Auckland City Mission and Depot Artspace host mixed-media exhibition with a global twist.
Depot Artspace is thrilled to once again host artists from the Auckland City Mission Arts Activities programme in a unique mixed-media exhibition.
Opening Saturday 23 June in Devonport, Life will feature art works from some of Auckland’s inner-city rough sleepers and marginalised people, as well as the global art exchange project, This Is Where I Live.
The Mission’s Arts Activities programme is an essential service that offers a range of art, drama, ceramics and carving classes for those accessing the Mission’s homeless services. The weekly classes are vital in providing a sense of community and purpose to people who are often isolated on the margins of society.
Depot Artspace and the Auckland City Mission are united in their goal of exhibiting a diverse body of work, in an effort to demonstrate the transformative power of art.
The earlier show occurring in 2016 entitled, ‘I Am the Art & The Art is Me/Ko au te toi. Ko te toi ko au’ was well attended and formed a strong foundation for Life, with the artists growing in confidence after the success of their initial exhibition.
Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly says, “Social isolation is a significant factor in the lives of rough sleepers which is why our activities programme was developed. Free, regular activities offer clients the opportunity to build relationships, new skills and confidence in a safe environment. The activities programme has been running now for a number of years and has unearthed some incredible talent among those who attend.”
Richard Turipa, one of the first people to participate in art classes at the Mission in 2015 has found the transformative power of art to be invaluable.
“I’ve been coming to the art class for 3 years and doing lots of learning and growing. Art has given me a chance to express myself and become a better person”, explains Turipa, “I have come through fire on my journey through art and life. Like the phoenix, I now feel like a reborn spiritual being.”
Depot Artspace is a strong advocate of the power of art to transform people’s lives, break down barriers, reduce stigma and provide individuals with invaluable life lessons.
“Our previous collaboration with Auckland City Mission succeeded in deconstructing stereotypes at all levels. Homelessness is not a defining characteristic of a human being, it’s a situation some people are going through,” says Depot Artspace Creative Director, Linda Blincko. “The exhibition produced significant work. These artists have lives aside from the identity they are given. It’s important to continue to remind people of this.”
“Despite the Mission being homed in the CBD, we want people to know that increasingly homelessness is an Auckland-wide issue from which no community is immune. We want to try and break down stereotypes of how homeless people are viewed.”
The exciting international component of Life, This Is Where I Live, is an exchange of artworks between New York, Mumbai, Melbourne, Berlin, London and Auckland that highlight the visual art of marginalised people in large cities.
The driving force behind This Is Where I Live is Sarah Caldwell-Watson, an ex-pat Kiwi now living in London who is the Development Manager for Café Art, a London based social enterprise founded in April 2012 by Paul Richard Ryan (also an ex-pat kiwi), that showcases artwork by people affected by homelessness or who are socially vulnerable.
“Being part of a world-wide creative project and feeling they are contributing to society rather than being judged and discarded by it gives these artists a new lens through which to view themselves,” says Caldwell.
“This is where the transformative potential of art can be seen, in the noticeable shifts in self-esteem that occur. Unwrapping each city’s bundle of art has been exciting and inspirational and I’ve been blown away by the talent that all of our artists possess.”
Join the artists and tutors from the Auckland City Mission and the Depot Artspace team for the opening event on Saturday 23 June, 2:00 – 3:30pm in the Main Gallery.
Life will be on display from 23 June – 11 July 2018 in the Main Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.
Auckland City Mission and Depot Artspace would like to acknowledge Auckland Council Creative Communities for funding this exhibition.
Since 1920, the Auckland City Mission has been providing health and social services to those in our community in desperate need, ensuring their basic human needs are met. At the same time, we are also committed to addressing the larger issues those we work with face, to enable them to have the opportunity to move forward and fully participate in the community. The Auckland City Mission is primarily funded by donations, if you are keen to donate or for more information visit www.aucklandcitymission.org.nz.
Depot Artspace is an open and inclusive creative community in Devonport, Auckland that encourages engagement in all art forms. Depot Artspace offers a variety of facilities, services and events that support the creative community including galleries, a professional development programme, publications and a recording studio.