Whangarei’s biggest community project will be known as the 'HUNDERTWASSER ART CENTRE with Wairau Māori Art Gallery'.
“The art centre has had various ‘working titles’ during its long history, but a final name needed to be confirmed” says project marketing volunteer Kirsty Hughes. “The new name is very clear about what the building offers visitors.”
The art centre will house a complete gallery of original Hundertwasser artworks, including paintings, tapestries and sculptures, on loan from the Hundertwasser Non Profit Foundation. It will be the only permanent collection of Hundertwasser works on display outside Vienna.
The word ‘wairau’ was chosen by the Wairau Māori Art Gallery Board, the group of eminent Māori artists and scholars advising on the gallery development and content. The gallery will be New Zealand’s first dedicated, curated contemporary Māori art facility, exhibiting works of international significance.
“Hundertwasser had a deep love of Māori, as shown by his inspirational concept of having a Maori Art Gallery inside the Hundertwasser Art Centre” said Wairau Māori Art Gallery Board chair Elizabeth Ellis.
“As a result we have named the Māori Art gallery after him. Hundertwasser in Te Reo Maori means Wairau, which means ‘one hundred waters’ in English.”
The logo image was first designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser as a museum flag and was selected to be used for the Kunsthaus Wien in Vienna. The primary colours represent painting and art and the forms are windows, representing architecture. The sphere stands for renewal and infinity.
The window motifs are a signature part of the Hundertwasser architectural style and can be seen on many of his building. They also feature on Whangarei’s yet-to-be built art centre.
The Hundertwasser Non Profit Foundation have developed the image into a logo especially for the Whangarei project. Hundertwasser HQ in James Street, Whangarei, has a number of authentic flags carrying the design on display.