Community art projects

Victory Primary School in Nelson Whakatū has put together an Art Trail which features Rerekētanga Diversity, an art work created in collaboration with Te Papa.

Rerekētanga Diversity represents the cultural diversity of the Victory Community as well as the multiculturalism of New Zealand as a whole.

Back in 2010, two Discovery Centre Hosts travelled down to Nelson to work together with over 100 tamariki (students). Together we discussed themes of immigration and identity. We talked about where people might have come from, and for what different reasons they might have had to leave.

We had workshops of various sorts for the duration of the stay, learning about means of travel, vessels of all kinds. We discussed symbolism and how we could use this in our collaborative art work. We took photographs and cut them into pieces to make new images. All these ideas were then used in the large scale mural.

The mural itself is a multi-layered work, a montage of photographs, illustrations, text and symbols. It shows a make believe map of a world floating on a background of a dark blue mass of water. The landmasses all have different themes, telling stories about the reasons for travel both through conversations in collaged speech bubbles, as well as through photos and images. A hybrid person silhouette jumps out of the work, as if to suggest the beginning of another journey.

The three layers of the work also represent journeys of people, cultural diversity of a place, and new beginnings together. The map is beautifully framed by some of the students’ painted self-portraits.

This was a very special project for Te Papa to be a part of, and Victory Primary were such a creative and inspiring school to work with. Rerekētanga Diversity was on display at Te Papa for two years and related to the Mixing Room exhibition which at the time had recently opened in Te Papa’s Community Gallery on Level 4, and is still on display now.

Rerekētanga Diversity is now featuring in the ‘Victory Community Art Trail‘ along with lots of other cool community art works from this area. This art trail has recently been put together for Victory community, and will be part of their Matariki celebrations this year.

It’s really inspiring to see what other collaborative and creative adventures the Victory community gets up to through this art trail. Toi tū te mahi!

See Rerekētanga Diversity and other art works in the Art Trail (PDF)

Kimberley Gustavsson, audience engagement facilitator

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