$1.5m ‘house’ un­veiled

Central Leader - - SPORT - SI­MON MAUDE

An ’’or­di­nary house in Mt Eden’’ has been plonked on Auck­land’s wa­ter­front.

Work­ers have started un­veil­ing renowned artist Michael Parekowhai’s con­tro­ver­sial in­stal­la­tion, The Light­house, on Queens Wharf. The Auck­land Coun­cil-backed project re­sem­bles a 1950s home. It will be com­pleted early to mid-Fe­bru­ary, ready for a ‘‘great pub­lic event for ev­ery­body to wel­come the work to Auck­land’’, the coun­cil’s arts and cul­ture man­ager Kaye Gla­muz­ina said.

Realty firm Bar­foot & Thomp­son gifted $1 mil­lion for the cre­ation of the art­work, while a fur­ther $500,000 has been gifted by donors who wish to re­main anony­mous, Gla­muz­ina said.

Although peo­ple can’t en­ter the house, an ex­ter­nal stair­case will let them peer in­side win­dows.

The project at­tracted crit­i­cism when it was granted re­source con­sent in 2015, with many Auck­lan­ders say­ing it was a bad look given the sky­rock­et­ing price of hous­ing in the re­gion. The coun­cil re­ceived 34 sub­mis­sions on the project, in­clud­ing three op­posed to the in­stal­la­tion.

Gla­muz­ina said pub­lic art al­ways at­tracted a mixed re­sponse. ‘‘I would not ex­pect ev­ery sin­gle per­son who sees this work to love it im­me­di­ately. I do ex­pect that peo­ple will have a re­ac­tion to it and feel some­thing.’’

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