Parnell’s annual July light installation is a highly anticipated event, with Aucklanders congregating to Heard Park to experience the wonder and magic. This year for the light installation in Heard Park, we wanted something that spoke to a re-grounding and reconnection to the earth, to sustainability, and to culture. Never before seen in Auckland, Kōhatu & The Sphere by Fish Aberadi is a gift from Parnell to everyone in Auckland, with the goal of warming hearts, connecting friends, and inviting families to be in awe and inspired.
Kōhatu & The Sphere is constructed primarily from repurposed materials: timber from the deconstructed chicken sheds in Haumoana, a chassis and slew ring sourced from an old digger in Palmerston North. The structure acknowledges the partnership between stillness and motion, solidity, and freedom. The work swiftly became collective, outsourcing engineering information and skill from local creatives to complete the most clean and stable version of this project. Re-channelling the potential of discarded, static materials into an in-motion sculpture, Kōhatu & The Sphere embodies regeneration and the possibility within it.
During the build, Kōhatu was the name given to the digger chassis that is used as the base for the sculpture. Kōhatu represents the ‘rock’, the solid anchor and foundation, that is a key component in making this piece of art. Using it in the name gives respect and consciousness to the less glamorous, but equally important, parts of the art piece. Without a solid foundation and good engineering, the beauty and magic of the sphere would not be possible. It seems fitting to use a Te Reo word here too, as Māori culture is the, often under-acknowledged, anchor of our nation and fundamental to who we are.
The event is open to all and does not lend itself to discriminate or exclude. Event staff from Parnell Business Association, to artist, to choir, to security are diverse and from various ethnicities. Kōhatu & The Sphere invites all those who want to enjoy a reconnect to the foundations of themselves and the foundations of community after being isolated from each other for so long.