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Kapiti Mayor Asserts Her Identity

23 OCTOBER 2008


Paekakariki’s past gets in conversation with its present in a rather extraordinary exhibition set to take place on Paekakariki’s railway platform in the Rail and Heritage Museum and recently restored signal box, during this year’s Kapiti Arts Trail, November 8-9.

A Portrait of Paekakariki sees local artists provide portraits of other residents, in an exhibition curated in amongst the artifacts and taonga in the museum.
Well known portrait subjects include Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan, Fireman Ash Richardson, poet and bookshop owner Michael O’Leary, the first Paekakariki Ladies Surf Club Team, and editor of Paekakariki Expressed Don Polly. But in a true community art extravaganza the exhibition is also about recognising the quietest neighbour.

“The exhibition is not all head and shoulder portraits,” says one of the organiser’s, curator and Dominion Post art critic Mark Amery. “Many artists are challenging what constitutes a portrait, from installations in the museum to filmwork and photography. My portrait of mayor Jenny Rowan for example consists of her words held up by members of the community and hung on a washing line from the signal box, which she helped to restore. I’m excited about how all the artwork will interact with the museum’s objects and space.”

The work in the exhibition is for sale, and the exhibition is a fundraiser for a cornerstone of Paekakariki’s community, Paekakariki School. It’s also a chance to highlight the little Kapiti treasure which is the Paekakariki Rail and Heritage Museum which is crammed full of fascinating stories of Kapiti Coast’s past.

By holding the portrait exhibition in the railway station the organizers are also keen to encourage use of public transport during the arts trail, with the museum a gateway to other arts trail events in easy walking distance in Paekakariki.

The museum is run by The Paekakariki Station Precinct Trust and is located in the Paekakariki Station building adjacent state highway 1. During the arts trail it will be open from 9am to 5pm


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