LEGO Minifigures take over Auckland Museum in new exhibition


Relics, South Australian Museum, March 2023
Relics, South Australian Museum, March 2023
LEGO Minifigures will take over Auckland Museum for a retrofuturistic exhibition titled 'RELICS: A New World Rises'.

Opening Wednesday 29 May, the exhibition showcases miniature civilisations created using LEGO, housed inside forgotten vintage treasures.

Set in an imagined future in the year 2530 when humans have left the planet due to environmental decline, RELICS tells the story of a world where LEGO minifigures have created new civilisations in the ‘relics’ left behind.

Intricate mini-worlds have developed in discarded artefacts, each one inspired and formed by the object they now call home.

Previously wowing audiences around Australia, the exhibition was crafted by Australian LEGO Masters winners Jackson Harvey and Alex Towler.

For its showing at Auckland War Memorial Museum, RELICS has been expanded to include insights into Jackson and Alex’s creative process and a behind-the-scenes look inside their RELICS workshop.

Thinking far beyond the bricks, Jackson and Alex use masterful design and LEGO engineering to fuse found items with colourful LEGO in large-scale creations.

“The exhibition explores a real sense of playfulness and fun through storytelling,” Jackson says.

“The LEGO minifigs are the plastic puppets of our stories, and we’ve had so much fun constructing hundreds of narratives with them. We hope people are able to find these stories, and create some of their own.”

Co-creator Alex Towler describes the relics, built over many months as “really weird and kind of wonderful”.

“This concept of RELICS has really inspired a new way of looking at the world for me. Things that we might consider to be rubbish, or useless, or forgotten, have been given a whole new life. It’s a fun way to be creative,” says Alex.

Jackson and Alex.

Among the ‘relics’ are a marauding band of inventors who have reverse-engineered a grandfather clock to build a time machine, a cryonics facility nestled inside a vintage refrigerator to keep minifigures in a frosty state safe from the effects of climate change, and a retro arcade with airlocks and elevators that connect a series of gaming machines to form a futuristic spaceport.

Auckland Museum Tumu Whakarae Chief Executive David Reeves says he hopes the exhibition will inspire conversation about the world we leave behind for future generations.

“We are excited to share Jackson and Alex’s thought-provoking creations in RELICS: A New World Rises. People of all ages love LEGO, and this exhibition shows how imagination and creativity can be used to share hugely meaningful messages about our world and our future,” he says.

“We hope families and visitors of all ages will enjoy discovering the details of these creations, but also use them as the starting point to talk about our responsibility to protect and conserve our planet. It’s a great combination of the Museum’s role to examine serious topics and to celebrate the joyful, whimsical use of everyday objects.”

Auckland Museum is also inviting tamariki aged 5 to 18 to submit their own LEGO creations to a competition that will see four winners exhibited at the Museum alongside RELICS. Young Kiwi LEGO fans are invited to build a LEGO world inside a familiar object with an ‘Inspired by Aotearoa’ theme. Think LEGO civilisations inside a chilly bin or a minifigure music festival inside a guitar! Full competition details are available at

Museum Membership provides unlimited free entry to RELICS: A New World Rises, discounted event tickets and access to exclusive Member-only events. Find out more at:

RELICS: A New World Rises
Wednesday 29 May – Sunday 13 October 2024
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum
Adults $21, Children (5-15) $11
Family (2 adults, 2 children) $58
Concessions (students, seniors) $19
Free for museum members
Tickets on sale from Tuesday 21 May


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