Happy birth­day

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Rock­ing up to its first birth­day, Palmy Rocks is cel­e­brat­ing with a spe­cial photo ex­hi­bi­tion.

The Palmy Rocks: We Are One ex­hi­bi­tion is to fea­ture the more than 18,000 pic­tures posted to the Face­book page over the past 12 months.

The na­tion­wide craze where peo­ple dec­o­rate, hide and hunt painted rocks started mod­estly in Palmer­ston North on Au­gust 14, 2016, with six friends and a Face­book page. Heather Knox and Kate Par­lane had been in­spired by an ar­ti­cle about the Kit­sap Rocks group in the United States.

‘‘Dur­ing the [Septem­ber] school hol­i­days, the idea re­ally took off,’’ Par­lane said. ‘‘Peo­ple just started shar­ing pho­tos of their rocks on the page. It was or­ganic, spon­ta­neous. We never asked them to.’’

There are now 7500 mem­bers of the rock group, and their pho­tos will be on dis­play for two weeks from Au­gust 13 in the Us.Stu­dio gallery on Cuba St.

‘‘Eigh­teen-thou­sand pho­tos – it’s pretty ex­cit­ing. You’re in­vited to come along and spot your rock,’’ Par­lane said.

‘‘When you look at all the pic­tures, you re­alise just how many peo­ple are do­ing them,’’ Knox said.

Palmy Rocks has spawned more than 60 other groups around the coun­try, as well as in Aus­tralia and the United King­dom.

The dec­o­rated rocks have found their way across the US, while Knox even had an in­quiry about start­ing a group in Kiev, Ukraine.

A rock adorned with one of her small brown ki­wis ended up in Cape Town, South Africa.

‘‘I got a re­ply that said ‘for a wee flight­less fel­low he’s done quite well’,’’ Knox said.

‘‘Peo­ple get dif­fer­ent things from it. There’s the com­mu­nity and so­cial side.

‘‘There’s get­ting out and ex­plor­ing city parks with your kids, and the paint­ing cre­ative side.’’

There had been busi­ness and mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies of­fer­ing prizes and re­wards to those find­ing their rocks.

Par­lane said there were plans to have a rock swap trad­ing post there for any­one who had rocks at home ‘‘col­lect­ing dust’’.

Sup­ported by the City Coun­cil, Palmy Rocks: We Are One launches at 2pm on Au­gust 13 at Us.Stu­dio, 188 Cuba St, and will be open be­tween mid­day and 2pm daily from Au­gust 14 next week un­til Au­gust 27.

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

Palmy Rocks co­founders Heather Knox, left, and Kate Par­lane.

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