Temporary public art

Our Public Art Fund supports these upcoming and current temporary public artworks.

PAWA: Performance Art Week Aotearoa

Artists: Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, Chris Berthelsen and Sonja van Kerkhoff
Dates: From 10 to 14 November 2021
Where: Various locations

PAWA are excited to back in Wellington for their 2021 festival, which presents a range of live and online performances, workshops and discussions. The theme of this year’s festival is Public vs. Private which extrapolates upon our current social climate where experiences and relationships have been forced to become incredibly private or incredibly public, reshaping our lives in unexpected ways.

Due to COVID-19 we have had to creatively re-imagine what public works look like without the physical presence of the artist. Three artists Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, Chris Berthelsen and Sonja van Kerkhoff will present new works in Wellington’s public domain.

Kalisolaite will perform Kalanga by taking zoom calls from his home and neighbourhood in Auckland.  The audience can converse with him from either Meanwhile Gallery or online 11th-13th November, 3.30-5pm. They will then be able to hear these conversations from a couple of central locations in Wellington City (stay tuned to our social media for exact locations).

Chris will perform Mending ‘Wellington’ and google street view by way of Nudnik Maintenance System via his home in Auckland, as he now has enlisted the assistance of a bot (AKA Adam Ben Dror) who he will be controlling. The performance will leave from Thistle Hall (11-13 November, 10am-1pm). Chris and his bot will roam Wellington with the intention of mending or improving public and private areas; as well as amending google street view.

Sonja’s Waiporoporo | We’re the purple is a participatory event that is to be a blur of purple that eclipses the city. You are invited to join this event, by arriving dressed in purple and joining the walk leaving from Thistle Hall on 14 November at 3pm.

For more information visit: Performance Week Aotearoa website

Image by Rebecca McMillan Photography

Whai Repo

Artist: Debbie Fish
Dates: from November 2021 to February 2022
Where: Whairepo Lagoon
Materials: Bamboo, sisal, reclaimed fishing net and aluminium cans.

Whai Repo is a contemporary art installation by Debbie Fish, exhibited above the Whairepo Lagoon in Wellington.

Whai Repo poised, as it dives into the Whairepo Lagoon honours the eagle rays that visit over the summer months, reminding us to respect these beautiful creatures that come to the lagoon to breed. Mana whenua believe the eagle rays are the kaitiaki of the lagoon.

The artwork is made using a fishing net recovered from Kāpiti Island, and spots cut from aluminium cans collected from the nearby waters and surrounding coastal areas, individually threaded onto the bamboo frame to move and reflect the sunlight.

An online audio repository delves further into the whai repo. You can listen to a new myth Whairepo and Toroa by story-teller Moira Wairama with music by Karen Jones, hear from ray and shark scientist Dr Helen Cadwallader and from Ghost Diving NZ founder Rob Wilson, with marine biologist Eddie Howard, about the work they do to protect the habitat of the whai.

Liste to the audio on goldfishcreative.co.nz/whairepo

The artist would like to acknowledge the mana whenua of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui) where this artwork is installed.

About the artist

Debbie Fish is an installation artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her installations are inspired by social and environmental concerns, often using playful ways to examine complex issues. She has exhibited works at festivals around Aotearoa and in 2017 she was an artist in residence as part of the Keelung NMMST (National Museum of Marine Science and Technology) International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan. During the residency, she created an installation School of Scales using bamboo, and recycled materials with the help of local school children. Whai Repo is a development of this practice. In 2022 Debbie will be exhibiting as part of Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke Island.

See more of her work at:

Physical artwork made of multicoloured ceramic tiles dug into a grass lawn to create a channel.
Produced for Kate Newby’s exhibition YES TOMORROW at Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi (20 February – 30 May 2021) in partnership with the Te Whare Hēra, Massey University; Public Art Fund, Wellington City Council, and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency. Photos: Ted Whitaker.

Rob Duncan Megan Daniel Margaret Lynn Samuel Deb Nico Marilyn Sarah Henry Mieko Kate Ruth Mike Briana Justine Grace Romesh Josefine Madison Nerissa David Nina Gabrielle Dayle Isabelle Ana Lilith Christian Ruby Sophie Millie Michaela Loretta Laura Christina Alison Olly Miriam Fred Lise Hazel Simon Mia Anita Caroline Anna Prak Nadya Alba Xander Flavia Emma Stef Areez Bella Rachel Kirsty Kate Nicola Emerita Tim Megan Ruby Fina Felixe Ella Eva Ben Julian Bena Huhana Max Lily Tina Rose Bill and Teresa

Artist: Kate Newby
Dates: Ongoing
Where: above the Terrace Tunnel

Artist Kate Newby has developed an outdoor sculpture for the park above the Terrace Tunnel as part of her solo exhibition YES TOMORROW exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi at Victoria University of Wellington.

The work includes almost 200 half-barrel fired and glazed clay tiles set in a mortar trench to form a line that runs down the mowed-grass slope from the Terrace towards the bush backing on to Salamanca Road. As is typical of her practice, Kate solicited the help of many to create the artwork. She conducted three ‘Touch Clay’ workshops at the Te Whare Hēra Artist Residency, which hosted her during her time in Wellington. For these, volunteers shaped sheets of damp clay over their thighs, waiting for them to dry, a process that took around two hours. The tiles were then fired and glazed using local kilns in Lower Hutt and Berhampore.

The resulting forms are each unique to the leg that gave shape to them, with several showing individual marks, symbols and even signatures added by their makers.

You can access the park:

  • via The Terrace (between numbers 214 and 216)
  • via the path on Salamanca Road (between the tennis courts and no 101) 
  • down the drive to the right of Club Kelburn on Salamanca Road. Salamanca Road can be accessed either via the Hunter Building carpark or down Mount Street beside the student union building.
Artist Kedron Parker standing in Woodward Street pedestrian tunnel.
Artist Kedron Parker

Kumutoto Stream

Artist: Kedron Parker
Dates: Ongoing
Where: Woodward Street pedestrian tunnel

Imagine Woodward Street, long ago before cement took over The Terrace. Artist Kedron Parker entices pedestrians to imagine the area in its natural state before urban development. A soundscape of bubbling water and native birdlife fills the Woodward Street pedestrian tunnel, evoking an experience of walking where the stream once ran. 

Installed seamlessly in the tunnel, the soundscape ran for an initially-planned 5 week period from February 2014, was continued due to overwhelmingly positive feedback, and is now a permanent installation of the city.

Previous projects

View information and images from past projects.

Contact us

Eve Armstrong, Senior Arts Advisor

Mobile: 021 227 8207

Email: eve.armstrong@wcc.govt.nz