Suffrage 125th Anniversary Artworks EOI


Auckland Council invites Expressions of Interest from emerging artists who wish to be considered for the commission of temporary artworks to mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

Auckland Council is focusing on temporary/semi‐permanent (5 year lifespan) public art opportunities, enabling artworks that will thematically respond to the anniversary.

Three sites have been identified in Tāmaki Makaurau to be the locations for new temporary public artworks: Crawford Reserve in Howick, Killarney Park in Takapuna and Tin Tacks Reserve in Onehunga. These sites have been identified as locations that have thematic ties to suffrage and fit with the below project statement.

Project Statement

"We are tired of having a 'sphere' doled out to us, and of being told that anything outside that sphere is 'unwomanly'. We want to be natural just for a change … we must be ourselves at all risks."

Kate Sheppard

"All that separates whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome."

Kate Sheppard

The leader of this country’s suffrage (or women’s right to vote) campaign in New Zealand was Kate Sheppard (1847 – 1934). The year 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of the passing of the New Zealand Electoral Act (1893), giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Notwithstanding the miles we have to go as a culture for women to be truly equal; what if we flip this for a moment (from struggle to championing) and look at the powerful positive gesture underlying suffrage – that of emancipation and leadership. We have many literal examples to look at in this light through both past and present persons and stories that demonstrate these concepts. This is an opportunity not just to memorialise, but to imagine and lay down the gauntlet for the future – to demonstrate the living values and aspirations that the marking of 125 years since women gained the vote in this country represents distinctively for us as Aucklanders. Jumping off from the sentiments referred to in Kate Sheppard’s statements, quoted above; this is an occasion to acknowledge and celebrate the notion of leading change from the unique perspectives of the many cultures that make up Tāmaki Makaurau.

Full Entry Details

Submissions due Sunday 27th May

Alistair Munro