A series of ambulatory works
Walking about is a series of performative and participatory walks that travel across Auckland with Te Hau ā Uru – the West Wind.
The walks are artworks – guided experiences leading audiences and participants across Auckland – created by twelve artists: Suzanne Cowan, Vanessa Crofskey, Christina Houghton, Melissa Laing, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Andrew McMillan, Richard Orjis, Rosanna Raymond, val smith, Pita Turei, Layne Waerea and Becca Wood.
Walking about maps cartographies outside the everyday routes of transport. Its walks-as-artworks follow stories, pathways of the imagination and the senses, awa (rivers) and maunga (volcanic hills), uncovering the hidden trajectories of our urban and bush terrain.
Using seasonal and astronomical calendars the walks will spread across the year beginning in Mahuru (September) 2019 as the pīpīwharauroa begin to sing for spring and finishing in Aponga (August) as winter blows its last gusts.
Raumati | Summer : Pīta Turei | val smith | Suzanne Cowan
with Lusi Faiva
Join with performance artist val smith in four walk events that occur over two days coinciding with dawn, midday, dusk and midnight. queer walk-nap-walk-nap-yakyak-nap is an invitation into queer time, moving in relation to the multiple issues at play with each resting space, such as heteronormative and colonial layerings. Together we will move in intervals of dawdling, napping, taking breaks and chatting, paying attention to our co-experience of the passing of time. Holding space for the emergence of our queer social practices, queer walk-nap-walk-nap-yakyak-nap will activate anti-capitalist and anti-racist modes of being together, and deactivate the powers of straight time. We will move westward in relation to nonlinear logics of light, atmosphere and pressure present at sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight. Please bring a blanket.
Created with Lusi Faiva
Presented in partnership with Auckland Pride Festival
The Hauntology of Inheritance
Suzanne Cowan and Rodney Bell
Saturday 29 February, 2pm
Meet at Kitekite Falls car park
Glenesk Road, Piha
Through the work The Hauntology of Inheritance, dancers and choreographers Suzanne Cowan and Rodney Bell explore ideas of family heritage, the history of colonisation in New Zealand and notions of partnership. The Byers Walkway carries the name of Cowan’s ancestors and marks their role as early settlers in the Piha area. Through traversing the Byers Walkway together, Bell and Cowan interrogate the legacy that Pakeha have inherited in the 21st century and pay respects to Te Kawerau a Maki as tangata whenua of the area.
As dancers, Rodney and Suzanne both have the lived experience of disability which gives them a unique perspective on navigating and choreographing space. They ask how we honour our own desire to access the forest and be an active part of the lived ecology that surrounds us. With a particular interest in accessing Tane Mahuta, the deity of the forest, they invite us to attune to the environment and consider the role of self-care, kinaesthetic empathy, interdependence and intercorporeality (including the human and non-human).
We encourage you to bring prams and scooters and pack a picnic. We will share some food together at the end of walk in the picnic area of the walkway.
A shuttle van will be available from New Lynn train station and Te Uru in Titirangi on the day. Book van tickets and register for the walk at www.eventbrite.co.nz
Te Wai o Rakataura
Thursday 16 January, 7:30pm
Tēnā koutou katoa
Sadly we have had to cancel our planned walk – Te Wai o Rakataura – this Thursday evening.
The Tupuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority has advised us of their new protocols, that all events, of any scale, on any of the 14 maunga currently require a permit. As we acknowledge the Tupuna Maunga Authority’s role to manage the 14 maunga of Tāmaki on behalf of the 13 iwi/hapū of the Tāmaki Collective we are now undergoing the process of applying for a permit.
We will update this page once we have a confirmed date for a new event – we’re aiming for a Thursday evening in late February. We know you are eager to hear Pita Turei share with us how the taonga Pipitewai and Karioimutu dramatically changed the political landscape of Tāmaki Makaurau. We promise it will be worth the wait.
Rodney Bell (Ngāti Maniapoto) is a renowned dancer and performer. His artistic expression demonstrates elements of traditional Māori culture, and at the same time he’s continually seeking new ways to enhance his creative process. Bell’s performances express stories of truth and triumph and the odd love story. Bell has been dancing professionally since 1994 beginning as a founding member of Touch Compass Dance Trust, which is an internationally renowned physically integrated dance company based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo by Venessa Rushton
As an artist with a disability Suzanne Cowan reframes mobility as fluid, diverse and allowing for a multiplicity of experience in the landscapes that we engage with. Her career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in dance began 20 years ago with Touch Compass Dance Company in New Zealand and she continues to work with UK based CandoCo Dance Company.
Vanessa Crofskey is a Chinese/European artist who moves fluidly between poetry, theatre and contemporary art. Crofskey creates award winning and impactful experiences, taking home the 2018 Auckland Theatre Company’s Here and Now award the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival Fringe award and the Auckland Fringe Best Spoken Word award 2 years running. She is a staff writer for Pantograph Punch, using the platform to interrogate language, intimacy, architecture and swimming.
