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A Fully Immersive Experience For The Deaf Community With The Boon Sculpture Trail

SCULPTURE EXTRAVAGANZA: Tuesday 20 February 2024

EVENT DATES: Saturday 3 February — Sunday 31 March 2024

Kirikiriroa Hamilton's Boon Sculpture Trail is designed to provide new opportunities for storytelling — linking existing artworks via a fully accessible walking or biking trail, with new eye-catching temporary installations. This latest festival adds to Hamilton City's vibrant calendar of summer events, helping attract local, national and international visitors.

Whilst sculpture trails are nothing new across the motu, Boon Sculpture Trail has been built with a strong collaborative, community and inclusivity kaupapa. With this in mind, free walking tours are being offered in English, Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic, across the full two months of the trail. Hamilton is home to over 160 unique ethnic groups, who add to the rich, deep diversity of the region, and the arts and culture community. So providing these free tours were non negotiable for trail organiser Nancy Caiger and her team.

With NZSL being one of three national languages in Aotearoa New Zealand, the desire to include a tour for the deaf community made absolute sense. So early last year, Nancy met with Equal Voices Arts' — award winning Deaf and hearing international theatre and arts company — Manager/NZSL Creative Rāhera (Rachel) Turner, to see how their collaboration could be taken to the next level.

The Equal Voices Arts team, including Rāhera and performer Cian Parker, made invaluable suggestions which were implemented into the overall Boon Sculpture Trail offering. Not only did they create a promotional video for the NZSL free tour on Saturday 2 March — which you can book via www.eventfinda.co.nz — they also recently created translation videos for each artwork. These have been made available on www.boonarts.co.nz/bst and on the Equal Voices Art YouTube channel, for anyone unable to make the tour.

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"With NZSL, Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can fully and equally enjoy access in art and culture areas and they can grow their mana and creativity, that gives the way for them to enter into the art world." Thora Huebner, NZSL translator.

Nancy's vision for Boon Sculpture Trail visitors is enhanced by curator Claire Ulenberg’s selection of artists and artworks, which is engendered to spark critical thinking, and inspire and stimulate questions. She believes art has the power to transform, awe and transport everyone to places we may have only previously imagined.

Boon Sculpture Trail is the sculpture extravaganza you don't want to miss. Check it out across Hamilton Central, until 31 March 2024.

For more information and to view their calendar of events, head to www.boonarts.co.nz/bst and follow @boonartshamilton on Facebook and Instagram.

© Scoop Media

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