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’’.