A new exhibition opening date has been confirmed for the launch of the Creative Manaaki Tohorā Community Art Installation project. In partnership with Kiwibank Paraparaumu, the exhibition will be unveiled on Friday 23 September, opening the Creative Manaaki Design & Arts Festival.

Commemorating the 30 year anniversary of Kāpiti Marine Reserve and journey making of the tohorā, this Creative Manaaki community art project is an opportunity to evaluate the ongoing impact of waste on our oceans by upcycling found items into a 10m art installation.

Phase 1 involved collecting waste and recycled materials and organising ten community workshops facilitated by creative director, artist Hamish Macaulay. With the support of the Guardians of Kapiti Marine Reserve donating waste fishing net and buoys and sacks of waste from beach clean ups, and Waste Free Kapiti donating clean filled plastic waste from Otaihanga Recycling, as well as Harvey Norman donating large boxes and members of the public donating waste paint and plastics, the project got underway in November 2021.

Artist Hamish Macaulay demonstrating how to make endangered sea creatures.

Workshops were held at the Level 2 Covid setting at Paraparaumu School with Year 2 and 3 students and at Kapiti Art Studio where artists who face participation barriers to the arts can express themselves creatively and connect with others. Public workshops were also held at Orange and Red Covid settings including friendly Sunday afternoon neighbourhood workshops in Waikanae with older adults. Unfortunately, the two workshops planned for Kapiti Food Fair diverting waste from landfill on site were unable to be held, due to the event not going ahead and with with rising community Covid transmission earlier in 2022, the project was paused for three months.

With a return to Orange, we are now recommencing the project and for the last two workshops, now being scheduled for July, attendees will have the opportunity to paint and ‘blend’ the 10m backdrop and make the final tohorā! We’re looking for many hands to help us bring the ‘making’ to a close. Please let us know if you are keen to be involved. You could be a business wanting a free and fun team activity with staff, a group of friends or individuals keen to help out your community. Either way, it will be will be rewarding to see your contribution as a large art installation!

The visionary behind the design and installation is artist Hamish Macaulay, who has twice previously exhibited with Creative Manaaki with artworks made from recycled objects. Unfortunately, Hamish has lived with Covid disrupting his exhibitions since early 2020, when he was based in London and over night, all his exhibitions and therefore the previous year’s work, were cancelled. Returning to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021, his painted recycled MIQ food bags were exhibited in Kiwibank Paraparaumu in a solo exhibition in the Art for Everyone programme, before being acquired by Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand for their national collection.

Tohorā Creative Director, Hamish Macaulay.

In Phase 2 of the project, Hamish will bring the various elements together in five panels to be installed in the gallery space. Accompanying the exhibition will be large detailed maps and other educational resources provided by NIWA and the Guardians of Kāpiti  Marine Reserve. 

The exhibition will be in place for two months, enabling school visits in Term 4 and in Phase 3, will tour to business and community spaces including schools, to continue the conversation about the effects of human behaviour and the small and large things we can do to reduce impact on the Kāpiti Marine Reserve. 

How can you help

We are grateful to the Sculpture Symposium Trust, Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board and Kapiti Creative Communities scheme for part funding of this project. We are seeking sponsorship and donations for the remaining $2,500 to complete Phase 2. This is a high profile project with good exposure and many collaboration partners. Your support will be noticed, and appreciated.