Ports of Auckland launches The Lightship

The Lightship, a new site for contemporary art and the mastermind of CraveGlobal, has launched at Ports of Auckland. 

The large-scale digital light wall on Quay Street provides Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland with a unique place for public art to be enjoyed. 

The Lightship is a 110-metre-long, 13-metre-high light wall that wraps around the western façade of the port’s new car handling building. It is made up of seven panels with nearly 8,500 individually programmable LED lights and is visible from busy Quay Street, city wharves, local buildings and the water. 

Hadleigh Averill, Executive Creative Director at CraveGlobal, says: “The Lightship is a bold initiative from our client Ports of Auckland, who wanted to create a space that would give back to Aucklanders.”

Having worked as a contemporary artist himself, Averill has exhibited work at the LA international Biennial Art Invitational, Saatchi and Saatchi Gallery, New York, Artspace Gallery, Auckland and COCA, Christchurch.  

“We know that culture can have a transformative effect on how people interact with a space, and hope the new light installation will be part of a regeneration that turns Quay Street into a destination for public art.” 

Matt Ball, General Manager of Communications at Ports of Auckland says: “Crave brought to life our dream of creating a highly visible platform that supports artists and creative thinkers to produce ambitious new commissions. It is our way of saying thank you to Auckland’s artists for enriching our lives.”

The Lightship’s inaugural commission is a new artwork by Janet Lilo named ISLOVE.

Lilo says: “Created for a future defined by the current global pandemic, BLM, social and political upheavals, and great loss, ISLOVE refocuses Auckland’s harbour as a place of connection and light.” 

Lilo’s piece will be live until the first week of December, and will be followed by a programme of three emerging artists curated by Sarah Hopkinson and Bridget Riggir-Cuddy. 

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