Hutt at Heart

Carrie Burke – bringing art to Lower Hutt as a Kaitiaki

For most of her life, Carrie has fallen into roles. She first spent 10 years involved in lighting and sound installation industries before discovering her passion for art making. So in 2004, at 35 years old, she took the decision that changed the course of her life – she went to art school at The Learning Connexion. It was here that she figured out that it was making things that really made her happy.  She realised she was a sculptor of both large industrial and tiny delicate works. That ‘ah ha’ moment came when she first melted silver.

After the two and a half year course, Carrie started working for The Learning Connexion as an events co-ordinator and community liaison person.  She balanced the administrative side of the role out by tutoring evening jewellery classes.  While all this was happening, she learnt that art workshops helped breed resilience into people and she got a bigger kick out of helping someone else find their art inside them. “Creative practices help people find their inner resources and see things from a different perspective.”

In 2018, Carrie started working at Hutt City Council as Kaitiaki (the host or guide within the hub) at Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub. She wanted to work with her community and she felt that the Hub was giving people in the community an amazing opportunity to get involved in a range of activities. She drew on art and creative thinking in her role to add to this kaupapa.

Carrie has seen the value of creative experiences and how good they are for people. “It feeds the soul, supports good health and brings about aspirational ideas.”

‘Learn, connect and engage’ is her motto for working with her community.

Carrie was encouraged to take an opportunity recently to share her skills and talents with the Naenae community. She is guiding community members in the Naenae Pool Community Art Project which will see a series of murals created along the front of the Naenae Pool building. One day a week she works in the Hillary Court pop-up mural space, supporting people to explore their creativity through creating artworks that can be hung in the shop or taken away with them.

You can catch up with Carrie at Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub on Sundays to Tuesdays and Thursdays and in Naenae on Wednesday from 10am-5pm.

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.