Exhibition title: Whakarongo Whakaraupō
Exhibition dates: 2 June – 2 July 2023
Venue: Stoddart Cottage Gallery, 2 Waipapa Avenue, Diamond Harbour
Hours: Friday-Sunday plus most public holidays, 10am-4pm
Throughout June, Stoddart Cottage resounds with its first ever sound-themed festival, Whakarongo Whakaraupō, which encourages listening in and from its Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour location. This free festival revolves around a month-long group sonic art exhibition featuring work by Jake Kīanō Skinner, Motoko Kikkawa, Eves, Nicolas Woollaston, Helen Greenfield and Blair Parkes. A series of events is also part of the festival programme, which includes live music and spoken word performances by local artists, and a Margaret Stoddart-inspired sound walk.
“Whakarongo Whakaraupō uses sound to explore connections between place and people, as well as different forms of creative expression,” explains Whakarongo Whakaraupō curator and Stoddart Cottage Gallery Manager, Dr Jo Burzynska. “I’m incredibly excited to present this sonically-focused festival, which is a first for Stoddart Cottage, and likely the only of its kind in Whakaraupō. Designed to appeal to a wide audience, even if you’ve never considered sound as art, or can’t imagine sound translated into paintings, I encourage people to come along and hear for themselves.”
In Whakarongo Whakaraupō skilled Ōtautahi-based taonga pūoro player and musician, Jake Kīanō Skinner (Ngāti Rangitihi) presents an immersive sound installation. Using traditional Māori instruments and drawing inspiration from his Ngāti Rangitihi whakapapa, his multi-speaker work invites us to connect with the essence of Māori culture and the natural world.
Japanese-born and Ōtepoti Dunedin-resident painter and musician, Motoko Kikkawa has transformed the vibrations of her improvised music practice into a series of watercolours employing a similarly improvisational method. Seeking a harmony that overcomes the temporal limitations of music and spatial constraints of painting, this project includes work that responds to the music of Naarm Melbourne-based Eves, whose sound works accompany Kikkawa’s visual work.
Beneath seemingly simple patterns of electronic sounds, deeper connections and detail emerge in Nicolas Woollaston’s interactive sound sculpture. In this hanging work created from electronic circuits, the Ōtautahi multidisciplinary artist uses transistors to create rhythms and patterns that evoke the waves of Whakaraupō and the multigenerational memories held in the harbour.
Connecting with local history, in The Women of Lyttelton Gaol, Ōhinehou Lyttelton sound artist, Helen Greenfield, assisted by Ōtautahi musician, Blair Parkes, presents an audio work reflecting the flux of women incarcerated in Lyttelton Gaol. Originally made in 2018 in response to stories unearthed for an exhibition on the subject by Te Uaka Lyttelton, it collages spoken details of the name, age, occupation, nationality and sentence of each inmate.
Voices of Whakaraupō (Poetry/Spoken Word): Sunday 18 June, 4-5.30pm
Established and new voices from around Whakaraupō unite in this afternoon of poetry, spoken word, and art. These include poet, writer and Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador, Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa), poet and playwright Pohlen Newbery (Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Manunui), dancer and poet, Jacqueline Coia and synesthetic combinations of spoken word and visual art by Scarlett-Rose Adamson. Places are limited so booking advised at: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/voices-of-whakaraupo-live-poetryspoken-word-tickets-634959550107
Improvisations on Margaret (Live music/sound performances): Saturday 1 July, 5.30-7pm
What might a Margaret Stoddart painting sound like? Be prepared to have your eyes and ears opened as musicians improvise live music in response to specific paintings. In this unique event at the historic birthplace of the respected Impressionist painter, some of Whakaraupō’s most respected improvising musicians and exhibiting artists will use Stoddart’s paintings as their score. The performers include Anita Clark (Motte), Bruce Russell (Dead C), Luke Wood (The Opawa 45s), Peter Wright & Helen Greenfield (Teen Haters), Malcolm Riddoch, Nicolas Woolaston and Gemma Syme (Instant Fantasy). Whakarongo Whakaraupō exhibiting artist, Motoko Kikkawa will also be improvising with some of these musicians to her own paintings. Places are limited so booking advised through: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/improvisations-on-margaret-live-soundmusic-tickets-635005226727
Links to booking all events can be found at: https://www.stoddartcottage.nz/whakarongowhakaraupo
Whakarongo Whakaraupō is funded by Creative Communities.