Artweek Auckland ANZ Centre & NZICC - Guided Art Tours in the City Centre

Discover the incredible art that is usually hidden away behind closed doors, or in areas, you have not noticed in the city’s corporate towers, institutions and public buildings. ARTTFORM Director Paul Baragwanath will introduce you to the large-scale works in the ANZ Centre foyer, including pieces by Winston Roeth and Peata Larkin, before moving on to the New Zealand International Convention Centre to view the Sara Hughes’ glass artwork covering the exterior top of the building.

Friday 18 October 2019
5.30 – 7pm

Funded by Heart of the City
Bookings open Monday 16 September

Out and about this weekend - Tūrama Festival 26- 28 July

Te Rangimārie - The Sound of Peace is a soundscape artwork woven from online messages of peace in many different languages. It expands and travels the artwork first played on in the grounds of St David's ANZAC Eve in the grounds of St David's Memorial Church.

Everyone is invited to record a message of peace online. The messages are then composed into the artwork and play in surround sound. The power of community is paramount in this work, everyone's voice is heard.

Click here to Add your voice

Tūrama Festival is a free-to-attend event taking place in Albert Park, 26 - 28 July 2019.
The park will be lit up from 5 - 10pm each evening.

Invitation to The Drop Off by Kiran McKinnon

Please join us on Monday 5 August in Auckland's CBD at the historic South British Insurance Company Building for the opening of The Drop Off, a large-scale, site-specific immersive painting by artist Kiran McKinnon.

This eight-metre long painting responds to the site of the building on Shortland Street, the former foreshore of Auckland. Kiran has created this massive work on canvas with paint and 60 liters of seawater from Auckland Harbour in the largest work of her career. It is inspired by "the drop off", the place where shallow water meets deep ocean at the edge of a reef. It is a step into the unknown.

The intention is to create an immersive art experience, to be suspended in time, absolutely present in the infinite now! The work was painted to sounds of Radio New Zealand Concert.

We thank the South British Insurance Company building for their valuable contribution to the vibrancy of the art scene in Auckland. This is the ninth site-specific artwork we have commissioned for this unique space that has become an art destination in the city.


The Drop Off is an 8-metre long painting on a single canvas that introduces an experience of calm escape into this dynamic, heritage lobby in Auckland’s CBD. 

The title of this specially-created painting plays with the notion of ‘dropping off’ in various ways, such as people dropping in and out of the lobby. 

The ‘drop-off’ is also the place where shallow water meets deep ocean at the edge of a reef; a step into the unknown.  Kiran’s work engages with experience and memory. The Drop Off provides the viewer with a sense of immersion, or suspension – as if underwater, suspended in contemplation, lost in a moment of time.  

Water as both medium and subject are important aspects of Kiran’s work. This piece was painted using 60 litres of sea water collected from the Auckland foreshore. The use of water from this source acknowledges the building’s history as it stands where the sea once met the land.

"Weather and water are often at the centre of the places and experiences in the world that capture my attention, and so find their way into my work. Rivers, lakes, the sea, rain, clouds, mist, all find reference in my practice.  The methods I use to paint include misting, spraying and washing of water and paint across the canvas.” 

The music of RNZ Concert comes to this space from the artist’s studio. Kiran is inspired by the interplay between the language and ideas of composition in classical music and her painting practice. 

Kiran is an abstract painter who lives and works in Auckland. She studied in London and Auckland, gaining an MFA (Hons, 1st Class) from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2001.


Auckland CBD, Monday 5 August 2019
5.30 – 7pm

All welcome.  Includes hospitality and a brief artist's introduction at 6pm.

The Lobby – South British Insurance Company Limited Building
3–13 Shortland St
Cnr Shortland St and High St
Auckland Central

RSVP if you can join us (for hospitality purposes)

Park Hyatt Auckland

The exterior construction of Park Hyatt Auckland, which is situated on the western waterfront of the CBD is nearing completion, and interior fit-out is well underway.

ARTTFORM is commissioning the major interior artworks including an artwork by Peata Larkin. Peating is creating her largest illuminated painting to date. Measuring 6m high by 11m wide, once installed it will become the centerpiece of the soaring central atrium at the heart of Park Hyatt Auckland. The hotel is designed to encourage strollers to walk through from the ASB Theatre to the water.

