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Friday, 26 April 2019 11:41 am

Fraser puts a face to the ability of artists, not the disability

Art in action: Fraser Hoffe puts the final touches on one of his pieces.

ART IN ACTION: Fraser Hoffe puts the final touches on one of his pieces.

THE face behind the I’m an Artist posters appearing throughout Wellington is the capital’s own Fraser Hoffe.

The I’m an Artist campaign organised by Art Access Aotearoa and funded by Ministry of Social Development aims to change perceptions about art and disabilities.

Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, says the campaign focuses on the ability of the artist, not the disability.

“All over the country there are people being marginalised because of their disability,”.

The nationwide campaign takes on a different theme in each location, to promote the individual artist and linking them to a community based creative space.

Mr Hoffe attends Vincents and Pablos creative-spaces art gallery five days a week, both located in Wellington Central.

The creative spaces are part of the Art Access Aotearoa scheme which provides a place for people who experience barriers to participation in the arts.

Art Access Aotearoa has five creative spaces in Wellington- Mix and Dudley Arthouse (Lower Hutt),Vincents Art Workshop, Pablos Art Studios and Alpha Art Studios (Wellington city).

The Wellington theme focuses on mental-health issues, and was launched to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

I'm an artist: Fraser Hoffe features on posters placed around Wellington.

I’M AND ARTIST: Fraser Hoffe features on posters placed around Wellington.

Mr Hoffe, who has struggled with homelessness and depression, was selected to represent Wellington due to his “positivity and inspirational behaviour”, says Mr Benge.

Mr Hoffe, who says he has always been creatively minded, became involved with the creative spaces five years ago, when he was living rough in the bush.

“The council evicted me, and in the pile of pamphlets they gave me was an Art Access pamphlet. It was then I realised I was no longer an emotional athlete and put my life in the hands of others,” he says.

Through the use of the Wellington creative spaces, Mr Hoffe says he has found his reason for living, and art keeps him stable. He describes his art as intriguing, playful and emotionally evocative.

“I can only hope through my art I give people freedom, a different way of experiencing things,” he says.

Mr Hoffe recalls his first work which sold for $15, and says he then realised what was possible.

“I want to earn a living through what I love, creating art and inspiring others. Life is wonderful when I create.”

Vincent and Pablos creative spaces are open to the general public Monday to Friday. Works by local artists are on display, including pieces by Mr Hoffe.

The I’m An Artist campaign is running for five weeks across the country.

The five artists and their creative spaces featured on the posters are:

•Allyson Hamblett, a visual artist and media assistant at Spark Centre of Creative Development, St Luke’s, Auckland, has cerebral palsy.

•Kamini Nair, a visual artist at Sandz Studio and Gallery in Hamilton, has an intellectual disability.

•Michael Krammer, a dancer and tutor with Jolt Dance in Christchurch, has autism.

•Tanya Faiva, a visual artist at Studio2 in Dunedin, has a physical disability.

•Fraser Hoffe, a visual artist at Vincent’s Art Workshop and Pablos Art Studios in Wellington, has lived experience of mental illness.


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is a Whitireia journalism student who takes a keen interest in anything and everything, particularly cats.
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