TEZA 2013

Life after TEZA and why we should still make things – Kim Lowe

A concept that was raised during the TEZA week on more than one occasion was that we should no longer be wasting resources on making things. As a printmaker, I have been mulling over this dilemma.

Certainly we should be reducing our footprint, being efficient with resources and looking for healthier alternatives. I would argue however, that the majority of people who have chosen to live the life of an artist have done this already. An arts career comes with its own sacrifices, mostly financial. The visual artists I know all live very modest lives, they re-use everything, have just a few tech things to get them by. They have already de-teched and downsized by getting by on less through the choices they have made.

The commodification of art is one of the few ways that the trickle down theory actually works. The few artists who manage to make a living from selling their work in NZ have been working consistently for a long time, have supportive patrons and/or may have tapped into something fashionably unique. Good for them. These guys should be respected for their resilience. They are helping to bring in extra money into an industry that is reliant on public funding. And more often than not that money gained gets invested back into the arts community, or spent on necessities like food and kids clothes.

We makers are treated a bit like cash cows with people constantly asking us to donate works for fundraisers. I don’t mind this as it’s a good way to connect with projects I like, and people get to see what I do. Art Beat curated and organised by Warren Feeney is an example of this with makers working along-side the doers, visual art sales helping to fund a project that will bring visual art and music, performance, interactive and thought-provoking work into the Christchurch central city.

We need more creativity not less. Also more beauty. I want my eyes to sing. Our house is cracked and falling apart and sinking – eventually it will get fixed, I have kids so we live in a space with clutter everywhere. I like things on the walls because I can look at those and not see how disorganised my daily life is. They are works from friends that have passed on, mementos of projects I’ve been involved in, works from art-school friends whose careers are still rising or from those who no longer make art, or just interesting works that I have purchased. It’s great having them around. I find my kids staring at them which is a wonderful thing. They make me think about process and context. And because they are well made pieces they will last for decades. I’ll have no need to redo the decor as I can just dust and re-arrange them saving resources in that way.

On Monday last week the Creative Quarter was a hive of activity with volunteers cleaning up the site and having a bbq. By Thursday it was deserted and Brighton was back to quiet streets and the usual few souls mostly not wanting to engage. On Sunday both Callum and Ren turned up to take their stretch class but they missed each other by 5 minutes and there were no other takers. The streets are quiet but the TEZA free wifi is still working. To keep the TEZA momentum going and the spirit of optimism alive a group of us have decided to get together to make things keep talking art and issues.

Te Urutahi said that when it comes down to it all, we are just stardust. So if you think of it like that we aren’t actually making more stuff, we are just re-arranging what is already there. Hopefully the kids will get into it too and get off their screens.

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TEZA 2013

#11 Roger Bays in the caravan

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On the Friday of TEZA New Brighton photographer Roger Bays wanted to project images he had taken of the surrounding creative work surrounding the TEZA site. Tim Barlow set him up with a bioplastic screen to reverse project onto the Positive Directions Trust’s caravan window. Here are a few images. A commentary and more images can be found on Roger’s blog:  http://rogerbays.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/teza.html

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caravan track copyright 2013 roger bays

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TEZA 2013

#10 Images of He Maamaa Whenua

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Rain during TEZA week saw the light sounding of Kura Puke and Stuart Foster’s He Maamaa Whenua (sound carrying lazers) occur as a finale to the event over the nights of Sunday-Wednesday 1-4 December. Frequencies of karanga were sent through light. Here are some images shot by Kaliya Ward at New Brighton Pier to the horizon and on the Port Hills near Castle Rock. Sound was also transmitted from Sumner Hills to Spit Reserve to a tree, in an area  sinking in saltwater.

