Jeppe Hein – Waitemata Plaza
Long Modified Bench Waitemata Green 2015
Powder coated aluminium and LEDs
Permanent installation, Waitemata Plaza, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland.
Edmiston Trust Collection.
Jeppe Hein’s temporary installation marked the re-opening of the Auckland Art Gallery and was sited on the new Edmiston Sculpture Terrace in September 2011.
The Trust and the Art Gallery were keen to see the bench remain in Auckland when the temporary commission expired and opened discussions with the Auckland Council Public Art Team to relocate the bench. The Waitemata Plaza was due to undergo a transformation and the timing enabled the artist to work with the urban designers.
The installation is part of Jeppe Hein’s larger series of Social Modified Benches that has developed out of his interest in proxemics, the study of how humans use space, and his belief that it is important to discover ways to connect people. Unlike typical park benches designed for a few, the long modified benches that curve and meander back upon themselves invite interaction.
Long Modified Bench Waitemata Green was Jeppe Hein’s first permanent outdoor bench to be lit. At night a sinuous run of LEDs creates a gentle pool of light under the seating, welcoming those who stop to watch the vessels in the harbour and other passers by.
Photographs: Joanna Wright
Video: Jeppe Hein Studio