When was the last time you imagined doing another job, being another person? When was the last time you even had a chance? Who would swap their lives with someone else for a day?
Six Porirua residents ranging from MP Kris Faafoi to a year ten student from Mana College, that’s who.
A group of adventurous people have taken up the offer of becoming an artist for a day, swapping with artist Ash Holwell for his art project Ako Ako: A Roleswapping Adventure. It is part of a major public art programme from producers Letting Space, TEZA: Transitional Economic Zone of Aoteraroa running 21 to 29 November in Porirua.
In return Holwell is taking on the roles of Member of Parliament for Mana (Kris Faafoi) ; a factory floor worker (Eli Apinera, from Aspiring Walls); a not-for-profit company CEO (Tracy Wellington of Kiwi Community Assistance); a student from Mana College; and a volunteer at Wellington Riding for the Disabled (Shay Green)
During five days of the event the Whangarei based artist will be covering the roles of these Porirua residents, so they in turn can make creative contributions to the local community.
“Everyone plays an important role in the making of a community, no matter what they do,” says Holwell. “The work tries to respect that by asking people from all walks of life to teach and share with me their roles.
“Sometimes it’s not until we are asked to teach something to someone that we realise the value of our knowledge, and I want to share that privileged position with people who might not necessarily get that chance too often.”
The local residents taking on the role of artist will do so with the support of the TEZA community, which offers the possibility of collaborating with other artists, initiating projects that will live on in Porirua, and experiencing the role of creative contributor in their city.
“I’m asking if we are valuing everyone as much as we could,” says Holwell.
Updates on the swaps and interviews with the participants will be on display in a project space at the rear of another TEZA project, Sharemart at 10 Hartham Place, Porirua and through the Letting Space Facebook group.
The schedule for the role swaps is:
Monday 23rd November – Kris Faafoi. MP for Mana
Tuesday 24th November – Eli Apinera, Aspiring Walls
Wednesday 25th November – Tracy Wellington, Kiwi Community Assistance
Thursday 26th November – Year 10 student, Mana College
Friday 27th November – Shay Green, Wellington RDA & Pataka regular
For more information contact: Helen Keivom 027 258 4251
Image: A young Ash Holwell roleswapping with a fireman.