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TEZA 2013

Echo Architecture – between the CBD and New Brighton

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TEZA 2013, Transmission

#9 Final Day: TEZA – The New in New Brighton

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Our final day theme was Put the New in New Brighton, a day of bringing everything together with our friends to facilitate our departure and lay the ground for the project’s legacy. Above Kura Puke adding to a collaborative mural addition.
Suitably, then the day began with the assembly of a new barbecue.
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 And the arrival of a nicely timed Facebook contribution from Dan Arps of Lawrence Shustak’s design for a geodesic dome to cover Brighton circa 2000.
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Lunch saw a large group gather for the launch of Kerry Ann Lee with Kim Lowe’s Alternating Currents New Brighton zine, the culmination of three discussions during the week and contributions from the local ‘migrant-settler’ community and local museum.
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Local muralist Pops invited us to contribute to a nearby wall. Nathan Pohio added colour to a representation of Sonic the Hedgehog.
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The BBQ  got cranking.
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And – clearly having got the message we wanted people to take things into their own hands – a group of local kids held an inaugural Stretch Club out on the pavement with the extended TEZA whanau.
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We then gathered for a discussion on The New. We considered both the challenges and opportunities for New Brighton in the wider context offered by having visitors from many places together. About the only person who didn’t speak was new arrival Richard Arlidge – he was too busy taking these photos.
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Kim Lowe, Sorcha, Tim, David and Kim Paton.
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Tim Barlow, Kim, Ali Bramwell and Richard Bartlett
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Phil Tekao, Kura Puke, John Kirby and Pops.
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Rebecca May, Renew Brighton.
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Phil Dadson
Our visit concluded with an emotional poroporoake as many new friends said goodbye, and started to turn towards their homes.
Images: Mark Amery and Richard Arlidge.
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TEZA 2013, Transmission

#8 Day Five: Saturday: Lets Bring Art and People Together

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Saturday saw TEZA spread its physical boundaries, with activity occurring in three different places at once. Whilst the New Brighton occupation continued, following a Friday hui at Tuahiwi School in Kaiapoi led by Nathan Pohio, Priscilla Cowie and Ron Bull Jnr and our ‘What Does Occupation look like’ discussion, the Kaihaukai food exchange project saw Ngai Tahu gently reoccupy Market or Victoria Square in the Christchurch CBD. Set on the Okataro/Avon river, this was once a marketplace, fed by the gardens at Rapaki, where we were welcomed on Sunday. One of our crew spotted a big fat tuna lazily swim up the river as he crossed the bridge to the nearby Pallet Pavilion.
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Kaihaukai began with an enriching mihimihi full of stories of kai gathering (Simon Kaan and Ron Bull Jnr above). Vivian Russell recalled how back in 1970 much of their food came from the local awa.
Back at the beach the giant wall occupation in the mall that culminates The Freeville School project was celebrated with an opening at New Brighton Market, with words from local councillor (and former Freeville board chair) David East and  a participatory performance by Random Acts of Music.
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Here are artists David Cook and Tim J Veling with David East and Sophie Jerram
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The production team Bayley Corfield, David Draper, Hannah Watkinson, Tim and David.
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Mark Harvey worked with the children on some productive work. Today he also canvassed locals on what they wanted to see improved locally and provided these to Councillor East.
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Parents and children from Freeville continued to visit their work throughout the day.
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Back at Market Square TEZA participants reported eating one of the best lunches ever. It included whitebait fritters (caught locally), paua from all over, cockles from the peninsula, titi from down south, tuna from Kaiapoi and a cross-indigenous collaboration stemming from the first iteration of Kaihaukai in New Mexico – titi and corn stew.
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Chef Ron Bull Jnr cooking tuna and mussels with help.
River sticks were painted (pictured below Kiri Jarden), harakeke weaved and there were a number of other art workshops. As part of the Local Time project Nathan Pohio brought spring water from Kaiapoi.
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Kaan and crew had asked guests to bring nonperishable food so this could be then taken back with us to New Brighton to the food bank, and we went away with boxes.
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Back at camp Phil Dadson held a music making workshop with Coca Cola bottles sourced from the Sustainability Centre at University of Canterbury in the morning.
The Norwester got up, leading to Te Ao Marama’s skirts being rolled up to provide yet another change in this work.
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We also helped Heather Hayward shift Picture House to a stunning location under the New Brighton Pier.
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As the wind died the Bicycle Choir rode out in the golden evening light, followed in a car by an intrepid camera crew.
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They sounded out with their voices the beachfront, supermarket car-parks and suburban streets surrounding the mall. We got a round of applause from Poto Williams and her team as we passed the Labour Party HQ, just ahead of the news that she’d won the local by-election.
Here are a couple more images from the far end of the TEZA hub in the Creative Quarter, New Brighton. The walls in the CQ and surrounding area are surrounded by a huge range of mural works and provided a suitable setting for a stimulating evening discussion about the relationship between art and community. The first half of the conversation was dominated by the arts fraternity, the second the community.
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As if hearing the call a group of musicians and drummers took over Te Ao Marama, and the light work AIO created a cone over it.
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Others wandered in between, down to Heather and Tessa’s work at the pier, and the pub.
Images: Gabrielle McKone, Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram
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