Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Johnson Witehira – hot property on the streets of Wellington

Johnson Witehira – hot property on the streets of Wellington


Johnson and artwork

Johnson Witehira’s artwork hits the streets of Wellington for the second time this year. This time Witehira, supported by the Wellington City Council, is bringing Waituhi: a street art project, to this year’s Matariki festivities – gracing the wall of Opera House Lane.

For Johnson this project is another chance to bring something Māori into the urban landscape. “Often I find myself standing on a Wellington street and I’ll be hard pressed to see anything Māori. Street art is a great way to reach the public and being able to put my art out there means I can bring it to the people.”

The Land of Tara, is the latest exhibition to appear in the Courtenay Place light boxes. Later this month Johnson will be working with the Wellington City Gallery to create a typographic artwork for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Then he’ll be producing works for The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, in response to Hone Tuwhare's poem, We Who live in Darkness. Wellington’s Lux Festival has commissioned Johnson to produce an artwork to be projected on a huge scale. Recently, his work was also displayed in Times Square on 34 billboards across three days.

All up, Witehira has five different projects running during July and August in Wellington.

“His work is high impact, accessible and proudly asserts our cultural history,” says Katie Taylor-Duke, Arts Advisor for the Council. “Witehira’s proposal for Waituhi was a thoughtful interpretation of the brief. He clearly addressed the project objectives and came up with a design that responded to the site – both to its geographical past and to its contemporary evolution as a busy laneway.”

Before working on the design concept Johnson spoke to local Māori authority Liz Melish on her thoughts about the site, its significance to Taranaki Whanui ki te upoko o te Ika, and the themes.

“My design for this project synthesizes ideas from the three key themes – the site and its significance, matariki and kaitiakitanga – into a captivating visual narrative.”

Opera House Lane was identified as a good site for the mural because it has an interesting past – once part of the shoreline that bordered Te Aro Pā and a place for gathering kai (food) for local iwi. It’s also prone to graffiti, and has been undergoing an upgrade to make it safer and more accessible.

This is the first time a street art component has been included as part of the Matariki festival. The aim of the project is to take the festivities and theme of Matariki to a wider audience – beyond the spaces of the galleries, to enliven a culturally rich part of the city with a new artwork that may challenge or humour viewers and that will give them a sense of pride in the spaces they occupy.

“I’m a huge fan of a number of street artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Aotearoa’s own, Askew1. Though I create the design, the work will come together with the help from many people including other artists and friends, and those behind the scenes at council who will help with the production. Maybe it’s a Māori thing, or being part of a big family, but I like working like this. You never feel like all the pressure is on you because there is so much support.”

Johnson begins work on Waituhi in Opera House Lane starting 28 June, when Pleiades – the Seven Sisters constellation – is visible.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news