Public neon artwork brightens night
It's been three years in the making but now an Auckland Council public artwork project is on display.
Night/I Love You is a new light-based artwork installed on the exterior of the Ronwood Ave car park in Manukau.
The council commissioned the new piece through its regional public art programme at a cost of $140,000.
Artist Lonnie Hutchinson designed the two works that feature neon text in English and te Reo.
I Love you faces Ronwood Ave and Aroha atu Aroha mai faces Davies Ave and Hayman Park. The signs operate all hours of day.
"One is for each front, facing the road, exterior of the stairwells. The text works are made of neon and illuminate the colours of a rainbow.
"In Maori mythology Uenuku is the god of rainbows. Rainbows or aniwaniwa were seen as omens and signs of future events. In contemporary society the colours of a rainbow signify freedom, peace, love and harmony."
A companion work called Day by Reuben Paterson is due for completion in 2016 and the combined installation will be known as Night and Day.
The project was developed at the request of Auckland Transport's project team in the car park's construction stages.
Hutchinson says it was a team effort, with Pro Sign in Mangere making the neon.
"Neon is produced by the craft of bending glass tubing into shapes The tube is filled with a purified gas mixture and the gas is ionized by a high voltage applied between the ends of the sealed tube which produces the different colours."
Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman Efeso Collins says the board was proud to commission the artwork which brings life and light to the metropolitan area.
"Overlooking the skate park that is well subscribed by young people and city workers during the day, it is a key reminder of the message of our community that they're welcomed, embraced and loved."
Council arts culture and events committee chairman Councillor Alf Filipaina says public art is about making the place we live and work in more enjoyable.
"It creates a sense of pride and It gets people talking, starts a conversation about the neighbourhood. It also brings an otherwise ordinary building to life."