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A shiny new reflection of heritage in O'Connell Street

News story
Friday 29 Jun 2018

The final finishing touch to the O'Connell Street upgrade was installed last week, with a sculpture named Light Weight ‘O’ by artist Catherine Griffiths.

The artwork is suspended in the centre of the street between 5 and 10 O'Connell Street where two notable 1925 heritage buildings are located: the Royal Exchange Assurance Building that combines modern and classical influences and Administrator House’s impressive Oamaru limestone façade. 

The mirror-faced, brass-backed, 2.4m diameter sculpture reflects and highlights the heritage architecture and character of the area - gently pivoting and casting moving light to reflect different views and buildings. 

The artist says the artwork encourages those who walk through O’Connell Street to observe the above and the below and consider the space between.

"It brings to attention the sky, framed by the built environment, and the earth beneath.” - Catherine Griffiths

The work was funded by the City Centre Targeted Rate, paid by city centre commercial and residential property owners, as well as the regional public art budget. 

Our CEO Viv Beck is the chair of the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board, which advises on the allocation of the City Centre Targeted Rate. She says she is delighted funding from the city centre targeted rate has supported new public art in our city centre streets.

“Public art is an inspiring way to tell the stories of our city and add richness to city life. O’Connell Street is an important part of the historic High Street District and this artwork is a creative way of highlighting its heritage for this recently transformed part of the city.” - Viv Beck

An official opening ceremony will be held to welcome the artwork to the community in the coming month.

See what's coming up next for public art in the city centre here.