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.
Ngahuru | Autumn : Andrew McMillan | Melissa Laing | Vanessa Crofskey | Richard Orjis
Echo Eco Echo Andrew McMillan
A self guided audiophonic walk
Starts at Harbutt Reserve, Mt Albert
Download audio files and map here from 18 March
and take a self guided walk.
Guided listening walks with the artist have been
postponed due to Covid19, check back for updates.
Sound artist Andrew McMillan has composed an answer to the question what sound happens just out of sight, just out of earshot, just before we arrive and right after we’ve left? Using environmental sensors and field recordings he has created an audiophonic walk for the Te Auaunga / Oakley Creek walkway and Waterview shared pathway. The composition augments the audible environment listeners are walking through with sonification – sounds based on environmental data gathered at each site – and field recordings gathered from easily seen and hidden spaces along the path. The result McMillan hopes for is that walkers will gain a heightened awareness of the local environment by undertaking a sensory journey. One that opens up and extends the aural experience and sound memories of our environment.
Between the 18th of March and the 13th of April, people are invited to download the composition for a walk onto their preferred listening device and, headphones on, journey along the Te Auaunga / Oakley Creek walkway and Waterview Shared pathway. Guided listening walks have been postponed due to Covid19
Participants are also invited to contribute their recordings of this walkway to future compositions by uploading the file and recording details here: https://forms.gle/UxvmtWADRUFMWc5W7
This April Vanessa Crofskey is bringing you a creative interpretation of the ubiquitous summer athletics festival. Sports Day is a fun day of championship games, all to do with walking. It upends the traditional speed and skill based games and rewards the skills acquired in day to day living. Whether you’re exceptionally good at remembering where you parked your car, carrying groceries, or ambling along to a podcast, Sports Day has a competition for you! Celebrate sport in its most household form, and encourage physical exercise for everybody with us.
Register for each event on the separate links:
How good are you at carrying groceries? This grocery run will be a trio of competitive heats designed for the average person. Compete in speed and precision at carrying armfuls of shopping goods across obstacles.
How (s)low can you go? Compete to be the slowest team member walking around the block. The winner is the last one across the line. The rules: you can only move forward, not backward, and have to keep moving no matter what.
How many steps can you take in thirty minutes? Registered participants will be given a pedometer each and thirty minutes to max out their step counts. No cheating allowed!
Our big event of the day! Participants will compete through a set course of challenges that involve every type of walking imaginable. Success is just a hop, skip and jump away.
Standing at the edge
Now happening online – more details soon.
A solo performance by Mustaq Missouri, written and directed by Melissa Laing.
“Imagine that, in the middle of a vast city, you might be so intimately connected to your community that you cannot leave your house without a serendipitous encounter.”
This is the world that our guide is dreaming of as he negotiates life after he’s made redundant. He’s taking us on a walk through the streets and gravel lots of the town centre, showing us development sites undergoing rapid change, and helping us see the possibilities of the place differently. He wants you to dream with him.
Standing at the Edge is a meditation on the relationships between property, debt, work and community as they play out on the suburban fringes of Auckland. Our guide, Missouri, performs the story of a man balancing financial obligations against dreams of social and economic change. He’s questioning what we value and why.
Woven into the story are histories of failed and successful attempts to build alternative communities and create change through labour activism. According to writer and director Melissa Laing “We’re at a point in our society where people are actively looking for ways to build community connection and create different economies. But we’re also at a point where people are utterly constrained by debt and working all the time. This performance asks what is the possibility for locally created change in this context.”
The performance will take place in two town centres undergoing change as Auckland expands and intensifies – North West Westgate, a town centre being built on green fields and Te Atatu Peninsula town centre, a place that is intensifying and experiencing demographic shifts.
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 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.
Mustaq Missouri arrived in Aotearoa in March 2014 and, in that year, was part of a reading of Ahi Karunaharan’s TEA, conducted under the guidance of Auckland Theatre Company. He has continued to work with Karunaharan since then. In 2019 he performed in the Auckland Theatre Company production of A Fine Balance and the Silo Theatre presentation of My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak. He is a regular performer in Summer Shakespeare productions and the lead actor in the recently released short film Maqsood written and directed by Utsav Patel.
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.