West Auckland based performing artist Christina Houghton takes audiences on sensory and exploratory walks. Her long running series Wild Walks have rambled through West Auckland using instructions and props to help people experience the wild wonder of their immediate environment. Her work reflects on the future impacts of climate change, emergency procedures and the idea of safety.
Melissa Laing is an artist, a writer and curator who explores the creative spaces between art, ethics and politics. Recently she has taken people on ‘boat dates’ on the Whau river, run a conversation group for Share/Cheat/Unite at Te Tuhi, written stories on riding the Western train line and building a boat for Pantograph Punch, and created a transmedia exploration of the history of the National Climate Laboratory in Palmerston North.
Photo by Pati Tyrell
Jeremy Leatinu’u creates works that consider the relationships between site, history, language and people. He has invited people to carry earth from Auckland City to Waiheke, used WW2 exercise regimes to respond to former troop training sites and stood in welcome at the arrival gate of the Auckland International Airport. His work has been included in the 2019 Honolulu Biennale, the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2017 Headlands Sculpture on Gulf.
Improviser, composer, and sound artist Andrew McMillan creates immersive audio experiences, live performances and soundscapes for theatre, film and television. He is a leading figure in the New Zealand improvised music scene, helping found Vitamin S, the Auckland based improvisation community, and playing an integral role in starting ‘Shameless Crowd Pleaser’, an interdisciplinary troupe of improvisors who explore interaction between their disciplines.
In the last ten years artist Richard Orjis has focused on creating participatory and experiential work. He has created hau ora gardens with AD Schierning, enabled people to walk through the treetops in Albert Park and explored the queer ecologies of our city. He basis his current practice on bttm methodology, an approach to art making, pedagogy and kinship driven by the tenets of connectivity, pleasure and sub-version. Orjis has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally in private galleries and public institutions.
Rosanna Raymond aka Sistar S’pacific is an innovator of the contemporary Pasifika art scene. As a long-standing member of the art collective the Pacific Sisters, and founding member of the SaVAge K’lub. Raymond has achieved international renown for her performances, installations, body adornment, and spoken word. A published writer and poet, her works are held by museums and private collectors throughout the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
val smith is a pākehā, non-binary, queer artist, educator, community organiser and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Their participatory performances investigate work investigates gender, sexuality, perception and participation through the forgotten and identity spaces of the city. Past performances have invited participants to contemplate site and identity through somatic and improvisational processes. val smith is a 2019 Arts Foundation Laureate.
Pita Turei (Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Ngati Paoa, Nga Rauru Kiitahi) comes from a background in dance and theatre. He produces and directs independent kaupapa Maori documentaries for television and film. Turei is known as a kawa advisor, storyteller and orator connecting a new generation with the ancient histories of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Photo by Liz March
In her videos, texts and performances Layne Waerea (Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngāti Kahungunu) blurs the lines between performance, activism and legal theory. As a former lawyer, Waerea uses her knowledge to humorously test the limits of the law through practices of artistic civil disobedience and paradigm destabilisation. Her work is based on exchanges, social actions and instructional invitations to participate such as the Chasing Fog Club (Est. 2014), a project to collectively document the ever elusive fog.
Becca Wood has been working in performance practices that slip between bodily, spatial and digital environments for the past 23 years. Previous works have involved participants as instructed performers exploring sites in response to pre-recorded sound tracks and spatial arrangements. To describe this practice she coined the term ‘choreoauratics’. It fuses choreography and sonic investigations with philosophies of listening, the body, place, digital technologies and sociality. Choreoauratic events intervene in public spaces, working poetically towards a recovery of the imperceptible and the disappearing.
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery is a regional gallery locally rooted in West Auckland but globally minded. We have a distinctive West Auckland focus but a national and international perspective. Through our programmes, we create a world stage for art that is relevant for our audiences, to put local art, artists and ideas in conversation and context with national and international developments in contemporary practice. Te Uru receives core funding from the Waitākere Ranges Local Board of Auckland Council.
Christina Houghton is an Auckland based performing artist with experience producing outdoor events, theatre and dance projects. Her writing has been published in theatreview.co.nz, Share/Cheat/Unite Vol 4, Te Tuhi, Undisciplining Dance in Nine Movements and Eight Stumbles, Te Ao: Experimental Dance in Aotearoa. She has a PhD from AUT.
Melissa Laing currently works as the Whau Community Arts Broker, a role funded by the Whau Local Board, Auckland Council to support temporary art activations across the Whau. She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and is the lead researcher for the Performance Ethics Working Group. Her writing has been published in Pantograph Punch, academic journals, and exhibition and artist catalogues.