Nearby Peata's illuminated painting will be the exquisite, traditionally-woven tukutuku panels created by artist Beronia Scott and her whānau at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

The Hotel will also be home to a specially-commissioned work by master carver, Dr Lyonel Grant. This 8m wide carving will greet all those who pass through the porte-cochere.

NZICC (New Zealand International Convention Centre)

Drive or walk down the western ridge of the Auckland CBD and you'll experience the colours and energy of the New Zealand bush. The realm of Tāne. We commissioned Sara Hughes to create this great artwork, bringing to this part of the city the life and wonder of New Zealand's forests.

Taking the opportunity to individually print every panel of glass, Sara has introduced the organic dynamism of nature to perfectly complement the precision, discipline and deceptive simplicity of the architecture. The layering effect of the soaring glass fins shimmering in the western light has the magic of a stroll through the Auckland Domain, the Waitakere Ranges or a South Island beach forest.

Soon the north wall facades will be complete, and some time in 2020 the lights will come on to subtly illuminate this great lightbox in the night sky.

The Peata Larkin ceramic artwork is not yet visible but construction is also under way. Once completed it will address the full width of the NZICC north wall that wraps in to the interior of the gallery space within. If Sara's work is the bush canopy and the sky, Peata's is the tree trunks and the earth that sustains life from below.

We are proud to have contributed to this valuable art project for New Zealand and congratulate the NZICC team, architects Warren and Mahoney, together with Fletchers for building it. It will be a gift to the city. If you live abroad, plan a trip to come and experience these artworks and the art of Aotearoa!

Join me on an Artweek tour hosted by Hotcity to hear more about the journey of these artworks and also to view Precinct Properties' ANZ Centre Lobby collection nearby.

'Moana' by Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u Ignites 1920s Lobby

Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u’s Moana draws on traditional Tongan patterns and Art Deco motifs within the 1920s architecture of the iconic South British Insurance Company Limited Building lobby. The overall effect is a sparkling and elegant composition, with geometric lines that help direct visitors toward the lobby lifts and mirror the patternation in the surrounding floor area. Foreground and background interchange, suggesting natural landscapes and shimmering light.

Bringing colour, movement and energy into the space, the artwork is infused with a lively palette that is rich with symbolism. Traditional ochres and creams found in tapa become a lively amber-orange against the white wall.  Blues and violet represent moana (the sea). Red has special significance in Tonga as it is the predominant colour of the flag, referencing Christianity and the blood of Christ.

The geometric patternation in the artwork recalls amoamo kofe, which translates literally to the rubbing of bamboo. Kupesi (designs) such as these were used by warriors to decorate their prized pōvai (pole clubs), are common in fala mats and were applied to decorate ngatu (tapa) by Tongan women. The grid-like formation was often held together by lalava (lashing) that was traditionally made of sennit (kafa processed coconut fibre). Through recognition of these historic Tongan materials, the artwork embraces the multi-cultural community of Auckland the seas that help connect our lands, people and knowledge.


Auckland CBD, Tuesday 7 August 2018
5.30 – 7pm

All welcome. Includes hospitality and a brief artist's introduction at 6pm.

The Lobby – South British Insurance Company Limited Building
3–13 Shortland St
Cnr Shortland St and High St
Auckland Central

Anzac Event Invitation - Illumination for Remembrance

I am delighted to extend an invitation to you for a very special ANZAC memorial event on Monday evening in Auckland.

ARTTFORM is proud to be supporting The Friends of St David's Trust in their mission to preserve St David's Memorial Church in Auckland, and to create The St David's Centre 'to be a dynamic, heritage destination where people come together and are inspired'.

Please join us for a very memorable hour of remembrance.

On Monday 24 April, the Eve of ANZAC Day 2017, the great Memorial Windows of St David’s – the “soldiers’ memorial church” – will light the night sky for the first time in many years.

The Hon Nikki Kaye MP, Councillor Mike Lee, Chair of the Waitemata Board Pippa Coom and Lieutenant David Arnup 2 Engineer Regiment (RNZE) NZDF will mark the occasion.

