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
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.
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.
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.