworks designed for and in collaboration with the local community. Extend Yourself combines science, play and art to offer new perspectives on our natural backyard.

In association with Imagine My City, a pilot project by the Nature Through Arts Collective

Keminiko 

 When  Until 23 February 2016
 Where  Prince of Wales Park
Poles with red lights affixed to the top representing soliders who died during WW1.

Remembrance by Squidsoup

Resize

Remembrance: We Remember

Appleton Park will be the site for the WW100 public artwork, Remembrance, created by international art and design collective Squidsoup.

This interactive work is made up of over 860 light poles that bend and move in the wind. Each pole represents a Wellingtonian who lost their life between during the Gallipoli campaign of World War 1. Remembrance invites the public to visit and remember the great suffering that many regions across New Zealand suffered through the loss of so many young men and women.

Supported by the Wellington City Council Public Art Fund and Massey University.

Remembrance: We Remember

 When  11 - 24 November 2015
 Where  Appleton Park, Karori
Still image of interior of Embassy Theatre

Abstracted Histories – Stills (excerpt), James Voller

Resize

Abstracted Histories: Embassy Theatre Project

Up during the renovation of Wellington’s much-loved and historic Embassy Theatre, James Voller’s artwork places still images on the temporary scaffold-wrap of a building that presents the moving image. In doing so, the artist draws attention to the Embassy’s aesthetics, function, history and social significance, as well as the ability of contemporary photography to explore our urban environment.

 When  From June 2015
Detail from Free Association art project showing man and woman in cluttered living room.
Resize

Free Association

Richard Shepherd
27 April–4 May 2015

Broadcast television imagery will make a fleeting appearance on city streets from Newtown to the central city in Free Association. The photographic poster project disrupts the flow of commercial imagery to consider the memorialisation and mediation of historical events. Free Association invites the public to look again at the visions shaping our sense of the world.

Projected Field working image showing circular shapes projected on to green field.
Resize

Projected Fields

August 2014–April 2015

Council’s Public Art Fund is helping to realise a Letting Space project that  engages artist Siv B Fjaerestad in the creation of a giant field painting in Liardet Street and MacAlister Park, Berhampore. The artist and curators have gathered snippets and stories from many people who live in the area, or have spent time at the park. A mapping of these community experiences and activities, along with current field markings and mowing, will be part of the artist’s art work. Community members will gather for a big picnic and take part in a range of activities on Sunday 19 April, 12-3pm.

Macalister and Liardet Street Parks - Facebook
Projected Fields

Matiu/Somes Island in the drizzle.
Resize

Mokopuna Island Project

March 2015

With sailings to the quarantine limit of Mokopuna Island, Wellington Artist Mike Ting revisits the little-known final months and tragic demise of a sick man placed there by the local authorities in 1904. Realising a special performative event at the heart of his project, Ting embodies the man’s isolation and fate. Also with a publication, containing three short essays, the artist opens a space for consideration and discussion of vulnerability and responsibility today. See the artist's blog.

Image: Matiu/Somes and Mokopuna Islands, Mike Ting.

Robin Hut at Red Rocks from the front

Kemi Niko & Co, Robin Hut

Resize

Miniature Hikes

September 2014 – March 2015

Tucked into each of their natural environments, these small sculptures were inspired by Department of Conservation (DOC) huts and New Zealanders’ experiences of the backcountry. Playful in nature, they were made from locally salvaged materials, including wood, flattened tin cans, and plastic sheeting. 

Drawing on their public art project in Rolleston Heights, the artists will similarly enabled the public to contribute through logbooks and other interactive components. Each site responded to its location and community in Aro Valley, Breaker Bay, Mount Albert, Mount Cook, Mount Victoria, Owhiro Bay, and Matiu / Somes Island.

Welcome to Miniature Hikes - Kemi & Niko & Co

Kemi Niko & Co - Facebook

Outdoor Public Art - Light Boxes - Huts of Welling Town

Concept by MOM.

