Dragon team puts bod­ies on line for funds

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS - By RHIANNON McCON­NELL

Whitby res­i­dent Ngawai Richard­son’s torso tells a story of brav­ery, loss and peace.

Now the 63-year-old has had her story put per­ma­nently into art.

Richard­son and eight other mem­bers of the CanSur­vive Dragon Boat Team of Welling­ton have cast their tor­sos in plas­ter, along with Welling­ton mayor Celia WadeBrown and ac­tor Mi­randa Har­court.

All up, 16 BraveArt pieces will be auc­tioned next month to raise money for the team to com­pete at the In­ter­na­tional Breast Can­cer Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val in Florida in Oc­to­ber.

For many peo­ple, even the thought of hav­ing their body put per­ma­nently into art is enough to set nerves on edge, but Richard­son said she didn’t mind.

‘‘ I think by the time you go through all this and have chil­dren it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter,’’ she said.

‘‘It has been an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. A lot of fun and a lot of hard work.’’

While most of the women were as­signed an artist, Richard­son asked specif­i­cally for Jan­ice Neigh­bour, whom she has been friends with for 25 years.

De­spite hav­ing never worked with mo­saics be­fore, Neigh­bour was up for the chal­lenge.

‘‘I felt re­ally priv­i­leged that she’d asked be­cause she’s such a lovely lady,’’ she said. ‘‘This was an ab­so­lute joy to do.’’ Neigh­bour de­signed the piece with her friend’s Maori her­itage and love of the sea in mind.

Called Heal­ing of the Sea, it fea­tures paua, fine net­ting and feathers.

There is one cheeky part to the art­work, a nip­ple pierc­ing cre­ated from an old ear­ring.

‘‘She was the only one that asked for that,’’ Neigh­bour said.

Richard­son, a Mana real-es­tate agent, said she was very pleased with how it turned out.

‘‘I think it was just a lit­tle bit of re­bel­lion fac­tor in it.’’

Richard­son was first di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in 2003 and then had a full mas­tec­tomy on her right side last year.

‘‘I don’t know if I’m used to it re­ally.’’

Richard­son’s mother also had breast can­cer, but she was 40 when her breast was re­moved.

While she has be­come at­tached to her torso mould, Richard­son is happy to be sell­ing it on to a good home.

A se­lec­tion of the tor­sos will be avail­able for view­ing at Pataka from Au­gust 4.

The 16 tor­sos will be sold to the high­est bid­ders at a live auc­tion event at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Gallery on Au­gust 21.

Mas­ter plasterer Paul Stan­ton, of Car­rara Ceil­ings in John­sonville, cre­ated the casts.

He has also worked on his own piece for the auc­tion, show­ing a man and a woman, with Maori carv­ings rep­re­sent­ing the woman’s ill­ness and the man’s role as sup­porter and fam­ily care­giver.

The team is try­ing to raise $150,000 for the Florida trip.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.