19 Mar 2018

Whānui-Tūhono for Auckland Arts Festival was a month long multi-generational visual arts collaboration project. We partnered with Upper Harbour Primary School on the north shore of Auckland & designed a project that aimed to tūhono (connect, link & bond) the people of the local community together through creativity.

Stories of immigration to Aotearoa & how they arrived to the local area were shared by teachers, parents & a great-grandmother whose passion is rescuing injured birds. Their experiences & journey were then translated into imagery after a series of workshops with the chosen students who took notes & visual cues to create their pieces. Over a series of painting sessions they each painted onto a triangle chosen because of the niho-taniwha design that is a series of those shapes clustered to represent community. Those works were then included into a larger design & became a collaboration work with ourselves including the Tui who features in the surrounding bush.

The reveal & ceremony brought community together. Food was shared, creativity celebrated, smiles were big & people were now understood. Our goal was to ensure that the people connected to the Kura in some way would feel that a bond was created & friendships were created. We are sad to see the project end because the students blew us away but we will be visiting. Thank you to the staff, Mr Cowie & Mike the caretaker for having us. To Noma, Angela & Amo from the festival for trusting & supporting us, the work is available to be viewed anytime so pop past when you are around! Thanks for the photos Raymond Sagapolutele 






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