Time Machine

Resize

Time Machine

February 2015

Time Machine was an interactive digital artwork that allowed people to time-travel through footage recorded by cameras with multiple external and internal perspectives. Part of The Performance Arcade 2015, which gave people the opportunity to engage with performance works in shipping containers on Wellington's waterfront, time travellers explored the particular rhythms and life of the event and its waterfront environment. With their movements, they scanned backwards-and-forwards in time, creating a collage of landscape, sky, tides, and human movements and actions, including their own.

This work by the MOM collective is part of a project to develop a system any artist could use to explore and record the nature of spaces and events. Artists include Margarita Ianev, Oliver Blair and Mathilde Polmard.

Detail of interactive artwork Rainscape.

Projected rain falls in Rainscape

Resize

Rainscape

February 2015

Part of The Performance Arcade 2015, Rainscape transformed a shipping container into an interactive and immersive environment in which people could change the weather with their movements, without getting wet.

Combining bespoke and open-source software development, projection, special effects and sound, Rainscape harnessed and shared the possibilities of digital technologies. In doing so, it precipitated our consideration of weather as both a personal and universal phenomenon that is outside our control, yet directly affected by our patterns of behaviour.

Rainscape was a collaborative project, and included visual artist Debbie Fish and software developer Lisa Taylor.

RIP Ath. A true legend.
Resize

Athfield Tower

February 2015

For 1 week following the public memorial service for Wellington architect Ian Athfield, the replica turret and sculpture Athfield Tower remained sited on the lawn of Civic Square - a fitting backdrop that showcased his contribution to Wellington’s cityscape. Using the black marker provided, a range of people, from family, colleagues and students to inspired street artists remembered ‘Ath’, creating a dynamic public memorial and artwork.

 
View of Moodbank from outside of building.
Resize

Moodbank

13-22 March 2014

The Moodbank is a pop-up art project which was located at the old ASB bank on Manners Street by Wellington-based artist Vanessa Crowe and Victoria University researcher Dr Sarah Baker.

By offering visitors the ability to visualise, deposit, or exchange emotions when visiting the ‘bank’ or via an ATM-style machine, the Moodbank encourages people to reflect on the value of their feelings.

The project consciously acknowledges and validates all moods rather than just those that are deemed valuable in consumer culture. Throughout the project the collective moods of Wellington were displayed via posters, videos and online, giving a unique insight into how the city feels.

https://www.facebook.com/moodbank

Billboard showing Whatever you want work on a building on Vivian street above Cuba Street.
Resize

Whatever you want

February 2014

Artists Lauren Redican and Annsuli Marais borrowed snippets of text from Wellington’s advertising environment to create a temporary billboard project: Whatever You Want

Their poetic and playful use of a billboard creates a subtle intervention within the cityscape, prompting passers-by to reconsider messages around them.

Image of posters on street on one of those public poster bill board things, I don't know if they have a name.
Resize

The High Point

January 2014

The High Point is a temporary poster project by Wellington based artists Lucy Orbell and Lily Hacking that aims to energise the public through language. 

Displayed throughout the central city the project takes well-known sayings and subtly shifts their meaning; transforming negative clichés into words of encouragement: ‘get your hopes up’; ‘get the wrong idea’; ‘set your heart on it’. 

The High Point is a gesture to the people on the street, offering an unexpected moment of reflection and affirmation that may be a starting point for action.

Create a sculpture for your local park.
Resize

Public sculpture tables

January - February 2013

Artist Mary Whalley ran a series of public sculpture tables in Wellington parks to create small, temporary sculptures for our local parks.

For more information, email: mary@marywhalley.co.nz

Artist creating tape art.
Resize

EnRapture - Tape Art NZ

February 2013

Tape Art drew people in to a live action participatory experience in Civic Square. A temporary 3m2 cube in Civic Square became a canvas for an evolving 5-day tape art mural series.

Tape Art NZ

Out of the Dusk, by Joanna Langford.
Resize

Four Plinths, Te Papa forecourt

February 2012 - early 2014

Out of the Dusk, by Joanna Langford is the third installation on the Four Plinths outside Te Papa. The work consists of four large glass cases that sit on top of the plinths and collectively make a diorama-like landscape.

The Four Plinths temporary sculpture project is a Wellington Sculpture Trust initiative.

Gallery - Wellington Sculpture Trust