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As earthquake-prone cities, Christchurch, Wellington, and Sendai, Japan share common ground through recent experience. These cities are now looking to build earthquake resilience and create ‘resilient cities’. But how do we create stronger communities, and what is the role of art and urban design in building these cities?

Shared Lines: Wellington brings artists already affected by earthquakes to the capital to encourage new discussion. It is a week-long series of art displays, talks, performances, and workshops, with artists from Japan, Christchurch and Kaikoura sharing their experience, knowledge and work in building resilience alongside the business and city planning sectors. The programme seeks to ‘earthquake strengthen’ the Wellington arts community.

Artist talks and panel discussions were held at Adam Auditorium (City Gallery Wellington) on Tuesday evening, 17 October, and an exhibition and many other events  at Thistle Hall Gallery, upper Cuba Street.

Three Japanese artists have been invited to exhibit alongside Christchurch,  Kaikoura and Wellington based artists. Yasuaki Igarashi’s major public artwork Sora-Ami: Knitting the Sky will be installed at Wellington Waterfront Lagoon. With the increasing number and severity of natural disaster and humanitarian crises faced by towns and cities around the Pacific Rim, we need to discuss and respond in ways that see the community work alongside the decision-makers in emergency preparedness, disaster relief and rebuilding efforts. Engineers, property developers, architects, city planners and decision makers are invited to participate in panel discussions with artists.

Shared Lines emerged out of the earthquake events that devastated Canterbury, New Zealand, and Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Shared Lines is now an established collective of artists and art producers that aim to promote artistic exchange between cities and use art to build resilient cities.

Shared Lines: Wellington is the second major project run by the collaborative. The first being a highly successful two-stage art exchange between Sendai, Japan and Christchurch following the natural disasters of 2011 in the two cities. It developed into 5 exhibitions in Sendai and Shiogama, Japan and in Christchurch and Queenstown, New Zealand with over 50 artists contributing to the shows and forums. Wellington artists who resonate with the upcoming event will team up for a Christchurch based collaboration next year. Shared Lines Collective aims to make Shared Lines an international biennial event.

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Article by Stephen Olsen

Shared Lines: Wellington 2017 Artists

With Special Thanks to:

Produced by Linda Lee, Co-ordinated by Audrey Baldwin, Kim Lowe, Adrienne Millwood, Aya Takada and Andrew Paul Wood. Design by Matt Moriarty and Canyon Creative. Production Assistant: Sophie Petelaud. Intern: Lucy Stronach. Volunteers: Sheldon Ming-Wong, Leila Morad and Nat Sibbles. 

Sora-Ami Install: Goldfish Creative, Dean Edgington and Shane Norrie. 

Thanks also to Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram, Helen Kirlew-Smith, Kyla Cresswell, Emma Kitson, Gaby Montejo, Jason Muir, Jeffrey Paparoa-Holman and Henry Sunderland, for their input.

Shared Lines: Wellington was umbrella-ed by the Wellington Independent Arts Service.

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