Wanted! Creative children for Auckland’s big rail project
Kiwi kids from Cape Reinga in the far north all the way to Bluff in Southland have the chance to be part of New Zealand’s biggest-ever transport infrastructure project – the City Rail Link (CRL) in Auckland.
Children between five and 11 are invited to paint and draw images that will be then be fired onto ceramic tiles and used to decorate walls in a new underground railway station in the middle of Auckland.
“Children are fantastic dreamers with great imaginations, and we want them to fire up those skills as artists and give us pictures of where they would like to go by train once our underground railway is built,” says the Chief Executive of City Rail Link Ltd CRL Ltd), Dr Sean Sweeney. “Their journeys could be anywhere – taking the train down the road from home to the local diary or heading off into outer space or anywhere they like in between.”
Dr Sweeney says it is easy for children to show off their artistic skills.
- They can use paints, crayons, pencils or pastels
- Their artwork needs to be square shaped as it will be printed onto 10cm x 10cm tiles to be built into the station.
- Artwork can either be scanned or photographed and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Artwork should also include the artist’s name, their age and school they go to
- If possible, City Rail Link Ltd would love to receive short videos of tamariki holding up their art and explaining what they have drawn so that it can be shared on CRL’s social media channels and website
- More information can be found at www.cityraillink.co.nz/resources-for-students-teachers-city-rail-link
Dr Sweeney says there are a couple of reasons why City Rail Link wants to connect with the country’s youngest artists.
“They will be part of the biggest art project in New Zealand. If they don’t live here already, there’s a good chance they are likely to visit the city on holiday when they can see their picture. It’s also a chance for children to be part of one of the country’s most important building projects – CRL is important for Auckland but building a railway under a city is complicated and our workers will be learning new skills on the job that they can then use on other building sites all over New Zealand.”
Dr Sweeney says children’s artwork will be displayed permanently at the Aotea Station, which will be New Zealand’s busiest when it opens in four years.
“Tens of thousands of people will walk past the children’s art wall every day on their way to work, or to home, but we have a very big wall to fill. We’ve already got 3,000 fantastic and colourful pictures but we need thousands more to fill the space and make the wall an exciting part of the station.
“With the Easter break coming up and schools still closed because of the lockdown we hope there is plenty of creative time for children to show off their awesome artistic talents. The tiles will be an important part of CRL – a fantastic legacy lasting 100 years or more,” Dr Sweeney says.
The City Rail Link is New Zealand’s first underground railway line. It is 3.45 kilometres long and its tunnels are being built under central Auckland.
It will change the iconic Britomart Transport Centre in downtown Auckland from a dead-end one-way station into a two-way through station that connects with other lines to allow more trains and more people to get in and out of the city. Aotea is one of two underground stations being built on the line, which is planned to open in 2024.