Crave Global 7 The Lightship

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Hadleigh Averill
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    solene constant, Jacob Howard
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Zakk D'Larte, Georgina Otto, Molly Scott, Danial Hopkirk
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Ken Griffen, Bridget Riggir-Cuddy, Sarah Hopkinson
  • Client
    Ports of Auckland

Ports of Auckland are not popular in the city. As well as a bad reputation, the valuable real estate they occupy is seen as a waste and an eyesore in the heart of downtown Auckland. They needed to turn those negative perceptions around with the public and business sectors, to gain social license that would allow them to continue to operate.

Accordingly, we needed to transform perceptions of the port from being an existing eyesore to being a cultural hotspot that gives back to Aucklanders.

The Lightship. We transformed the three-story car handling building on Bledisloe Wharf into a contemporary public art gallery for established and emerging local artists, with Australasia’s largest (reduced LED format) digital light wall.

At 100 metres long and 13 metres high, it turns an eyesore into a positive, inspirational and highly visible new installation in the downtown area.

Firstly we worked with an architectural firm to integrate the huge billboard into the design of the building. The resulting giant screen has a reduced pixel format, which was necessary to meet Advertising Standards Authority rules if wanting to show moving image, but also provided a unique medium for artistic expression.

To give the space credibility we worked with established Fine Art curator, Sarah Hopkinson, to turn the light wall into a contemporary space for public art. This included the generation of a name, brand, website and social channels.

We then partnered with Art Week to launch The Lightship on the opening day of Auckland’s biggest art event. Janet Lilo, one of NZ’s foremost Pasifika practitioners, was engaged to be our first artist.

The Lightship continues to show a new artist every six weeks, utilising PR, opening events, OOH and social media to assist in promoting each artist.