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My Heart is an Anchor by Elliot Collins


Sat 25 Oct 2014–Tue 31 Mar 2015, 9:00am–11:55pm

Where: Wynyard Quarter, Corner of Halsey & Jellicoe Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: The Arts Foundation

This temporary wall painting, a part of Tidelines (presented by Boosted and Waterfront Auckland), aims to awaken an old, grey and unloved part of the Wynyard Quarter before its planned rejuvenation as part of the ongoing developments in the precinct.

The text - MY HEART IS AN ANCHOR, THEN LEAVE IT BEHIND - references a piece of dialogue from Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, a play by American author Tony Kushner. These words fold into the painting themes of communication across the water, of travel and of lovers. The fractured but coupled phrasing allows a gap into which individual interpretation and imagination can step.

On a background of diagonal marks the painted words will appear to float and travel over the surface of the wall. The background colours will come from a sampling of the surrounding area. These colours will be both surprising and harmonious because they are just a reflection of what is around.

The anchor at the centre of the work pays homage to the history of the Auckland waterfront as a port destination. Back before Wynyard Quarter was reclaimed from the sea a fleet of ships could often be seen moored offshore acting like beacons that signalled a connection with faraway places. They would have moved people, goods, ideas and love letters from the rest of the country and around the world to Auckland.

Above the wall, in what could possibly be the tallest flagpole in Auckland, a flag will be raised displaying the hopeful and longing words SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY. This further extension and triangulation of phrases rewards those searching for more and those who curiously glance up. With its addition a fuller narrative can begin to be strung together:

'I can't go on for my heart is an anchor.'

'If you can't take it with you then leave it behind.'

'But where will we go?'

'Somewhere far away.'

With this work the artist reintroduces the romance of the waterfront to the people of Auckland. From old archival images early settler life appears hard but adventurous, dirty but exciting and the technology of the time as amazing to witness as the technological changes we are currently experiencing.

As we enter a new phase of change down at the water's edge, it is important to look back if only for a moment, just to see how far we have come.

This work will be presented on Beaumont Street from Saturday 25th October 2014.

Tidelines projects are partially funded by Waterfront Auckland who will match each donation on crowdfunding site - Boosted, dollar for dollar, until they have given $600.00. Visit the Boosted project page to make a donation.

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