For Te Uru Waitakere we’re each to make work that responds to the gallery itself. I visited the building to scope out the spaces where we might be showing.
The gallery is emphatically NOT a white cube. Behind the copper frontage are mezzanines, voids and vistas (both within the space and across the landscape).
Natural daylight is used as a design element, so the feel of the rooms changes through the day (and through the year).
What struck me most is the vertical thrust of the building – unusually for an art gallery it stacks, rather than spreads. At the entrance way is a golden staircase, which variously joins and divides spaces as it sweeps up four stories.
At the ‘back’ of the building a second staircase knifes a utilitarian short cut to the top.
There’s even a roof terrace, which is currently accessed from the adjacent Lopdell House:
Statement of intent
My plan is to experiment with theories of embodied cognition to engage with the gallery space.
My first thought was that I’d respond to or reference the movement of daylight across/within the spaces. However, on visiting in February, I was seized by the vertical momentum of the gallery, so I think this will become my focus.
(You see more images and read about Te Uru’s history on the Te Uru website.)