From the 16th - 23rd February 2019 Shared Lines Collaborative hosted a series of events in Kaikōura for and with the community effected by the 2016 Earthquake. This week-long programme included international artist in residence, Yasuaki Igarashi, workshops, participatory theatre, exhibitions, artist talks, a symposium, a street festival and much more. Shared Lines: Kaikōura (SL:K) aimed to engage the coastal town in a myriad of art forms with the intention of highlighting the role of art in building resilient, inclusive and vibrant communities. The festival pursued this goal by facilitating creativity, social engagement and a community-wide discussion of creative aspirations for the future.
Sora Ami, Image courtesy of Dan Kerins
The Shared Lines Kaikōura festival opened with a traditional group art exhibition. The salon hang showcased over 100 works, with artists hailing from Wellington, Christchurch, Japan, Australia and Fiji as well as Kaikōura. The exhibition also provided a backdrop for the Shared Lines: Performing Arts evening, which saw new works from Louie Zalk-Neale, Fantasing & Audrey Baldwin, alongside comedy from Shay Hooray and spoken work from local poet Steve Gill.
We welcomed Japanese artist Yasuaki Igarashi to Aotearoa for a month-long residency, where he worked with the community to make a large-scale public installation. Sora Ami (Knitting the Sky) saw him teaching locals a traditional Japanese technique for making fishing nets.
Tying into the notion of collaborative making and learning, Audrey Baldwin’s Shared Snood offered macramé making lessons to passers-by. The sharing of stories, experiences and teaching of a new (if retro) skill brought people from different backgrounds together in a relaxed environment.
TAWK hosted a number of events, providing insight into the community and a much-appreciated central hub for many of our artists and producers. Linda Lee and local community leaders facilitated pepeha and raranga workshops, while sharing new skills with our own visiting artists and allowing a deeper understanding of the history of Kaikōura.
Image courtesy of John Lake
The art trail brought a variety of works out of the gallery and into the street. More than 18 businesses hosted sculptures, paintings and prints for the duration of the festival.
Kaikōura Museum hosted an open symposium, facilitated by Wellington based arts producer; Mark Amery, which opened up discussion and debate around the role of art in community
Slam Club hosted a poetry night which allowed young first-time performers to join seasoned stage veterans. Internationally acclaimed Tusiata Avia brought both tears and raucous applause while queer narratives came to the fore with words by Khye Hitchcock and Jennifer Shields.
Binge Culture’s multi award-winning performance, Whales called audience members to action in order to help save a pod of beached ‘whales’ and guide them back into the ocean.
Jason Muir also brought his playful and disarming work, Kaikōura Kutz, south. Punters caped up for a free haircut and chatted about their relationship to their communities, culture and politics in the public sphere.
The festival's finale was kicked off with the Pie in the Sky team's bike parade, a white whale, paper-skinned and lit up, was flanked by flashing, glowing bicycles, scooters and prams in a surreal procession from the Pier Hotel to the Memorial Hall.
Louie Zalk-Neale, 'Stranding' Performance, Image courtesy of Jennifer Shields
During this week, multiple methods, materials and approaches were undertaken, all with the same aim - to bring arts to the fore as a method of connecting and empowering people and communities. The manaakitanga of the Kaikōura community provided fertile ground for visiting artists to share their ideas and engage in exchange, discussion with locals. The outcome was the beginning of a wider sense of the value that the arts brings to a community - especially one still in recovery.
In early March of 2019, Shared Lines Collaborative bought the Shared Lines: Kaikōura Arts exhibition to Christchurch. The second iteration of the SL:K Art Exhibition was held at the Old Cheesemongers in the Arts Centre from the 8 - 17 of March.