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Off The Wall Exhibition A Fusion Of History And Art

Heritage lovers, art enthusiasts, interior design aficionados, and families are invited to immerse themselves in the enchanting experience of Off the Wall - a journey through the evolution of interior design in Aotearoa New Zealand told through the fascinating medium of wallpaper.

Curated by Antony Phillips, Senior Outreach Advisor at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and supported by Queen’s Arcade and MacFarlane Design, this exhibition promises a delightful journey through history, interior design, and artistic expression.

Located in the historic shopping destination of Queen’s Arcade, Off the Wall showcases a rich array of wallpaper reproductions from yesteryear presenting a unique interpretation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s heritage. From the ornate domestic interiors of the early 20 th century to the mid-century visual representation of developing nationhood, this exhibition offers a nostalgic interpretation of the homes we, our parents, and our grandparents were raised in.

Antony Phillips, curator of the exhibition, remarked, "Off the Wall is not just about wallpapers; it's about the stories they tell, about people, about our homes, and about our identity as a nation. Through this exhibition, we aim to bring the past alive, igniting curiosity and appreciation for New Zealand’s diverse domestic heritage."

Each wallpaper design is a reflection of their era and offers a glimpse into our storied past. From the flamboyant roaring twenties to the subdued colours of the interwar years, to the representation of popular artistic movements, Off the Wall celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand’s domestic design journey to the present.

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Exhibition visitors can expect to be nostalgically transported through time as they view the historic wallpaper reproductions on display, drawn from the extensive collections under the care of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Across Aotearoa, visitors to their heritage destinations - including Auckland’s own Alberton, Highwic, and Ewelme Cottage - have marvelled at the wallpapers in-situ, and now visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity.

Families are in for a treat as Off the Wall features engaging activities tailored to inspire young minds and spark a lifelong love for heritage and art. With hands-on activities and educational insights, children are guaranteed to never look at walls the same way again.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday 23 February until Thursday 28 March, welcoming visitors on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Admission is free, offering everyone an opportunity to experience the exhibition. Groups are welcome to enquire about special visits and tours.

Antony Phillips adds, "We're thrilled to unveil Off the Wall to the Auckland community and present a glimpse into our internationally significant wallpaper collection. It's not just an exhibition; it's a unique celebration of New Zealand history and a testament to the enduring spirit of creativity that defines us as a nation."

For more information about Off the Wall, please visit


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