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Tape Art & Poetry at Frankfurt Book Fair

Manatū Taonga/Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Media Release
October 4, 2012

Tape art and poetry set to wow the crowds at Frankfurt Book Fair

A larger-than-life collaboration between tape artists Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby and poet Kate Camp will greet hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, where New Zealand is the guest of honour.

The “Tagträumer/Daydreamers” project will see a 12 by 5 metre mural, created entirely from blue masking tape, covering the Stadtbucherei (the central library) in Frankfurt.

Poet Kate Camp will write, read and publish poems based on the mural as it develops.

The mural and the poems will be inspired by the public whose portraits in tape will appear in the mural, and whose donated words and ideas will be incorporated into the poems.

“This will be a living, growing artwork,” says artist Erica Duthie. “Like a fairy tale forest it will grow up magically over the five days and then vanish overnight.”

Duthie and Ashby developed their tape drawings as a playful form of street art that exists only in the moment. The works are always removed within 24 hours of completion.

The pair has produced their massive wall artworks in the US, Korea and recently on the outside of Wellington’s Te Papa museum.

“We love being inspired by people we meet during the day and incorporating them into our work,” says Struan Ashby.

The project is the first time the pair has collaborated with a writer.

Poet Kate Camp, who has held the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writer’s Residency since September 2011, is looking forward to the public collaboration, in contrast to the private work of writing poetry.

“Having inspiration bouncing back and forth, not just with Erica and Struan, but with all the fair visitors, will be amazing,” says Camp.

“With people from over 130 countries coming to the fair, it really is going to be like something out of the Arabian Nights: so many languages, so many cultures, so many stories.”

The Tagträumer/Daydreamers project is supported by the Goethe Institut, Wellington, Publishers Association New Zealand, Denis and Verna Adam through the Adam Foundation, Icebreaker, and the New Zealand embassy in Berlin.

Photos, videos, and poems will be uploaded daily to

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