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Show explores Pacific flavour

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LIGHT SHOW: Sophie Keyse is inviting the public to an exhibition celebrating the diversity of Manukau.Times photo Wayne Martin.

• Howick and Botany Times

A COLLECTION of artworks never before displayed in public is being unveiled.

The more than 20 pieces comprise the Manukau Legacy Collection and are on show at Uxbridge, Howick’s creative centre.

Tenei a Wairoa (This Place) features works by a variety of artists across a range of media. It’s seen as a snapshot of the artistic development of the area between 2003 and 2010.

It includes painting, sculpture and photography by a high-profile list of people including Fred Graham, Fiona Pardington, Emily Karaka and Michael Illingwood.

The works were once owned by the former Manukau City Council and now belong to Auckland Council.

The former council recognised the abundance of creativity in the area and in 2003 it began collecting the best works from its many centres and artists.

One goal of the exhibition is to reinforce the area’s multicultural nature.

It’s hoped by focussing on work influenced or created by Maori or Polynesian artists, a new perspective will be provided on living in Manukau and what it means to be from “this place”.

Sophie Keyse, Uxbridge’s former curator, hung the show but has since departed these shores to take up a position as a cultural ambassador at Venice Biennale, which runs until November 27. The 26-year-old says the Howick exhibition takes on added importance because of where it is from and what it represents.

“It’s very significant in that it is for and about the local community,” Ms Keyse told the Times.

“There will be scenes locals will recognise, as well as names of prominent members of the artistic community.

“The collection is a valuable resource for the area to reflect on our artistic legacy. I felt it was important to focus on what makes this part of Auckland truly unique.

“I hope locals enjoy seeing some familiar works, as well as locations and events from the area, in this exhibition.”

The display is overseen by Uxbridge’s new curator, Emma Topping, who brings a wealth of experience to her new position.

“This show will be interactive, so people who come along will be able to decorate their own pieces to contribute to it,” she says.

“We’re hoping they will take inspiration from some of the works and respond in their own creative way.”

Tenei a Wairoa (This Place) was opened last Thursday at the arts centre at 35 Uxbridge Road, Howick, by former Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis. It runs until October 4.


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