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Bronwyn Holloway-Smith

Ground Floor, Soho Apartments, 80 Taranaki Street


June 17 - July 10 2011

A new life awaits you in Pioneer City: a unique lifestyle in a stunning and innovative colony inspired by past, present, and future. Seize the chance to begin again in this golden land of opportunity and adventure.”

19th Century settlers took a leap of faith when they purchased land in Wellington, site unseen. Today's real estate industry uses similar strategies to sell a dream with properties that are unbuilt or inaccessible, playing to desires for an idealised lifestyle. built on these past and present observations to offer a leap into the future.

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith presented an impostor inner-city real estate showroom that promoted a future lifestyle in Pioneer City on the Utopia Plains of Mars. The public were asked to complete expressions of interest applications to consider being an Mars pioneer. The showroom featured an architectural model of Pioneer City, designed with an architect, and images of the development. A crucial component was the website, still viewable at The showroom was staffed by a real estate agent (professional actor Helen O'Carroll, who underwent real estate training), on behalf of Colonial Real Estate, who had her own business cards, phone contact and email address. The showroom opened with a corporate launch. Images of all these elements can be found in the Pioneer City picture gallery.  

With NASA scientists aiming for a human mission to Mars in the next 20 years, and private innovators also paving the way, a Martian colony reasons Holloway-Smith is not a question of 'if' but 'when'.

Pioneer City asks whether you be one of the first brave resourceful pioneers to take our residential hopes and dreams into space. also implicitly asks the public who controls our visions of the future, and what kind of future we want for ourselves and our city.

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is a Wellington-based contemporary artist working in a diverse and interdisciplinary manner. Her work carries a common interest in new technologies and the futuristic ideals and challenges that these technologies may bring. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massey University, where she currently works alongside roles as Director of the Creative Freedom Foundation and Trustee for Enjoy Public Art Gallery.

Our property partner for is Ananda Investments Ltd. This project has been created with the funding support of Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council and the Emerging Artists Trust. 


Special thanks to:

Project architect (Pioneer City model and City Structure): Rachel Logie 

Graphic design, website build and imagineer: Matthew Holloway

Project Assistants: Lewis Urbahn, Heather O'Carroll, Matilda (Tilly) Fraser, Kylie Walker, John Grant and Philippa Clements 

Project Minders: Kylie Walker, Doug Crane, Graeme Tuckett and Meryl Richards

Opening Night DJ: Dan Untitled

Technical equipment and workshop support: Massey University

Vinyl cutting: Murray Hewitt 

Marketing photographer: James Gilberd of

Training: Marty Scott at Harcourts

Furniture: Thonet

Model display case: Te Papa Tongarewa 

Plants: Niki at Ambience

Rug: Estilo Design 

With thanks also to: Michael Shaw (Alive Building Solutions), Sarah Farrar and Hutch Wilco

Images: Murray Lloyd