Au­di­ence joins in


Porirua’s hopes and dreams were on dis­play last week at Pataka as the pub­lic laid its soul bare for an in­stal­la­tion art­work.

Kaia Hawkins, one of five artists work­ing out of Bot­tle Creek gallery in Jan­uary for an Artists’ Stu­dio project, asked the pub­lic to re­spond to the prompt: ‘‘If I could change one thing’’.

Among the hun­dreds of post- it notes on the gallery wall were wishes for peace, clean rivers, and to bring back a loved dead son.

‘‘ My wife’’, one wag wrote, while a child wrote: ‘‘For ev­ery­one in the world to have enough money to buy food and a house.’’

Paekakariki-based Hawkins was keen to cre­ate an art­work that re­flected Porirua.

‘‘ I wanted to do some­thing peo­ple could par­tic­i­pate in, and I wanted some­thing the com­mu­nity could see each other with,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s really hum­bling ac­tu­ally.’’

Hawkins spent her time at the gallery weav­ing flax bas­kets and cre­at­ing a mir­ror mo­saic, but her main art­work on dis­play was a col­lec­tion of 465 tiny clay pots, each rep­re­sent­ing a day she spent with her fam­ily at a trou­bled Hawke’s Bay com­mune, Kotare Vil­lage.

The pots are dis­played to form a wave: one side rep­re­sents early days at the com­mune, and the pots pile into a tur­bu­lent wave as times got tough. Her move to Paekakariki brings a calm­ness once again.

Other artists cre­at­ing and dis­play­ing work at the Artists’ Stu­dio were Adele Q, who spe­cialises in col­lage and ae­rial pho­tog­ra­phy; pot­ter Stevei Houka­mau, wa­ter­colour por­trait painter Anita Mc­Gowan and Kay Paget, whose medi­ums in­clude wa­ter­colour, acrylic, pas­tel, and oils.

Cre­at­ing art in front of the cu­ri­ous pub­lic was an in­tim­i­dat­ing thought at first, Paget said.

‘‘The first time I was ter­ri­fied but I learned if peo­ple stop by your desk, they like what you’re do­ing.’’

The five artists have learned from each other and the pub­lic over the weeks, she said.

‘‘We were teach­ing each other, hav­ing a lot of fun. I learned so much about why peo­ple like art, why peo­ple buy art.’’

Art in ac­tion: Artists Adele Q, Kaia Hawkins and Kay Paget cre­ated and dis­played art in pub­lic at Pataka in Jan­uary. A high­light of the ex­hi­bi­tion was Hawkins’ post-it note wall the pub­lic cre­ated, on the theme ‘‘If I could change one thing’’.

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