Artists show tank farm some love
Bold plans to transform Wynyard Quarter’s tank farm with street art are still going full steam ahead despite reservations from some people.
The waterfront project will see 71 tanks transformed by artwork commissioned from five artists.
However, concerns have been raised by those who fear that when it comes time to remove the tanks for redevelopment people might object because they have grown to like them.
The idea that Aucklanders may fight for cement silos over sought-after open space has baffled two of the driving forces behind the art project.
Art stalwart Hamish Keith says the notion is ‘‘just a piece of silliness’’ from a small minority.
They may be brighter and bolder than ever but the painted tanks won’t be breaking too many hearts when they are finally removed for redevelopment, Mr Keith says.
‘‘The tanks are not going to be here forever. The artists know that and the public know that, so the idea that in some strange way they’ll want to keep the tanks and do themselves out of a park just because they look good is quite silly.’’
The tanks are bounded by Hamer and Brigham streets and are privately owned. They will be transformed with art as sponsorship is gained.
Artist Elliot O’Donnell, also known as Askew One, has already painted eight tanks by North Wharf featuring excerpts from CK Stead’s poem Auckland.
Sponsorship is currently being sought to fund Christchurch-based artist Darryn George’s work which will adorn several large tanks.
Waterfront Auckland’s chairman Bob Harvey says it is nonsense to think the project will stop the tanks from moving one day.
‘‘Right now that timeline is 15 to 20 years away because we can’t find a new home and there is no energy to see them gone.
‘‘I would like to see them all painted and stunning – they are a standalone art treat for Auckland.’’
Mr Keith says
has always tanks.
‘‘I’ve got to say that I was very pleased when Bob came to me and his exact words were ‘shall we touch the tanks with a bit of art love’.’’
They will become an increasing intrusion on Wyn-
the yard Quarter as it develops into a public space if they are ignored, Mr Keith says.
‘‘One of the really good things about this is actually recognising the skills of street artists. This is street art, this is people, this is lively – it’s art not vandalism.’’
Art love: Art stalwart Hamish Keith plans to commission four more artists to transform groups of tanks on Wynyard Quarter. Bright idea: Below, the team behind the Tank Art Project is looking for sponsorship for Darryn George’s proposed new look for several large tanks.