Viva la Vida Fi­esta for Mex­i­can artist

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

It’s the Frida Car­load!. A con­voy of Welling­ton Frida Kahlo fans is turn­ing up in Palmer­ston North this Satur­day to take in the Frida Kahlo ex­hi­bi­tion at Te Manawa.

The Mex­i­can artist is revered the world over, and Palmer­ston North is the only place in New Zealand show­ing the in­ter­na­tional tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, Frida Kahlo: Her Photos.

Wait­ing and ready for the in­flux of vis­it­ing Welling­ton ‘Fri­daphiles’, which in­cludes a Frida Kahlo blinged-out bus and dec­o­rated cars, will be the Ge­orge St Viva la Vida (Long Live Life) Fi­esta.

A project by lo­cal artists and sup­ported by Ge­orge St busi­nesses, the pave­ment festival from mid­day to 4pm will add a Palmer­ston North artis­tic vibe to the oc­ca­sion, ac­cord­ing to Shaun Kay, one of the or­gan­is­ers.

The com­mu­nity ‘street es­capade’ will fea­ture live mu­sic, Mex­i­can food, Frida in­spired art, and an in­stant ‘se­cret gar­den’ in the space at 50 Ge­orge St, which will front a small blue play­house in hon­our of Casa Azul (the Blue House) where Frida lived in Mex­ico City, now a mu­seum and gallery de­voted to her works.

Artist Kirsty Porter says the play­house will be an ed­u­ca­tional site aimed at chil­dren with pic­tures and in­for­ma­tion about Frida inside. ‘I Paint My Re­al­ity’, a Snails: Artist Run Space ex­hi­bi­tion by seven lo­cal women re­spond­ing to the Te Manawa dis­play, graces the shop win­dow of Groovy­li­cious.

When the Welling­ton con­voy turns up in the Te Manawa carpark some­time around 1pm, its dec­o­rated ve­hi­cles will form part of the fes­tiv­i­ties.

Frida Car­load or­gan­iser, Welling­to­nian Jac Lynch says there will be prizes for the best cars.

A se­ries of posters fea­tur­ing water­mel­ons, a Frida Kahlo mo­tif, will mark the way for the visi­tors from Te Manawa to Ge­orge St, which will be decked out in hand­made bunt­ing, erected by the city’s Fire Ser­vice.

For the im­pe­tus be­hind the Palmer­ston North pil­grim­age and street festival, blame Face­book.

Jac thought she was just invit­ing 20 friends on the road trip but the post­ing went pub­lic, and as many as 200 Welling­to­ni­ans have so far signed on.

Shaun says in turn, the Face­book page prompted the Viva la Vida Fi­esta re­sponse from lo­cal artists.

He says the fi­esta may run for longer than 4pm with ‘‘a bit of a street open mic night’’ planned for af­ter­wards.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/ FAIRFAX NZ

Artist Kirsty Porter ar­ranges Frida Kahlo-in­spired pic­tures in the ‘I Paint My Re­al­ity’ ex­hi­bi­tion at Groovy­li­cious, part of this Satur­day’s Viva la Vida Fi­esta in Ge­orge St.

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