Expressions Big Event: Ten years of Expressions
Expressions Big Event: Ten years of Expressions
To celebrate their tenth birthday, Expressions are opening their doors and throwing a big party. ‘Expressions Big Event’ runs Saturday 28 September and will feature something for everyone. There will be live music from local legends Upper Hutt Posse, Lisa Tomlins and Wayne Mason as well as performances by Wellington School of Music jazz quartet The Troubles, The Ukulele Institute and other local acts. Joining the line-up is is Upper Hutt’s own X Factor Star Maaka Fiso. Soul singer Maaka Fiso has been active in the music industry for 10 years and last year sang on the soundtrack for the Kiwi film Two Little Boys starring Bret McKenzie and Hamish Blake. Also featuring will be Newtown Rocksteady who wowed audiences at this year’s WOMAD festival with their 12 piece reggae and jazz fused sound. Throughout the building Expressions will be filled with circus acts, artists in action from the Upper Hutt Art Society, children’s crafts and face-painting to create a hive of activity. Visitors will also be able to get creative with The Imagination Playground, a unique creative play scape where kids and build and play, and to record the moment have their photo taken with The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth. All for free!
It’s especially pertinent that Wayne Mason joins Expressions for the day, as he performed at the opening of the building ten years ago. Mason, keyboard player with the Fourmyula, wrote ‘Nature’ in 1969 and in 2001, New Zealanders voted ‘Nature’ as new Zealand’s top song. Fourmyula, which was from Upper Hutt, established itself as the most creative and energetic local band of its day. Twenty years later Upper Hutt Posse formed, also local legends. Renown as the progenitors of Hiphop music in the South Pacific Upper Hutt Posse originally formed as a four piece reggae group in 1985, and soon Posse emerged at the forefront of the local response to emerging rap culture. Their unique fusion of rap and reggae (in both English and Māori languages) has been an inspirational force in the national music scene, and a powerful vehicle for their revolutionary socio-political perspectives. Also from Upper Hutt and making major waves internationally is Lisa Tomlins. For over a decade now, Lisa Tomlins has been one of the well-loved singing voices of Wellington and Expressions is thrilled to have her in the line-up. Her unique blend of soul and Jazz has seen her playing with Rhombus, Fat Freddy’s Drop and more!
In celebration of the Steinway concert grand piano that Expressions houses, visitors will be able to have a turn on playing the Grand in the Genesis Energy Theatre. Visitors can book by calling 5272168 or by putting their name down on the day. Each ‘player’ gets a unique 5 minutes in the spot light to ‘tinkle the ivories’ and play the star! As a special treat for a family who visits Expressions Big Event they have a complimentary voucher to be won for free return travel with the Interislander for 2 adults, 3 children and a vehicle, valued at over $600. All visitors need to do is come to Expressions Big Event, grab an entry form and fill in the correct answer to two Expressions questions to go into the draw to win. There will also be spot prizes.
In association with the 10 birthday there will be two feature exhibitions; Papa Tipu an exhibition by Wi Te Tau Taepa and sons, and Johnny Fraser-Allen’s The Gloaming. Papa Tipu opens especially for the 10th birthday and acknowledges the connection of father and sons, Wi Te Tau Pirika, Ngataiharuru and Kereama Taepa, to the place and people of Upper Hutt. The exhibition will feature work by all three artists ranging from pottery to vinyl installations. Curator Chriss Doherty-MGregor explains that the exhibition is not only a celebration of three renown artists from one Upper Hutt based family, but also provides an insight into Upper Hutt as a family orientated community where the arts are encouraged and fostered amongst its people. “Expressions was built from the ground up, by the community, over the last ten years. Papa Tipu acknowledges this family focus and the fact that Expressions is a place for all the community’.
Sitting alongside Papa Tipu is a unique exhibition featuring the work of Weta artist Johnny Fraser-Allen. The Gloaming is an immersive exhibition of dynamic, heavily detailed sculptures including faeires, dragons and goblins. Weta Workshop's senior sculptor and conceptual designer Johnny Fraser-Allen has created over 40 sets of sculptural portraits designed to transport young and old alike into the world of fantasy. Each figure, or set of figures, is based on Eurocentric and Pacific mythological creatures which fire the imagination. “My goal” says Fraser-Allen, “is to make the fantastical more realistic for kids, as well as inspire adults to imagine the stories that surround them. They are so much part of my own life I could write a small thesis on each one of them”. Each sculpture occupies its own specially-made plinth for ease of viewing, and the exhibition is complemented by 53 digital illustrations which extend the imaginative process. Director Leanne Wickham says of the 10th Anniversary that “the whole of Expressions will be alive with creativity, reflecting what we are all about.”
11am – 3pm
28 September – 1 December 2013
Johnny Fraser-Allen’s The Gloaming
17 August – 28 October 2013