People, Place, Public: The Public Art of Nic Moon

  • Robin Woodward
Keywords: Nic Moon, art, human ecology, installation, new genre, New Zealand, public art, sculpture


In the realm of public art, New Zealand artist Nic Moon’s practice extends from permanent outdoor sculpture to ephemeral, site-responsive installations and staged public events. Such a range spans the trajectory of contemporary public art, a genre which theorists struggle to define categorically: historical precedents for public art offer no template for the present or for the future. Working in conjunction with mana whenua iwi, local government agencies, art institutions, museums, architects and the community¸ Moon creates large-scale object art as well as temporary and relocatable works, circumstantial installations, public artworks as utilities, and ephemeral art with a short life span. Her public art encompasses a broad spectrum of forms while speaking constantly of human ecology - the interdisciplinary study of relationships between people, our social systems and our environments. It is these relationships that underpin the work of Moon who, in common with new genre public artists internationally, is prepared to work outside the historical framework of public art to engage her audience in socially conscious, political art.

How to Cite
Woodward, R. (2018). People, Place, Public: The Public Art of Nic Moon. Back Story - Journal of New Zealand Art, Media & Design History, (4), 19-37. Retrieved from