Queens Wharf artwork design

The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse (working title); a house filled with light and detailed glasswork chandeliers in the Matariki constellation formation.
Artist Michael Parekowhai has completed the next step in creating an artwork for the northern end of Auckland's Queens Wharf.

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Artist Michael Parekowhai has completed the next step in creating an iconic artwork for the northern end of Auckland's Queens Wharf.

Developed design on this landmark project sees refinement of the initial concept for The Lighthouse (working title); a house filled with light and detailed glasswork chandeliers in the Matariki constellation formation.

Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson, whose leading real estate company gifted $1m to the city of Auckland for a public art commission in celebration of 90 years in business, says the design has reached an important stage.

"Michael's concept for The Lighthouse has really started to take shape and now the detailed work can begin.

"We are committed to Michael, to the project and our gift to Auckland.

"We believe the Parekowhai lighthouse will be a unique art work and a drawcard for Aucklanders and visitors to the city - we are very much looking forward to seeing work on the project progress," says Mr Thompson.

Mayor Len Brown applauds Barfoot & Thompson for its generosity and commitment to Auckland and says it's now over to council and its partners to deliver on the Michael Parekowhai vision.

"This is the most generous gift of public art that Auckland, perhaps even New Zealand, has ever seen.

"Family-owned businesses like Barfoot & Thompson have shaped our city for over 150 years and their ties to Auckland run deep.

"Also, what better way to reflect the culture and heritage of Auckland than with an artwork by one of our most prominent artists: a lighthouse on our harbour's edge and a partnership with one of our oldest business partners," says the Mayor.

The developed design visuals for The Lighthouse show a conceptual lighthouse made of wood and steel, with doors and windows and a viewing platform that allows people to see the ten celestial chandeliers hanging within. The chandeliers depict the night sky and Matariki constellations.

The next stage is for the artist and project team to complete detailed design, which will allow work to begin on the construction of the house and creation of the hand blown glass chandeliers.

The Mayor also acknowledges the debate that artwork can generate.

"Artworks by their very nature inspire debate - imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower, Sydney without its Opera House and New Plymouth without Len Lye's millennium sculpture. I look forward to seeing this work unfold before us," he says.

Installation of the artwork on Queens Wharf is planned for mid-2016.

Media Release: Auckland Council

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

17 Apr 2015

The Big Idea Editor

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