“Letting Space are undertaking rare and important work that has the capacity to both generate social transformation under the guise of contemporary art, and in so doing assist in the transformation of the norms of contemporary art itself.”
Blair French, Artspace Sydney, and Curator Scape 2013
LETTING SPACE seeks to transform the relationship between artists, the public and their environments to enable social change. Based in New Zealand, we create major temporary public artwork and events designed to provide dynamic new spaces for engagement, increasing the public commons. We have commissioned over a dozen such projects nationally since 2010, as well as run the Urban Dream Brokerage.
We empower artists to be courageous as agents of change, and work with commercial and property partners to create programmes that transform the way we treat urban spaces as living spaces.
LETTING SPACE also asks the public to become engaged in art as participants. Through creative provocations, we treat art as part of the social fabric, providing impetus for change in our cities and communities. We look to engage a wider public in the vitality and relevance of installation and performance-based contemporary art practice outside an institutional gallery framework.
We commission leading contemporary New Zealand artists to work in commercial and public spaces, and also provide advisory and curatorial services for organisations looking to programme temporary public art events.
"In New Zealand there is a growing desire for art that questions the roles of consumption and the excesses of globalisation at the same time as offering a focus on the local and the tactical. Letting Space have led the way with exhibitions and workshops and interventions that have already made a critical difference to the way that systems of exchange and reciprocity are understood.”
Su Ballard, Art writer and lecturer University of Wollongong
We currently run with the support of Wellington City Council Urban Dream Brokerage, enabling urban change through brokering creative use of vacant space in Wellington. We also recently completed our first independent media project Studio Channel Art Fair at Auckland Art Fair 2013, and have new public art series in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Previous projects have been commissioned from Eve Armstrong, Tim Barlow (Erupt Festival, Taupo), D.A.N.C.E Art Club (Erupt Festival, Taupo), Mark Harvey (New Zealand International Festival of the Arts), Colin Hodson, Bronwyn Holloway Smith, Dugal McKinnon, Kim Paton, Julian Priest (Splore, Auckland), Monique Redmond and Tanya Eccleston (Auckland Arts Festival), and Tao Wells. For more information, documentation and essays on these go here.
"Letting Space has consistently delivered an innovative and genre-changing programme of public art that has reshaped the workings of the city, and the role artists can find within it. The use of vacated commercial buildings as the site of engagement between artists, their audience and the public commons was a masterstroke that has led to the creation of what will be remembered as some of the most important art projects staged in Wellington over recent times.”
Aaron Lister, Curator, City Gallery Wellington
LETTING SPACE is built on a programme of the same name run we ran with Artspace in 1994-96 in Auckland.