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UCOL Lecturer Connects Street Art With Local History

Whanganui’s vibrant arts community came to life last month with Lights on Bikes making its return.

Celebrating the newly launched Drews Avenue streetscape, locals flooded the event with art, lights, music, and performances. UCOL’s Design Foundation and Practical Lecturer, Cecelia Kumeroa, worked together with artist Jodi Clark to create a part of the streetscape, connecting street art to local history.

The event, supported by the Government’s Innovating Streets fund, aimed to boost Drews Avenue’s status as the hub of Whanganui’s creative community.

For Kumeroa, it was a great experience working with artist Jodi Clark and painters Si Omer and Dan Mills to bring their idea to life. The overall project was managed by Ellen Young (Town Regeneration Centre Manager) along with support staff Emma Morris. The streetscape designer was architect Ben Mitchell-Anyon.

Talking about what influenced her work, Kumeroa explained, “We initially drew inspiration from our favourite artists, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Camille Walala, Buck Nin and Gavin Chilcott to name a few. Our local Whanganui mana-whenua designs were integral to the design process. We also drew some ideas from the surrounding architecture.”

UCOL students Leon Tait and Teresa Mayer were a part of the Lights on Bikes event. Creating animations as part of their ‘moving image’ project, they were the talk of the town.

“Students had been working on developing this since last year as part of their project in class. They set up their projection station on UCOL’s Whanganui campus and conducted a series of tests over two nights and the result was spectacular - I’m very proud of them,” says Bronwyn Paul, UCOL Campus Manager - Whanganui.

Kumeroa also coordinated an outdoor projection event - ‘Pūanga - Māori Painters,’ featuring paintings by UCOL students Arama Tuka and Jody Edmonds. It also involved the work of local artists Maiangi Waitai, Natasha Keating, Naani Waitai, and Tapiri Pirikahu to name a few.

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