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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 08:04 am

City housing tenants display artistic talents

ARTISTS won’t be the only ones working at Toi Poneke, where Wellington city housing tenants are showcasing their hidden talents.


ARTISTIC: Katherine Field at Toi Poneke.

Wellington’s own Toi Poneke Art Centre has been a supportive addition to the capital’s art community having provided galleries for emerging artists, dance and music studios and overseeing the fringe and comedy festivals.

Approaching its fifth birthday, Toi Poneke is unveiling Complex Creative, a show dedicated to the city’s housing tenants and displaying almost 100 works from the group.

Katherine Field, manager of Toi Poneke, says this is the perfect opportunity for a “marginalised and isolated group” to show their stuff.

“It may not be fine art but it’s their own amazing work,” says Field.

The Wellington City Council-funded centre opened the exhibition last week, bringing in the public and emerging artists to view the tenants’ unknown talents.


ON SHOW: Artist Gypsy Blu with his work.

“Intrigue will bring people in,” says Field, who has accommodated many groups much like the tenants to have their work displayed and also provided spaces for the groups to create.

“We have a group of book binders coming in to use the centre,” she says. “This is community based and we feel obliged to support.”

The housing tenants came to the centre with the idea, and Toi Poneke offered its expertise and support.

The centre has recently added a space called The Hub to its list of services. Field says The Hub will be the perfect space for groups and individuals to network and run information sessions.

“Artists have access to the computers and a comfortable environment to discuss projects and ideas,” she says.

The works are handpicked by Katie Duke and Field, who run a “tag team” organisation making sure the tenants have the help and resources needed to perfect the exhibition.

Complex Creative will run for three weeks and the works will then be either kept by the tenants or sold, with 75 per cent of the proceeds going to the artist.

“It’s not just about the money. It’s about an isolated group having the opportunity to display their work and have satisfaction knowing they did it,” says Field.

* Toi Poneke Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith St, Te Aro.

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