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

No Charges: Outcome
Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area.

Following a lengthy and complex investigation, charges are not being laid by Police at this time regarding 8 incidents involving 7 victims and 5 suspects. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news