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Public Art Commission

This page contains information about Council seeking Expressions-of-Interest to create a large-scale public art work in Whangarei.
Updated: 18/03/2019 12:21 p.m.

Expression of Interest to create a large-scale public art work in Whangarei

Whangarei District Council are seeking an artist or team of artists to design an original, contemporary, large-scale public artwork in a high-profile location.

The work will be a permanent commission that will be situated in the centre of a new $5.2 million urban park in the Town Basin, Whangarei. The park, located on the waterfront next to the Hundertwasser and Wairau Māori Art Centre, will be constructed and opened in the latter part of 2020. 

Aspirations for the park

The new park will become a gateway to the Town Basin marina and provide an important link between the waterfront, central city area and Hatea Loop shared path.

The landscape design features a large lawn and amphitheatre, water feature with lighting, small play space, waterfront seating, many trees and soft landscaping. 

Pedestrian and feature lighting will encourage visitors to use the park at night and events, from small market days to large festivals and open air cinema, will enhance the visitor experience.

The park is fully accessible with a network of internal paths that lead to the ‘heart’ of the park - a large paved space where the public artwork will be located.

The concept design of a separate but complimentary work, to be located within the central city, is also part of the scope, however the timing and budget for the fabrication of this piece is uncertain.

Aspirations for the artwork

There are no preconceived ideas of what this work could be and what medium the artist may wish to work with. However, the work must be original, permanent and conceived with minimising future maintenance in mind.

The work should become a memorable and intriguing intervention that will add interest and generate discussion.

It should engage visitors and users of the park, adding to the narrative and character of the place.

We anticipate the work will have a presence that has an impact on the public space, drawing people into the park and raising the profile for public art in Whangarei.

The work will interpret and be inspired by cultural and historical narratives, specific to the site, as workshopped by local hapu and Council.

Details of the narrative/s will be provided to the shortlisted artists prior to the concept design process. 

The budget is $200,000 and includes design fees, fabrication, delivery and installation of the work and any additional consultant’s fees eg. engineering & any other technical requirements. 

How to apply

To be considered for this commission artists are expected to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance of $500,000.00 and Public Liability Insurance of $1,000,000.00.

If you are interested in this commission, please submit:

  • Your CV 
  • A portfolio of work that includes the following information, where possible;
    • total cost of any built works 
    • contact details for the clients.  
  • Details of consultants and / or contractors you collaborate with to both finalise (eg. engineers) and / or fabricate your design  
  • Tell us why you are interested in this opportunity

Submissions should be emailed to Rachael Mannion by Monday 8 April 2019 at midday. Maximum file size of email is 10mb.

Email:  mailroom@wdc.govt.nz

Selection Process

The selection of an artist for this work will be undertaken in the following stages; 

  • 3 or 4 artists will be shortlisted, based on the information supplied. 
  • The shortlisted artists will be provided with the narratives, context and location for the artwork, practicalities and constraints, design details of the park in early April 2019 
  • Based on this the artists will submit concept design(s) and preliminary costings by late April 2019 
  • The concept design fee will be discussed and confirmed with shortlisted artists
  • Preferred artist will be selected based on their response to the brief and design provided to create a unique public artwork.  The successful artist will be notified in early May.

Artists should be aware that the shortlisting process may include an interview with the selection panel. The panel, yet to be confirmed, will include representatives from local hapu, Council and the creative arts sector.

Design Process

Detailed process to be determined with selected artist, however the following deadlines must be meet; 

  • Final design completed by end of September 2019, 
  • Artwork to be fabricated and installed September 2020

Further Information

For general enquiries, please contact Tracey Moore, Landscape Architect, Whangarei District Council.

Email:  mailroom@wdc.govt.nz



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