Also written by Cheree Ridder
Cheree Ridder / 17 Feb 2022
Cheree Ridder / 13 Dec 2021
Awaken the Taniwha! Shared Lines Collective invite the public to come together this summer to create, responding to new and existing collaborative artwork, highlighting new ways we are working together in Aotearoa in light of the impact of Covid - following our need to connect better with our environment and each other.
This work currently made by 60 artists currently wraps the Te Ngākau Civic Square Buildings
This can be viewed in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington 24/7 for summer 2022 and beyond.
Awakening the Taniwha - Taniwha Creatorspace
Open for Drop in’s & Small Group Workshops
106 Courtenay Place, Wellington
Drops in’s welcome - 11:30 am - 7:00 pm Wednesdays - Sundays from 19 February to 6th March 2022
Small group Bookings avail until March 13th or beyond - Bookings at www.sharedlines.org.nz
Pūtahitanga began during the first Covid-19 Lockdown in 2020. Linda Lee crafted instructions for an exquisite corpse that would later see 60 artists contribute to a 72-metre-long collaborative whole. Amidst lockdowns and restrictions, Shared Lines Collaborative’s Pūtahitanga connected artists nation-wide with art supplies and each other to continue collaboration despite isolation. Lee is the Creative Director of Shared Lines Collaborative.
Shared Lines Collaborative itself began with the earthquakes that devastated Canterbury, New Zealand, and Fukushima, Japan in 2011. The now established collective of artists and art producers remains strongly motivated by the use of art to develop resilience. Artists are used to being adaptable in marginal conditions, are often the first to act after a disaster to help the healing, and contribute to the lasting web of a community – in these changing times then, art remains a powerful resource.
First shown in Christchurch from October 2020 to April 2021, Pūtahitanga now wraps around the civic buildings in Te Ngākau Square in Te Whanganui-A-Tara. It can be viewed anytime by the public, with original art works available for drop-in or scheduled viewings at 106 Courtney Place.
The word Pūtahitanga can be translated to mean a joining place, and the 72 metre artwork itself contains 59 joins. As a body of work, Pūtahitanga strengthens connections between artists and communities from across all regions of Āotearoa at a time when personal well-being, civil rights and livelihoods remain challenged. Though our nation remains divided geographically, politically and emotionally, art offers a space to unite and share experiences without judgment.
In the shadow of Tangi Te Keo (Mount Victoria Lookout), Linda Lee’s pop-up maker space Awakening the Taniwha brings the Surrealist exquisite corpse mode of collaboration to tell the tale the taniwha of Te Whanganui-ā-Tara - Ngāke and Whātaitai. Used as metaphor for Covid-19, the pandemic, the vaccines, the mandates, protests and much more. Taniwha are supernatural creatures who inhabit rivers, lakes, caves or the sea - some are terrifying, others protective. Many were said to have accompanied our Polynesian ancestors to Āotearoa. Taniwha are our ancient guide to resource management and perhaps offering us a new way to navigate our understanding of pandemic.
At the maker-space, 106 Courtney Place, you are invited to make your own taniwha through various mediums: master carver Natanahira Pona, weaver Frank Topia and artists Ngaroma Riley and Linda Lee and have provided a variety of resources. The space provides a reading and conversational/writing and digital media room for sharing perspectives and a weaving space while an exhibition will include viewings of the 60 Pūtahitanga artists original artworks.
Drop by to weave, read, draw and learn about taniwha, why tupuna held them in such high esteem, and how we can maintain relationships with them today. Small Group Bookings for the space are preferred an people can book these in via www.sharedlines.org.nz
We hope to provide a multi-sensory experience for visitors through our space to inspire thinking about the importance we play in kaitiakitanga or collective guardianship.