18 August 20: Hamilton makes Shroom for giant light sculptures

Twelve giant glowing mushrooms have sprouted in Hamilton’s Garden Place to bring joy to the diverse community and to boost the local economy.

On Friday 14 August, wellknown street art festival BOON flicked-on the switch to a temporary light-installation called ‘Shrooms,’ giving the public an interactive arts experience to remember.

Shrooms is the second of BOON’s ‘After Dark’ works.

BOON Trustee, Nancy Caiger says projects like Shrooms are now a critical part of keeping morale up in the city during this next phase of uncertainty under recently raised COVID-19 alert levels.

“During the first lockdown, people were very open to enjoying art, even if it was just digitally,” says Caiger.

“When we entered level 2 and then level 1, we then noticed an influx of people attending shows and going to galleries which demonstrates the need for people to experience the physicality of art,” she says.

“Now that we’re taking a step back up the alert levels, the inflatable sculptures create a magically immersive and COVID-19 friendly atmosphere for people to continue enjoying,” says Caiger.

The scultptures are the work of internationally reknowned art collective Amigo & Amigo, an Australian interactive lighting and design studio who explore the combination of light and sculpture in public spaces.

“We wanted to introduce something that put colour into the CBD and supported domestic tourism,” she says.

Hamilton Central Business Association’s general manager, Vanessa Williams welcomes the Shrooms installation as they “will bring such a dynamic element to Garden Place and a beautiful ambient quality to the space in the evening. We are excited to see them installed and delighted to be a key sponsor.”

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism CEO, Jason Dawson, also sees creative activity like this as crucial to leading social and economic recovery in a post-COVID world.

“Through projects like BOON After Dark, we have begun to ‘reimagine’ tourism for our region, plus develop new products and experience to enhance the local and domestic visitor proposition,” he says.  

This BOON After Dark project was made possible by sponsors Hamilton City Council, Hamilton Central Business Association, Momentum Waikato, and Beca.

Shrooms will illuminate the city until 9 October 2020.

For more information on Shrooms visit BOON Hamilton Street Art Facebook page @boonstreetart.