We commissioned three Māori artists to create artworks for permanent display in our gallery. These commissions form part of the fabric of the building, linking it to the outside world and acting as threshold markers inside.
Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Anthony Wilson: He Aha Te Wa – Moments in Time, 2010
The three columns symbolise Ranginui (sky father), Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Tāne Mahuta (forest god). The carvings represent ruru or giant owls which welcome visitors into the Gallery and act as kaitiaki or guardians.
Fred Graham: Te Waka Toi o Tāmaki, 2011
Waka huia are treasure boxes. Fred Graham’s stone waka huia signifies the Gallery’s role as keeper of Auckland’s art treasures. The large puke or hill below the waka huia represents Rangipuke, the original Māori pā (fortified village) on Albert Park. The wave-like forms recall the local streams Te Wai o Horotiu and Waiariki.
Lonnie Hutchinson: Kia Ita, Tupu Te Maramatanga, Te Taumata and Nau Ka Toro, Ka Toro, 2011
The thresholds on each of the Gallery's four levels signal entry into the exhibition spaces and invite contemplation of the artworks on display. Based on traditional kōwhaiwhai (rafter painting) and elements from nature, the patterns rise up through the building like branches, uniting the old with new.