A Taonga for the Community
“I feel so artistic right now,” a small girl declares as she paints the wall and narrates her artistic vision to her dad.
In a room with the staples of seasoned artists with fresh ink curated by those curious to follow the chalk signs on the footpaths of Newtown. Ink builds on worlds of others, and we each start our own masterpieces, filling in the gaps with vivid and bright bold strokes of paint.
There’s a distinct joy when you get to do something that you’d normally not be allowed to - and in doing it, you don’t necessarily have to be ‘good’. There are strange cats, tags, activists in full creative force, and a few happy accidents all on the way. I take my time, swapping soft pink swirls, fully living my artist fantasy.
Newtown Community & Cultural Centre (NCCC) is getting a reno, so they’ll be out of the building for a whole year. Over the weekend, Art Jam was a tasty departure treat leaving a sweet aftertaste of ka kite anō e te whānau.
Art Jam truly repped ‘support local’ and is an installation with personality, flair and fun. The whole community centre is transformed. I wasn’t too sure what we were in for, but my friends and I were blown away, as were the crowds that flowed in and out over the weekend.
Crab creation by Dan Ross in the gallery space. Photo: Courtney Rose Brown.
Newtown Youth Programme, School Holiday Programme. Photo: Courtney Rose Brown.
It was an exciting exploration of a space that I’ve only been in a few rooms of before. At NCCC, I’ve had meetings and rehearsals, heated up some leftovers and chatted with friends, but there’s something uniquely thrilling about getting to see all the nooks and crannies of a staple of a community. I particularly loved discovering the tucked away reading nook with old editions of zines, some mood lighting and bean bags.
The work was curated yet unique in approach - a wide perspective of those based in the community of Newtown which really put a stamp on the quirkiness the suburb is known for.
Stencil work by Laura. Photo: Courtney Rose Brown.
It was a fun sticky mix of political, experimental and vulnerable pieces. A few lemons for laughs, teddy bear picnics and a time and space to get your creative juices flowing.
The weekend was a taonga for Wellington. A snapshot of local lives and perspectives in 2021 with live music and events, a living breathing time capsule. As the NCCC settles into its temporary home on Green Street, what the community experienced was a one-off celebration.
Art of Frequencies of the Abyss by Anthony Sims and Aleksandra Glumac.
Keep your eyes peeled for The Big Idea’s Events page for other gems.