Matariki partnership a success
Being asked to use his artistic talents to showcase Taumarunui’s biggest Matariki Winter Festival was a humbling experience for local artist James Cannon.
Interpreting an idea requested from Hiraina Tarawa of Te Waka Pu Whenua, Cannon didn’t hesitate to make the brief.
Using two sheets of plywood, paint, LED strip lighting and recycled computer hard drives, seven tiki were created.
Powered by a 12 volt car battery, the installation stopped onlookers in their tracks as the tiki illuminated the night with different colours.
‘‘It’s one of my bigger pieces and it’s very modern and funky
‘‘I think the tiki emblem appeals to all and it’s easily recognisable and I’m really pleased to do these things.
‘‘It was quite technical. I’d done stuff I’ve never done before. It’s all a learning curve.’’
It took 14 hours to design and 125 hours to finish. The finished works stand two metres high.
Cannon was able to get his children to help which made the project more meaningful.
This was the second project he had used light so working out the technicalities was a bit of a challenge.
Overcoming the nerves and exhaustion Cannon had his project lit up ten minutes before the official opening last Monday.
‘‘When they (lights) fade in and out it was amazing. It worked really well.
‘‘It’s cool I did something for the town. I’ve always wanted to.
‘‘I’d love to make a permanent one for the town.’’
Te Huapae o Matariki Winter Festival was a combined initiative between Te Waka Pu Whenua and Enterprising Taumarunui Inc.
Tarawa approached a lighting company in Auckland to do the light trail which was funded by Te Puni Kokiri and Community Art Funding Scheme.
‘‘It was a special moment to see whanau out with their kids.
‘It grew bigger from a Matariki event to a Taumarunui event.
‘‘It’s about rejuvenation, new beginnings and it’s about acknowledging our tupuna who have gone and acknowledging those who have been left behind.
‘‘We’re here to look after our whenua, look after each other.
‘‘That’s the whole concept of Matariki, whanau, community, unity.’’
The committee will meet up again this week to discuss the future of the event.
July 4: Police assisted Ambulance with a patient. A noninjury vehicle crash was attended by National Park Police on SH47. Advice was given in a dispute between a tenant and a landlord and later a female was removed from an address she had been trespassed from. A water blaster was taken from a shed on Ruapehu Cres’ and a verbal domestic incident between drunk parties was attended.
July 5: In the early hours of the morning a domestic incident was attended and National Park Police also attended a domestic incident. Later in the day another domestic incident was attended and a drunk female walking in the middle of the road was taken home.
July 6: Police attended an incident between a house owner and her boarder. A driver lost control of his vehicle on the wet road and crashed into a bank North of Owhango.
July 7: Two domestic incidents were attended. A male was arrested for a breach of a protection order and a vehicle slipped off the road on the Lairdvale extension.
July 8: A domestic incident that turned physical was attended. A disqualified driver was caught driving and had his vehicle impounded.
July 9: Another domestic incident and two females were arrested for fraud.
Hiraina Tarawa, artist James Cannon and Ngarau Tarawa.