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Art for Auckland’s Sake: POP appears in inner city

Media release
Thursday 23 April, 2014

Issued for Auckland Council by Pead PR

POP appears in Auckland’s inner city

The streets, parks and buildings across Auckland’s inner suburbs will start to POP from Anzac Day, when Auckland Council’s Waitematā Local Board supports the launch of a new creative initiative.

POP is driven by the ideas of artists and communities who use creative experiences to challenge how Aucklanders perceive the places they live in and the people they live amongst. It aims to open Aucklanders’ eyes by providing surprising experiences - on streets and down laneways, in corners and nooks, at beaches and in parks.

POP launches on Anzac Day afternoon with a series of interlinking projects.

The first is Richard Orjis’ Walking in Trees in Albert Park. Photographer and contemporary artist Orjis has constructed a spiral staircase around Albert Park’s majestic Moreton Bay Fig tree. Designed to provide viewers with a ‘bee’s eye view’ of the stunning surrounds, Walking in Trees will be free and open to the public during daylight hours from 1pm 25 April to 6pm 4 May.

The opening of Walking in Trees will be closely followed on 26 April by The Roots: Pollinate, created by The ROOTS creative entrepreneurs, who are bringing their sustainable creative practice to secondary school children and the public over the school holidays. This collaborative project sees The ROOTS collective work with year 12 and 13 students from the Waitematā area in the design and building of vertical gardens and ‘pollen hotels’ - physical sites where bees collect and process pollen. The public will see the pollen hotels hanging in the scaffolding of Walking in Trees.

Waitematā Local Board Chair Shale Chambers says the local board is committed to supporting art initiatives in the community.

“One of the great things about POP is that people can get involved in helping to create some of the artworks. There’s an impressive line-up of artists and plenty of different things for people to see, hear and enjoy.”

Auckland Council Manager Arts and Culture, Kaye Glamuzina, says POP is designed for everyone – in fact, by interacting with the work, individuals are creating the art itself.

“It’s all about engaging people. Each person’s experience will be entirely different and that’s the point - that each of us experiences places, people and art in our own unique way,” Glamuzina says.

The POP concept has been created by award-winning studio Alt Group as part of an artists' collective to generate creativity, fun and new experiences in the city. POP’s manifesto declares that it exists to “make fun, unite strangers, fuse creativity, and create an instant community on every street corner.”
Ultimately, POP is about creating a safer, happier and more connected – and fun – place for Aucklanders to live, work and play.

To find out more or get involved, visit



Waitematā Local Board

Local Boards have a significant and wide-ranging role, including making decisions on local matters, providing local leadership and supporting strong local communities. The Waitematā Local Board includes the Auckland central business district and fringe retail and commercial areas, and the inner city residential suburbs of Westmere, Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Parnell.

Social Practice Art

Social practice art – of which POP is a form – is co-created through collaborations with artists, individuals, communities and institutions. It often focuses on people’s connections with place and space.

POP launches in April 2014 with a series of projects, outlined below.

POP Project 01: WALKING IN TREES (Richard Orjis)
1pm April 25 to 6pm 4 May – Albert Park (dawn til dusk daily)
Experience Auckland’s park life as never before. Walking in Trees reconnects urban dwellers with the natural world from a bee and birds perspective via a specially constructed staircase that wraps around a majestic Moreton Bay Fig tree, enabling Aucklanders to walk a magical sub canopy.

POP Project 02: THE PARK (Taarati Taiaroa & Sarah Smuts-Kennedy)
From 3 May – Victoria Park
The Park is an art project and experience in which people can view bee hives, learn to pollinate their own backyards, and help create The Park online. Functional artwork will be designed, planted and activated through public participation.

26 April to 3 May – View in Albert Park and / or attend a workshop (various locations)
This collaborative project sees The ROOTS Collective work with year 12 and 13 students from the Waitematā area in the design and building of 20 ‘pollen hotels’, physical sites where bees collect and process pollen. You are invited to engage in creative experimentation as The ROOTS pollinate the city.

POP Project 04: OUTDOOR / IN (White Face Crew)
9 May to 27 June (7 – 9.30am, 3 - 7pm) – Britomart and Newmarket train stations
With their unique style of physical comedy White Face Crew are here to enliven your train trip! Transporting the outdoors in and taking you on a journey of interactive fun with pop-up performances & roving tomfoolery.

POP Project 06: HIKOI (Host Tribe Native Walks of Auckland)
10 May to 21 June – Auckland Domain and Western Springs Park
HIKOI is a guided walk through Maori history and the continuum of connections to our present. Led by Prince Davis, HIKOI traverses Tokiwhatinui (Auckland Domain) and (Waiorea) Western Springs Park.

POP Project 07: THE MUSIC BOX (Auckland University School of Music)
12.30pm – 1.30pm on Weds and Thurs 7 to 29 May – Albert Park
The sound of some of Auckland’s most talented young musicians will fill Albert Park as students from University of Auckland’s School Of Music take residency in the Rotunda.

POP Project 08: PASTURE PAINTINGS (Taarati Taiaroa, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy & Richard Orjis)
View at six sites across Auckland in May and June
Pasture Paintings are geometric forms created from a palette of pollen rich pasture. Occupying verges at the edge of The Park these pasture paintings will act as pollen hotels for six centrally located beehives. Sites include Curran St by the Harbour Bridge on-ramp, the corner of St Marks Road and Mahuru Street under the southern motorway, Motions Rd near the TAPAC car park in Western Springs, near the Parnell Rose Gardens in Gladstone Rd, Ian McKinnon Drive, and Boston Road (opp Prison)

POP Project 09: BEE JAM
7 June – Artstation
Release the bees! Artists, creatives, beekeepers and urban pollinators discuss and demonstrate pollination, honey making, and everything bee related. Learn how honey is created, why bees are so important to us and our city, and how you too can create pollen hotels and beehives so the bees can survive and thrive.

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