This picture is the view from my desk, taken in April 2021, while installing the inaugural show at Coastal Signs, our new gallery on Anzac Avenue in Tāmaki Makaurau.
The crouched figure is artist Ammon Ngakuru, drinking a beer and unwrapping a painting. The ring light in the foreground is part of a sculpture called Lentil, from his exhibition at Enjoy in 2020.
Coastal Signs explores a new model for a commercial gallery. It is set up as an informal co-operative with decisions about the programme and profit shared by the contributing artists.
I had several potential names floating around, but when I found this building, on the edge of the original shoreline, Coastal Signs made sense.
From the east-facing windows at 90 Anzac Ave I look over some of the best and worst of Tāmaki Makaurau. I can see a glimpse of the harbour, Beach Rd office blocks, Spark Arena – as well as Te Taou memorial gardens and the old city railway station.
It’s hard to avoid thinking about property in central Auckland; who owns it, who used to own it, and who is excluded from owning it. With this view of the grandiose railway building, I often find myself thinking about the 1990s in particular: state-owned assets bought for a buck and sold for two, and other economic calamities that shaped our urban and social landscape.
90 Anzac Ave, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland