Pūtahitanga draws on the surrealist tradition of ‘exquisite corpse’ where each artist contributes an element as part of a collaborative whole. Pūtahitanga is a word that can be translated to mean a confluence, junction, joining place, or convergence.
Beginning on 25 March, as the Alert Level was moved to Level 4, putting Aotearoa into a nationwide lockdown, Shared Lines concocted a plan to enable artistic collaboration throughout this time of uncertainty.
The project aims to strengthen connections between artists and communities through New Zealand’s regions and cities at a time when many are feeling isolated and livelihoods have been put under stress.
Producer Linda Lee together with Audrey Baldwin and Amber Clausner selected sixty New Zealand artists to help craft a 35-metre long ‘river’ of an artwork, Pūtahitanga. The resulting artwork celebrates new ways artists are working together in light of recent Covid-19 impacts, responding to a country moving between Covid alert levels.
In Christchurch, Baldwin facilitated the enormous work’s installation in the foyer of the new Spark building in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square which is on display from September - December 2020. At the same time the work will tour nationwide on a digital billboard campaign throughout October 2020, complimenting an online exhibition which can be seen at sharedlinesputahitanga.co.nz
Shared Lines foster relationships and discussion between communities around the Pacific Rim that have experienced disasters. Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga is an opportunity for New Zealanders to come together, and collectively reflect on the Covid-19 pandemic and hope for a speedy global recovery.
Read the beautiful essay A Shared Body of Water by Mark Amery
With special thanks to Doc Ross, Mark Amery, Shea McKenzie, Poppy Serano, Lawrence Wharerau, Matt Moriarty and Kim Lowe.
Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga detail (2020) Della Rees - left, Hannah Phillips - right
Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga contributing artists
SLC would like to thank the following for their support for Shared Lines Pūtahitanga: