A large-scale community art project featuring well-known New Zealand artists is underway in Naenae.
The Naenae Pool Community Art Project will see a series of murals created along the front of the Naenae Pool building, which faces onto the Hillary Court retail area. The pool was closed in April following concerns about the performance of the building in a significant earthquake, and this is one of several projects and activities Hutt City Council is involved in to support the community while the pool is closed.
This project is part of a wider community engagement project which gets underway later this month which will include many ways the community can collaborate to consider a future vision for Naenae town centre.
Four artists have been commissioned to work with the local community to produce an art work each on the theme of ‘Past, present and future Naenae’. The artists are Chevron Hassett (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu) Ruth Robertson-Taylor, Sheyne Tuffery and Tina Rae Carter. The artists were selected for their experience working with communities, their established mural art practice and their history of painting murals in Lower Hutt. A vacant shop in Hillary Court will provide the artists and community with the ideal space to create the artworks.
Chev, who has lived in Naeane most of his life, is leading the creation of the first mural.
“I’ve been working on many projects nationally and internationally, and I am excited to ground myself back home, to where it all started. Grandad grew up here, my Mum went to school here, this is our home. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to work within my community on artwork that expresses that connection,” says Chev.
Resene and Mitre 10 MEGA Petone have generously sponsored this project, providing necessary supplies required for the community and artists to complete these artworks.
The Naenae Pool Community Art project is being facilitated by Pippa Sanderson, Hutt City Council Community Arts Advisor, with the involvement of many people in the Naenae and arts community.
“These collaborative art works will help to revitalise Naenae, bring colour and vibrancy to the area, as well as providing an incredible opportunity for members of the community to work alongside talented artists,” says Pippa.
Local schools have been approached and five have started on their murals, with other Naenae schools keen to be involved. Council is supplying boards and paint to the schools as they are ready to start painting over the next few months. Council will also be inviting the Naenae community to work alongside the artists.
“We’re thrilled that these artists have committed their time to this project. It’s well known that murals have social, cultural and economic benefits to spaces and communities. Murals cut down graffiti, increase foot traffic and make a place feel cared for, and that’s what we want for the Naenae community,” says Melanie Laban, Divisional Manager Community Projects and Relationships.
The murals are underway and will be installed from now until December 2019. When it’s time for the murals to come down they will be offered to the schools and community groups involved in their creation.
There are a number of projects and activities underway in Naenae. Find the latest updates as they happen, and join the conversation at www.haveyoursay.huttcity.govt.nz/naenae. Download the Naenae Pool Community Art Project Community Information Pack
Naenae Pool Community Art Project Mural Artists:
Born in 1994, Lower Hutt, Chevron is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Pākehā heritage. He holds a Bachelor of Design (Hons) from Massey University, Wellington (2016). In 2017, he was awarded the Ngā Manu Pirere Award from Te Waka Toi and Creative New Zealand. Chevron is an artist and writer who works in a variety of forms, with an attention to upholding Tikanga Māori (principles) and Kaupapa Māori (ideologies and topics). Recent exhibitions include A Place TŪ Be, Courtenay Place Lightboxes, 2018 and The Children of Māui, MEANWHILE Gallery, 2019.
Chevron is the current Wellington City Council Visual Artist in Residence at Toi Pōneke, which will result in an exhibition this coming November inspired by his home of Naenae.
Gorse (Ruth Robertson-Taylor) has been actively painting public murals for nearly 10 years in the greater Wellington region. Working collaboratively with councils and communities, she shapes narratives that encapsulate the spirit of each art piece’s location.
Her mural aesthetics can differ greatly from one to the next, like the strikingly bold, visual vibracy of the Wellington on a Plate collaboration, to the airy, whimsical energy of the Karori commission public mural. But like all good public murals, each piece responds to the space and community they sit within.
Gorse often works with different artists to co-create large collaborative artworks. Currently, she is undergoing a Masters in Fine Arts at Massey University and working on multiple public murals in her local community.
Gorse is a multidisciplinary artist from the dynamically diverse Porirua, New Zealand, a place which greatly influences her creativity. She lives with her husband, two children, and their dog, Basil.
Tina Rae Carter
Born in the Wairarapa. A painter for the last 20 plus years, with experience in Art Direction for film, and large public art. Travelled the globe for at least 11 of those years.
Regular participant in the ‘Adam Portait Awards,’ with touring exhibitions. Group/solo shows at Aratoi, And with ‘MainArtery’ at ‘Expressions,’ and other venues in the Wairarapa and greater Wellington area.
Art Schools ‘Whitcliffe School of Fine Arts’ Intro course
‘University of New Mexico’ Summer Semester (fine arts degree course)
‘Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’ 4 years Dip Vis Arts
Based in Wellington, Sheyne is a multi-media visual artist whose primary mediums are painting, animation and printmaking.
Sheyne founded and directed LeSa Gallery in Petone from 2007 and 2012, an important dealer gallery for Pacific artists.
Perhaps best known for the dynamic style of his prints and woodcuts, Sheyne describes himself as a paper architect who uses his work to create and represent his own cultural context and sense of belonging. His prints and paintings often envisage Polynesia as a futuristic urban utopia. In these re-imaginings, the Samoan fale acts as the symbolic archetype for skyscrapers and apartment housing while the vaka stands in for rocket ships. These works reflect Sheyne’s research into his Samoan heritage and symbolism, his travel wanderlust and his taste for big overseas cities. They also reveal ongoing influences, such as the world of fantasy, comics, and cartoons, which add a sense of immediacy and humour to his subject matter.
Sheyne received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from AUT in 1995 and his Masters of Fine Arts (honours) in 2000 from The University of Auckland. Since graduating, Sheyne has received a number of awards, residencies and commissions. His works are held in many public collections in Christchurch, Auckland, Washington DC, Michigan and Bethlehem. He has exhibited extensively in NZ and internationally.
While a substantial amount of his own energy has gone into researching and conceiving the contemporary significance of the fale and the vaka, Sheyne now adds ornithology (birdlife) to his inquiry and visual lexicon. In 2006 Sheyne was awarded an artist residency at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Christchurch, where he spent time looking at the ancient birds of New Zealand and Samoa. The works in his 2006 solo exhibition Misplaced Effigies featured giant palaeo-penguins and the mythical moa roaming alongside classic car models. In addition to his fascination with New Zealand’s geological history as a natural sanctuary for a vast array of bird species, Sheyne also draws on his own associations to Samoa. Looking for manumea is a series of woodblock relief prints that focussed on manumea, a large tooth-billed pigeon found only in Samoa.