- Scottish Bagpipes – David John Harvey 
- Performances by The Souls and Auckland Gay and Lesbian Choir 
- The Last Post on the historic WWI horn – James MacEwan 
- Homemade ANZAC Biscuits with gold coin koha 
- Experience the leadlights beneath the stars and learn about this historic Auckland treasure –heritage architect Graeme Burgess

Dress warmly - children welcome. 

Please RSVP to by Sunday the 23 April.

Emerging talent of Chinese-New Zealand artist transforms historic Auckland building

The South British Insurance Company Building unveils Fragile Nature in the heart of Auckland’s CBD – a site-specific, large-scale painting by Wei Lun Ha, winner of the 2016 Wallace Trust Vermont Art Award.

The New Zealand-Chinese artist has taken up the challenge to create this ambitious 3m x 7m painting in the high profile, heritage lobby of the South British Insurance Company Building, located on the corner of Auckland’s Shortland and High Streets.  The mural-scale artwork draws on the artist’s years of training in the ancient Chinese art of painting.

Fragile Nature captures a Chinese aesthetic that the artist takes to another place.

 Paul Baragwanath, Director of ARTTFORM art advisory who commissioned the work, says that Fragile Nature is an exceptional example of how art can transform public-private realm spaces, creating memorable experiences for city residents, workers and visitors alike.

Fragile Nature is the next in a series of works that form the South British Insurance Company Building Art Project, a rare initiative in New Zealand for a corporate entity to commission large-scale artworks on a regular basis.  The artwork is free for all and has become an art destination in Auckland.  

Wei Lun Ha was born in Ho Chi Minh city in 1987 and moved to New Zealand at the age of two. He trained in the Lingnan School, a style of painting that originated in Southern China during the nineteenth century which was influenced by contact with Europe and Japan. It prioritizes a fine painting technique that requires almost surgeon-like precision. Determined to overcome hand tremors that he experienced from a young age, Wei Lun practiced diligently for ten years from the age of eighteen to achieve this level of accuracy in his practice. 

Working at diverse scales, Wei Lun draws on rich experience creating jewel-like artworks in sketchbooks through to large-scale murals. Public artworks include last year at White Night (Parnell, Auckland) a mural-scale performance piece painted before a live audience, another for the Chinese Lantern Festival and also for Auckland Airport.  Wei Lun holds a Masters of Architecture Degree from the University of Auckland evident in the artist’s developed sense of spatial possibility.

In 2015 he went on to win the People’s Choice category in the annual Wallace Art Awards, going on to win the Wallace Art Award (Vermont Residency) in 2016. His successful entry, Breathtakingly Fragile (2015), was painted in traditional Chinese ink and resin on fabric. The piece will tour around New Zealand, then to Poland to make the opening for the Museum Art Fair. 

At the South British Insurance Company Building, Fragile Nature fuses classic Chinese designs and aesthetic with a contemporary sensibility to activate the dynamic curve and lavish architecture of this 1920s art deco lobby. 

The work also serves to direct foot traffic within the space, and provides respite from a busy day, lost in the space and incredible detail of Fragile Nature. The painterly drips evoke the fury and fragility of the nature world that the artist injects into the Lobby.

Referencing the awe-inspiring landscapes of New Zealand and the precariousness of existence, the subject matter echoes the artist’s sentiment that “life is like waves, we are just a sound in the ocean”. The immensity of the waterfall creates an outer-world experience that pays homage to the qualities of the heritage architecture. Rendered in cobalt blue on white ground with accents of gold, the style is reminiscent of paintings on porcelain that were produced during the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

Karl Cook, Chair of the Body Corporate committee for the building comments: “the Art Project ­is a defining feature in our building. Each exhibition has enhanced the experience in our Chicago-style entrance lobby for owners, occupants and visitors alike and it has become a real art destination in Auckland.”

The exhibition will be on display at the South British Insurance Company Building from Wednesday 1 February for six months. The building is located on the corner of Shortland and High Streets, Auckland CBD. 


Auckland CBD, Tuesday 31 January 2017
5.30 – 7pm

All welcome. Includes hospitality and a brief artist's introduction at 6pm.

The Lobby – South British Insurance Company Limited Building
3–13 Shortland St
Cnr Shortland St and High St
Auckland Central


Entry is free and access is open to the public Monday-Friday during working hours.