Artweek 2021 | Everything You Need To See, Whatever The Alert Level

By Urban List Writers
5th Nov 2021

Lockdown hasn't stopped Artweek, and the annual festival celebrating local artists and art is back from 5 to 14 November to enliven the senses with precincts all across Auckland taking part. We've pulled out some of our top must-sees this Artweek, and you can enjoy them all from your own bubble, including online exhibitions and public art, making the city streets the canvas.

Artweek have also just launched their Artweek Every Week app including free downloadable art walks throughout the city, allowing Tāmaki Makaurau to come alive with art no matter the Alert Level.

Explore more of the Artweek Auckland programme right here and read on for our top picks.

Changing Lanes by Sacha Stejko.Changing Lanes

5 – 14 Nov, Heart of the City

Changing Lanes is a collaborative project between Heart of the City and Artweek, bringing together projects that will transform Auckland's urban spaces temporarily as part of Artweek. The project aims to help create connections in our community, provide opportunities for artists, enhance public spaces and uplift spirits. These projects reference the spaces' unique heritage, their use as pedestrian walking routes, intimate city business locations and the changing nature of the city's urban spaces.

This year's Changing Lanes includes works from Erin Forsyth, Bobbie Gray, Margaret Lewis and Bhavesh Bhuthadia, and Paul Woodruffe, Teare Tureahi and Ashlee Tawhiti.

A footnote on NZ history by Cindy Huang.A Footnote On New Zealand History – Cindy Huang*

Until 15 Dec, Corban Estate Arts Centre

Inspired by her experience as Tauiwi in Aotearoa, Cindy Huang uses object-based installation to recreate a market garden within the gallery space that reflects the sites where many historic Chinese and Māori relationships were cultivated around Aotearoa. In a continuation of her ongoing practice, Huang interrogates how our written history has skewed in favour of Pākehā historians who have told the stories of others from their perspective, usually presenting a positive colonial narrative. A Footnote on New Zealand History instead highlights the lack of written knowledge around Chinese, and specifically Māori-Chinese, history in Aotearoa.

*If Auckland is still in Level 3 this exhibition will move online

The interior at Moana Fresh showing artworks on the wall.Moana Fresh 

Moana Fresh began in December of 2019 as an artist-run pop-up venture by Ahilapalapa Rands and Vaimaila Urale in Avondale celebrating Pacific and Māori artists by selling and promoting their artworks. During Artweek Moana Fresh welcomes the public to visit their store on Saturdays where they will be hosting their artists in residence as well as displaying all works for sale within the store by Pacific and Māori artists.

If Alert Levels don't allow, you can still support Moana Fresh and their artists here.

Nature Wins! By Deborah Crowe.Nature Wins! – Deborah Crowe

22 Oct – 20 Dec, Freyberg Place

The Freyberg Steps come to life for Artweek with an incredible commissioned work by Deborah Crowe, supported by Heart of the City. 'Nature Wins!' reimagines a popular central city space on the planes of the concrete steps to propose a semi-hypothetical 'other' world where remarkable growth, lush oversized foliage, and extraordinary blooming wild gardens are abundant on our doorstep. This bright and optimistic work acknowledges nature's resilience and suppleness.

The perfect spot to have a bubble picnic and enjoy the colourful Freyberg Place steps, or visit in the evening and also take in the light installations in the Heart of the City including Ripples by Angus Muir and Forest of Light by La Lumiere.

The Art Salon 2021Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery – Art Salon 2021

6 Nov – 5 Dec 

Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery's annual Art Salon aims to foster harmonious relationships and positivity with local artists in Aotearoa, presenting works from over 90 local artists. The masterpieces consist of different genres, including sculptures, sketches, glass artworks, jewellery, ceramics, paintings, photographs, weaving and ikebana.

This year's Art Salon during Artweek will be online, but make sure to visit the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery after Lockdown, located in Flat Bush at the tranquil Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple.

People look at graffiti in Avondale.Forum 2 – A Four-Day Festival Showcasing Graffiti Art In Avondale

4 – 7 Nov, Avondale Art Park

Avondale is home to one of Auckland's significant sites for graffiti and street art. Tucked away below street level on Great North Road is an empty lot that formerly housed a supermarket. Most weeks you'll find artists down there creating the most complex and eye-catching artworks. Following its first iteration in 2017, 'Forum 2' returns to Avondale, a celebration of graffiti writing as an evolving and thriving art form with local and national artists who have contributed to the Graffiti writing scene as it garners legitimacy as a recognised art form as well as a gateway into other art forms.

Parts of this festival will run online if unable to go ahead in person, or head along and take a look at the incredible street art already on display.

Find out what else is happening in Auckland this weekend and beyond.

Image credit: Khartoum After Dark and Changing Lanes by Sacha Stejko, Corban Estate - Cindy Huang, Nature Wins! by Deborah Crowe, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery – Art Salon 2021, Forum 2.

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