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New Wave Of Public Art To Hit New Zealand


New Wave Of Public Art To Hit New Zealand


Think public sculpture is all about permanent monuments? Think again. The ambitious New Zealand-wide contemporary art series One Day Sculpture kicks off later this month, and the first three new artworks will help redefine public art in the 21st century.

One Day Sculpture is a series of temporary public artworks by leading New Zealand-based and international artists. It is first event of its kind to happen, both locally and internationally.

The series, which runs until June 2009, takes place across five cities in New Zealand and involves the creation of more than 20 new artworks… each of which will last no longer than 24 hours. The one-day artworks will all be located in the public domain – away from conventional galleries or museums – and occur within their own discrete 24-hour period.

Encompassing performance, installation, object-based sculpture and social events, One Day Sculpture sets out to challenge conventional ideas about public sculpture, acknowledging that temporary artworks have the capacity to excite and engage people’s imaginations in a unique way – and to live on in collective memory.

Wellington-based artist Maddie Leach commences the series on 28th August by encouraging us to seek out a solitary boatshed at Breaker Bay, from which to watch in anticipation for what has been forecast as the Capital’s most dramatic winter storm. Next up is a collaborative project from emerging artists Nick Austin and Kate Newby, located in Auckland’s Western Park/Rimutahi on 30th August. Then, on 31st August Kah Bee Chow unveils her commemorative garden to a Chinese immigrant who was murdered in Wellington’s old Chinatown more than 100 years ago. [For further information on the artworks, see pages 3-4].

“These first three artworks are an indication of the extraordinary experiences to follow over the course of the One Day Sculpture series. They encourage us to venture into unfamiliar territories or to sense our familiar surroundings anew, suggesting the potential of temporary public art to change something of the status quo and engage us more deeply in the spaces we inhabit,” says Curatorial Director of the series Claire Doherty.

One Day Sculpture is devised by Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, School of Fine Arts, Litmus Research Initiative and Claire Doherty, UK-based curator, Director of Situations ( and Massey University Curatorial Fellow. The series is realised in partnership with twelve leading art galleries and organisations throughout New Zealand.


One Day Sculpture continues in spring with projects by artists Superflex (Denmark) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (Argentina/US/Germany/Thailand) for ARTSPACE, Auckland; Amy Howden-Chapman (New Zealand) for City Gallery Wellington; and Liz Allan (New Zealand) for Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Taranaki.

Another major international artist Paola Pivi (Italy/Alaska), has also recently been added to the impressive line-up for the series, which already boasts New Zealanders Michael Parekowhai, Billy Apple and Bekah Carran, alongside some of the pre-eminent international artists working today including Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland/France) and Javier Tellez (Venezuela/New York).


You can join up now for One Day Sculpture TXT updates. Simply text ONEDAY to 2343. Sign up costs 20c, and after that, messages from One Day Sculpture are free.


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