Work: Wairuaatua
Year: 2009
Construction: Wood, paint
Size: H.2500mm X 1000mm X 1000mm
Commissions Available P.O.A


The award-winning Glass House designed by renowned architect Noel Lane has been covered in paint! But this is not the work of a vandal; it is the temporary art installation of Tracey Tawhiao.

In the project titled Wairuaatua, meaning godly spirit or butterfly, the artist is working by illustrating on the Glass House building, the gateway to Brick Bay Sculpture Trail and home of Brick Bay Wines. Tracey Tawhiao has always wanted to graffiti a public structure, saying “Brick Bay has offered me my first opportunity to do this without getting arrested”.

Her art extends to illustrating on objects in the surrounding landscape a rustic long-drop. She has suspended huge sheets of clear plastic vinyl high in trees and their illustrated surfaces cast shadows throughout the bush.

The graffiti-style illustration at Brick Bay celebrates the beauty of impermanence. Tracey Tawhiao explains: “When I do these drawings I am really acting out a super-hero in myself spreading Wairuaatua blessings. My intention is that people will feel secure in the impermanence and find a lot to be thankful for in the here and now.”

Every summer the Brick Bay Sculpture Trust sponsors an artist to create a temporary art work, one which broadens an understanding of sculpture. Trustees Christine and Richard Didsbury say “We were drawn to Tracey’s vision to sensitively transform the Glass House with the lyrical beauty of her illustrative work.”