Cre­ativ­ity shines on world stage

Kapi-Mana News - - POLITICS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Porirua and Tawa cre­atives had a su­perb year, with many mak­ing a splash on for­eign shores in their cho­sen fields.

In Oc­to­ber, Porirua dancer Kirsten Ocampo trav­elled with Wellington’s In­fi­nite hip-hop crew to Ser­bia, where they were crowned the world’s best.

Tawa hor­ti­cul­tur­ist Bay­ley Lu­uTomes ex­hib­ited his gar­den artistry at Hamp­ton Court Palace Flower Show in April, hav­ing won stu­dent of the year at Eller­slie in March.

Tawa bal­let dancers Olivia Har­ris, 14, and Jemima Scott, 12, per­formed at the Al­bert Hall in Lon­don as part of the Dance Proms. Jemima will spend much of 2014 in Mel­bourne in the Aus­tralian Bal­let School’s de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme.

Closer to home, teen bar­ber­shop singers again stunned judges at na­tion­als in Septem­ber, with Aotea and Tawa col­lege quar­tets and cho­ruses tak­ing most of the coun­try’s hon­ours.

Ti­tahi Bay pho­tog­ra­pher Bil­lie Brook won a Lis­tener mag­a­zine photo es­say com­pe­ti­tion in Fe­bru­ary for her portraits of a friend un­der­go­ing a sex change, en­ti­tled Sam Sam but Dif­fer­ent.

Pukerua Bay au­thor Gil­lian Can­dler’s field guide At the Beach was nom­i­nated in the non­fic­tion cat­e­gory of the New Zealand Post Chil­dren’s Book Awards. It later won the Elsie Locke medal in the Lianza awards, voted for by the coun­try’s li­brar­i­ans. A se­quel, In the Gar­den, was pub­lished this year.

Another home­grown best­seller was Pau­ata­hanui: A lo­cal his­tory, which sold hun­dreds of copies at its launch in Oc­to­ber. Other no­table Porirua books this year were Gay Hay and Mar­garet Tol­land’s Watch Out, Snail!, Adri­enne Jansen’s The Score, and many self-pub­lished books un­der de­signer Stephanie Drew’s wing, in­clud­ing Cap­tain Cook’s Dis­ci­pline and Cross Creek Re­turn.

In the­atre, Aotea Col­lege deputy head boy Corey Fuimaono won a Sheila Winn Shakespeare act­ing award in April for his por­trayal of Othello.

It was a mixed year for Porirua Lit­tle The­atre, which staged suc­cess­ful pro­duc­tions, in­clud­ing Cal­en­dar Girls and The Witches of East­wick, while fac­ing con­tin­ued un­cer­tainty about its fu­ture.

High­lights for Mana Lit­tle The­atre in­cluded The Old Peo­ple Are Re­volt­ing in June.

In April, Aotea Col­lege hosted a run of Romeo and Tusi, an ir­rev­er­ent take on the Shakespeare clas­sic di­rected by Porirua woman Sasha Gibb.

Ti­tahi Bay jazz leg­end Rodger Fox cel­e­brated 40 years in busi­ness this year. Aotea Col­lege band Un­til Au­tumn staged their first na­tional tour, and for­mer Tawa Col­lege stu­dents The Whiskey Show made the Australasian fi­nal of the Global Bat­tle of the Bands.

Maori band WAI launched an acous­tic al­bum on Oc­to­ber 1, and Samoan-based Porirua mu­si­cian Lole Usoali’i-Hickey recorded her third bilin­gual al­bum in Oc­to­ber.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity poet Moe Nainai made waves on YouTube in May with her spo­ken-word poem de­fend­ing her home­town, Porirua.

High­lights in­cluded Auck­lan­der Niki Hast­ingsMcFall’s lei-cov­ered do­mes­tic scenes, In Flyte, in Fe­bru­ary. Auck­land artist Joseph Michael stunned in Septem­ber with his land­scape time­lapse videos Dark Cloud/White Light , and Wellington man Mur­doch Stephens got Porirua talk­ing with his Ira­nian refugee snap­shots in July.

Pataka hosted a refugee fo­rum in Septem­ber to com­ple­ment Stephens’ ex­hi­bi­tion, and a Me­lane­sian celebration in April af­ter stag­ing a huge ex­hi­bi­tion of woven bags and arte­facts, Bas­kets of Me­lane­sia. Other mem­o­rable ex­hi­bi­tions in­cluded Rob McLeod’s mu­tant Mickey Mouse paint­ings; portraits of Porirua great­grand­par­ents and chil­dren, Same Dif­fer­ence, and Tif­fany Singh’s prayer flag in­stal­la­tion in Au­gust.

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

World cham­pi­ons: Porirua dancer Kirsten Ocampo, cen­tre, won the world hip-hop cham­pi­onship in Ser­bia with Wellington’s In­fi­nite crew in Oc­to­ber. Left is coach Libby Calder, and right is dancer Jor­dan Malthus.

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Po­lit­i­cal pic­tures: Wellington artist Mur­doch Stephens staged a pow­er­ful ex­hi­bi­tion of Ira­nian refugee snap­shots at Pataka in July.

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