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NZ's only performance art festival launches 2018 program


Organisers of New Zealand’s only performance art festival, run out of local Wellington art spaces through mid-November, launched the festival programme over the long weekend.

Performance Art Week Aotearoa (PAWA) is in its second year, bringing artists and performers from across the world and New Zealand together with audiences to deliver workshops, performances and discourse.

Curator and founder Sara Cowdell says there’s just nothing else in New Zealand quite like it.

“I was inspired to start the festival after living overseas, in places like Seoul and Berlin, where I saw performance art transforming cities and culture.”

“Coming home to New Zealand I felt stifled as an artist - no one was talking about performance art and, for me, it seemed totally vital that New Zealanders get to experience this kind of artform.”

Performance art is a practice of combining art with movement and physical expression, says Cowdell.
“I’m really excited to be launching this festival for the second year running - it’s chance for us to come together as artists and showcase work to the public which is challenging, engaging, and at times, quite confronting”, she says.

“Our hope is to see performance artists and participants leave this event with new ideas, a deeper understanding of performance art as an art form, and a more connected sense of community.”

Performance Art Week Aotearoa runs from November 14th-18th out of two Wellington venues - play_station gallery and thistle hall, where Cowdell says organisers will be holding daily free breakfasts, morning rituals, workshops and discussions, alongside a diverse programme of performances and exhibitions.

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