Big Day Art: Calling the World

10am – 4pm

event Details

Big Day Art: Calling the World provides an opportunity for families to experience Auckland Art Gallery and immerse themselves in a celebration of artistic experience and creativity. See, do, listen, move, make and share – become creative agents and explorers. Join us in celebrating Matariki and our New Zealand landscape and explore what it means to discover, journey and adventure through a series of hands-on activities and workshops. 

The Big Day Art is a day for all ages and is FREE of charge

Download our special map or pick one up from the Gallery on the day – make notes or draw your own journey as you travel around our beautiful building. What excites you? What inspires you? Get your map stamped on the way out and complete the entry form to go in the draw to win special prizes.


Landscape of the Imagination
10am – 4pm
North Atrium, mezzanine level

Space-scapes, landscapes – can we make an imaginary landscape together? Inspired by Judy Darragh’s Limbo, architectural models, and your own creativity, we’ll be building a fantastic collaborative model world. Glue, draw, make and help us to fill it with colour, form and detail.


Colour Cuts
10am – 4pm
South Atrium, ground level

Cut and collage with a rainbow of colour. Inspired by Judy Millar’s installation Rock Drop, the works in Colour is an Abstraction, and the beautiful cut-outs of Lonnie Hutchinson, fold, twist and create your own sculptures and explore how colour and shape meet to create their own play of space. What can you make? A landscape? A skate park? A 3D tivaevae pattern?


Ground level

An on-site, four-hour continuous recording session! Transience will feature a surprise series of artists and musicians who randomly arrive, perform and leave. They will pack and unpack, overlap and interact with each other and with the passing parade of visitors – including YOU.

A sonicsfromscratch project facilitated by artist Phil Dadson with audio engineer John Kim and transient performers (find out who on the day!).


Word Play
10am – 4pm
Ground level

Words are a way to create and reflect the world. Create your own stories and poems in Te Reo and English with our word blocks.


Squiggla: Mark-making in the World
10am – 4pm
Lower Grey Gallery, ground level

Join our collaborative drawing session. Find out about the free Squiggla app that encourages inventive mark-making and have a go! Take a line for a walk, make a shower of dots, create a shimmy of colour or a swirl of pattern. Be inspired by the artworks around you or just let your hand guide you – who knows where we’ll end up?

Squiggla, available through iTunes and Google Play, is a creative learning application designed for users of all ages. Squiggling is a type of free-form line drawing – like doodling – where you just pick up a mark-making tool and let your instinct and imagination take over.

Supported by the Chartwell Trust.


Amokura Tales – Story and workshop
Story: 10.30am – 11.15am in Lower Grey Gallery, ground level
Workshop: 11.15am – 12.15pm in the Studio, lower ground level

The story of a bird, a story of migration, a story of tāonga. Join Janneen Love, Senior Content and Interpretation Developer, Auckland Museum, to hear about the amokura (Phaethon rubricauda), a red-tailed bird that is a rare visitor to Aotearoa, and whose feathers were once highly prized. Look into the painting The Legend of the Voyage to New Zealand, by Kennett Watkins then work with her to make your own tāonga from found materials. Can you make the ordinary into something extraordinary?

There will be limited spaces available for the workshop component of this activity. No registrations will be taken so show up early to guarantee a spot. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. 


Wrap Space: Performance art workshops with Mark Harvey
11.30am and 1.15pm, ( 45 min duration)
Meet in the Gallery foyer

Splat, splot, wrap! Wrap Space will be a fun physical workshop where kids of all ages will be guided into responding to the architecture of the gallery, the flow and patterns of gallery visitors and the exhibition Shout Whisper Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show. The workshop will be run by international artist Mark Harvey, a specialist in live performance art.

There will be limited spaces available for this activity. No registrations will be taken so show up early to guarantee a spot. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. 


Upright Piano: Live performance
Level 2 exhibition spaces

In association with Shout Whisper Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show please join us for a live performance of Upright Piano, 2013, a work by composer Samuel Holloway with the collective et al.. In this, the third occasion in which the artists have engaged a pianist to realise the work, Upright Piano will be realised live by Hermione Johnson. The piano and selections from the associated score are on display in the exhibition alongside et al.'s DE NIEUWE STEM.