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Art is Life - an Exhibition by Laken Whitcliffe

4 Dec 2019 to 15 Dec 2019
Wed 4th December - Sun 15th December
Art is Life - an Exhibition by Laken Whitcliffe
Event type: 
Art, Exhibition, Music
Exhibition Free, Main Event Tickets from $35.
29 Woodside Ave, Northcote, Auckland.
29 Woodside Ave, Northcote, Auckland.


Laken Whitecliffe announces Open Art Exhibition and Musician Collaboration with Tiki Taane and John Kerwin’s Mental Health Foundation.

  • Open Exhibition Week begins on 4th December and finishes on 15th December.

  • Opening Night includes a panel discussion on the Arts and Mental Health with Special Guests to be announced shortly, followed by live auction of a few key artworks.

  • The Main Event headlined by Tiki Taane includes live art installations by Laken Whitecliffe, also featuring Mt Eden, Daily J and No Cigar. 30% of all artwork sold will be donated towards the Sir John Kirwan Mental Health Foundation. 

Recently announced a finalist in the Wallace Arts Awards and granted a spot with the touring Wallace Arts Trust Exhibition throughout 2019/20 - Laken Whitecliffe’s portrait of Tiki Taane has sparked fireworks between the pair who have agreed to come together to celebrate art and music in support of mental health. 

What began as a dream 8 years ago, Whitecliffe met Taane via Skype while he was in NYC for a source photo for the portrait which Taane posed for in Whitecliffe’s mums pool. Turning that Image into a finished artwork took until just this year to complete - and included hand carving the frame from Kauri.

The portrait was then entered into the 2019 Wallace Art Awards where Whitcliffe was announced a finalist and was chosen to be a part of the touring Wallace Arts Trust Exhibition which will be touring New Zealand throughout 2019/20. The portrait currently hangs at The Pah Homestead in Auckland City. 

Taane first went public with his mental health and addiction struggles in 2016 in the Community Action Youth and Drugs initiative - Buzzed - and has joined the cause alongside Whitcliffe to help our community.

Whitecliffe’s long-standing relationship with mental health foundations such as the Sir John Kirwan Foundation, Refugees as Survivors NZ and Voices of Hope led the way towards the successful collaborations for his upcoming exhibition where 30% of his art sales will be donated towards these foundations. The first mural Whitcliffe ever did was for the refugee centre in Mangere when he was 16, as a part of his school’s community outreach program, then a mural at a refugee centre in Cairo, Egypt in 2015, and finally another mural for Ryan refugee last year with the kids in the program. As for John Kirwan, his niece was Whitcliffe's first girlfriend. Her Grandfather, Jks Dad passed away when the pair started dating, so for Christmas, he did a portrait of him at their Waihi beach bach house, which was when Whitcliffe and JK first met.   

The exhibition will open to the public on December 4th and will remain open for free viewings throughout the week in the lead in to the main ticketed exhibition on December 8th headlined by Taane and also featuring Mt Eden, Daily J, No Cigar, Arii Jade n Matt Bizzle and Mellowdownz where Whitecliffe will paint live pieces to the music throughout the day.

Tickets to the main exhibition can be purchased via Whitcliffe's Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/lakenwhitecliffe


Written by

Acascia Steedman

14 Nov 2019