Paul Cullen Archive (PCA) presents a virtual iteration of Weather Stations at Te Naupata / Musick Point, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, as part of The World Weather Network. The original installation (2009) was situated on Mahuehue Point, Waiheke Island, described by Cullen as “drawing on a vocabulary of functional, useful objects to create a series of sculptural components that allow for a shifting back and forth between use-value and sculptural ‘thing’”. Arranged on levelled sections of a grassy incline, galvanised steel framing supporting concrete slabs, blue and yellow hose (various lengths), and glass tanks look like equipment or instruments for collecting water, measuring or sampling. Weather Stations is closely related to a body of works by the artist called Tidal, consisting of sculptural ‘devices’ improvised and constructed using found objects. Each ‘device’ incorporates some aspect of ineffective measurement or displacement of materials as it responds to the rise and fall of the tide.

The PCA’s representation of Weather Stations at Musick Memorial Radio Station on the Naupata Reserve responds to an unrealised proposal by the artist in 2011 to install a series of works in the building amongst existing equipment. Dating back to the middle of the last century, equipment in Musick Radio Station was used to monitor the communications and movements of aircraft and shipping in the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf – although mostly still functional, is now obsolete. In his proposal, Cullen notes that Musick Point was traditionally occupied by the Ngai Tai tribe and was the site of Te Waiarohia Pa. The 2022 iteration of Weather Stations draws on Cullen’s interest in site-specific art practices and notion of site as being bound up with the complex physical actualities of a place as a lived mesh of relationships with human and non-human entities.

PCA acknowledges the harmful acts, omissions and historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi at Te Naupata / Musick Point that left Ngai Tai virtually landless during Colonial governance in the late 19th century. In 2018, a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, apology and reinstatement of the original name restored mana to Ngai Tai, although the losses can never fully be compensated.

About Paul Cullen Archive (PCA)

Paul Cullen Archive (PCA) was established in 2017 to continue an archival process started by the artist Paul Cullen in 2016. While primarily focused on material left by Cullen in his Henderson studio in Auckland, the PCA considers that there is no such work of art, however object-based, with an identity that can be reduced entirely to its status as a material thing. The PCA utilises alternative archival modes to generate explorative methods and categories for structuring content, 3D models and speculative publications.

About Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen (1949–2017) is a sculptor from Aotearoa New Zealand. His artwork is about the constructing and testing of relations between materials, objects and processes. Given the precarious condition of our planet today, his attention to fragile and whimsical connections between things gives his work a particular poignancy. Cullen’s early work explores links between cultural anthropology, molecular biology, and archetypal architectural forms drawing on his educational background in both Biological Sciences , landscape design and Sculpture. Later in his career as a lecturer and artist, Cullen completed a Doctor of Fine Arts (2007) at The University of Auckland. In the 1990s, his installations started to feature dismantled and altered everyday objects, including dissected furniture and model globes or planets deployed like props for amateurish and absurdist science experiments. In the last two decades of his career, Cullen pursued exhibitions and itinerant projects in numerous international centres.

Cullen received several awards, travel grants, and residencies, including the Moët et Chandon Artist's Fellowship in France (1996), and a Senior Fulbright Award (2012) which took him to the Architecture Department at Auburn University, Alabama, where he worked with landscape architects to develop a site-based outdoor sculpture project. As part of the ongoing Attempts project, the humble single HB pencil was installed at various locations around the world.