Project offers unique bird’s eye view

Press Release – Auckland Council

Perch safely in the sub-canopy of a Himalayan cedar tree in Albert Park while taking in Tāmaki Makaurau from a bird’s eye view.

For two weeks, Aucklanders will be able climb a specially constructed scaffolding staircase wrapped around a 50-metre tall tree in the Princes Street park as part of Walking in Trees project.

The outdoor installation art project, running from August 31 to September 15, is supported by the Waitamatā Local Board and Auckland Council through a $13,000 grant from the City Centre Targeted Rate.

With an aim of connecting communities through public art, ecology events and installations, Walking in Trees is presented by Wilde Projects and organised by a collective of nature lovers and art enthusiasts.

Walking in Trees allows urban dwellers to reconnect with the natural world around them,” project spokesperson and local artist Richard Orjis says.

“It also gives people the opportunity to explore the city from a new perspective and learn about the park’s unique history.”

Richard says along with the sculptural installation, there will be talks and free workshops for all ages.

The project debuted in 2014 in the park, with more than 5000 visitors making their way to the top of a Moreton Bay fig tree.

“It was very successful and a wonderful experience for Aucklanders, so this time we wanted to do more and illuminate Albert Park’s fascinating history.”

Built on the remnants of an ancient volcano, a pā site and military barracks, the park has also been a site for anti-war demonstrations, music festivals and queer protests.

“A lot of the park’s history remains unnoticed. We are hoping to bring that super rich history to the surface.”

Richard says the “robust and specially designed” scaffolding is large enough for people to walk, sit and relax on, at a height of around 12 metres. Safety balustrades wrap around all sides of the structure and an attendant is on site at all times.

Open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Walking in Trees is free to the public.

For further information, please contact: Liz Kirschberg, Senior Publicity Specialist, 021 704791, liz.kirschberg@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Note for editors

Workshop times:

Drawing together: lunchtime drawing session – Wednesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 11 from 12pm to 1.30pm

This free lunchtime drawing session uses contemporary drawing to engage with the installation Walking in Trees. The workshop opens-up a range of drawing approaches to encourage participants to view art, the environment and their creativity in new and exciting ways. No previous knowledge of drawing needed. Please bring your own paper and drawing materials.

Wild-walk: Eco-art walk for kids: Saturday, September 14 from 10am-12pm

This walk-shop explores art and ecology through actions of building and unbuilding. Come along with performing artist Christina Houghton for a moving group activity in Albert park that explores our wild relationship to nature through moving, camouflage, tree-hugging, hide making and generally being-with plants.

Cruising in the Park: a queer drawing walk-shop. Sunday, September 15, from 1pm-3pm.

This walk-shop explores art and ecology through actions of building and unbuilding. Artist Richard Orjis hosts this group walk-shop in Albert park that explores the subterranean and shifting histories of the park. Walking, drawing and thinking around. Participants are encouraged to imagine the former papakāinga, military barracks, tunnels and nearby Wai Ariki Spring.

More information about the project can be found at Wilde Projects on Facebook
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