Auckland Public Art: Imaging Our Diversity

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dc.contributor.advisor Woodward, R en Keat, Nancy en 2017-10-02T20:26:48Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Increasingly since the 1980s, advocates for public art have perceived it as having the potential to contribute to a sense of place, and to help develop a coherent sense of personal and collective identity and civic cohesion. It is this perception, in the context of Auckland’s multi-cultural diversity, that informs the outcomes which Auckland Council hopes to achieve through its 2014 public art policy. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the degree to which the public art in the city reflects these objectives. My approach to this project was two-pronged: the examination of theoretical material, and the recording of empirical data. Accordingly, the writings of recognised public art theorists and Council’s Policy were reviewed, as well as material relating to pre-amalgamation Auckland cities and post-amalgamation Auckland City (2010), which together with Council and Local Body Plans were available on-line or at research libraries or archives offices. No survey of Auckland’s public art exists, and relevant literature in libraries tends to be limited to articles and books on individual artists and exhibitions, or descriptions of sculpture trails. To hunt down the city’s works of public art, I therefore needed to visit all main centres from Warkworth and Helensville in the north, to Pukekohe in the south, and from Howick and Mission Bay in the east, to Henderson in the west. I supplemented this primary research by extensive online searches for articles, press releases, and responses to works. In this thesis, I address three specific objectives that are outlined in the Auckland Council’s Public Art Policy. I consider the idea that in a place-making role public art helps to develop a sense of collective identity, and indeed, where artworks are sited in public spaces which can accommodate groups of people, this objective has been achieved in many local areas. The policy also perceives public art as having the potential to promote social cohesion at a city-wide level. From the outset, I question the feasibility of achieving a cohesive whole given Auckland’s super-diversity, and throughout the course of my research I found no evidence that this objective has been attained. Nevertheless, this does not negate the potential of public art to help develop a coherent sense of identity by promoting and celebrating the factors which make Auckland unique: its bi-cultural heritage, and the ethnic, cultural and demographic diversity of its current communities. However, although Council has expectations that Auckland’s public art should celebrate our ethnic and cultural diversity, my research identifies that this too has been realised in comparatively few cases. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264933513202091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Auckland Public Art: Imaging Our Diversity en
dc.type Thesis en Art History en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 680867 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-10-03 en

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