Poetry in Motion – 2 Feb 2016

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Laura spoke with Poetry in Motion, an inclusive group that aims to raise the profile of spoken word poetry, and challenge people’s notions of what poetry is and can be!
Michael Howard, Simone Bensthrop, and Travis Cottreau joined us to chat and performed some of their own original work.

Mag E Read – welcome back Margaret

Mag E

Mag E Read was an artist and a school teacher until 7 years ago when an unexpected incident changed her life. In this interview Mag E tells her amazing story on how she persisted in re-knowing herself, re-finding her inner artist and the challenge she set herself to do her first exhibition at Roar Gallery called Wall to Wall Fashion.


Siv Fraerestad and Mark Amery – Projected Fields

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Artist Siv B Fjaerestad talks about “Park Painting”. Yes you heard that right, she is about to create what will be Wellington’s largest public artwork called Projected Fields- a giant painting that will spread across Berhampore’s Macalister and Liardet St. Parks.

And all of us Wellingtonians are invited to a giant picnic to help activate it, this Sunday the 19th of April at 12pm.
Advocate for art in public spaces, Mark Amery also joins this discussion about the vision behind this extraordinary art adventure.

For more about the event : https://www.facebook.com/events/871213692919980/?hc_location=ufi


Cuba St was closed today

It will be forgiven that half of Cuba streets doors are closed today, as every store, restaurant, spare space, artist and available pair of hands were devoted to transforming the street into an epic weekend for the revival of the Cuba st. Carnival, the Cuba Dupa.

Even though I’ve walked or cycled up and down that street three times a week in the last 25 years, this weekend, Cuba Street shone in a new light.

Out of virtually no hype, zero expectation, and no over excited face book traffic that I could see, the lid on the bottle of the magic mulled for a bit during a drizzly saturday and then as dusk moved in, exploded into a plethora of awesomeness that made one remember why this city is like no other.

What were the magic ingredients that left me with such a delicious taste?

The SPACE; the removal of cars and traffic created a blank canvas to play,explore and be in. I am always amazed at how freeing this act is. ( apart from Viv of course, as a few friends were nearly bowled walking carefree into state highway no1).

The PEOPLE, the PEOPLE, the PEOPLE– the best, the worst, the regulars, the friends, the artists, the extravaganza stars, they all came. And they came with an open attitude, prepared for fun.

The IMPRINT- that was already laid down. Homage must be given to all those who created the early version and vision of the Cuba St. Carnival. So for many it wasn’t a foreign feeling, this is how Cuba Street always was and is. It has just been enabled after being  been cooped up like a battery hen for too long.

The COLLABORATORS – we think it is normal, but it is not. It is quite a talent to drop the ego and work with others. Collaborations were rife, from Steve Logan of Logan Brown making Paua Fritters at the front of Lucky’s fruit shop, to Adam Page conducting the Mass Cuba St. Orchestra made up of nearly every musician in the city, to the actors, choirs and community groups who made The Grand Opening at the Opera House such a riot. I get such a kick seeing musicians running onto the stage of already performing bands, arriving slightly late after a previous performance but determinded to be there non the less.

The CHERRIES; each will have their own but for me, the Hairy Lollies, the Saturday finale on the Upper Cuba St. stage,  were off the hook, with such good Welly musicians and songstress divas, who were there because….. They LOVE it. The second to last song was a funky Mariachi track, with a dirty slide guitar and trumpet that just kept evolving. It was so good I nearly couldn’t take it anymore.

The kids and I trouped back in on the Sunday determined to make it to The Grand Opening . The geniuses of Barbarian Productions took us on a  wild ride to get to a show that we didn’t know we were already starring in. All I can say is I have never experienced anything like that before.

Thank you to all those who consented and contributed to the weekend that was the first Cuba Dupa.  An even bigger thank-you to all those who curated and organised it. I would have lost sleep for months trying to pull that off.

But most of all thank-you to Wellington for being there with the spirit that is the Soul of Cuba street. To me, letting our creative culture reign is part of the long term sustainability and prosperity of our city.

So please may we have another slice of that… PLEASE!!!!!!!.

# Why Wellington # Cuba Dupa




Mass Cuba Street Orchestra


Steve Logan, cooking mean paua fritters at the front of Luckys fruit shop


the Hairy Lollies funking up a storm

Grand Opening- Jason Muir

Just some of the Cast or crew at the Grand Opening.

Mike Ting – Mokopuna Island

Mike Ting

Artist Mike Ting talks to Jen Riches about his installation on Mokopuna Island and how his journey through art, philosophy and history reveals the ultimate story of freedom of the mind.

Mark Antony Steelsmith – black dog failure

Mark Relaxed

This is Mark Antony Steelsmith, he is mostly an animation artist. He also has a family, a post grad diploma in fine arts, depression and an exhibition called Black Dog Failure on at Toi Poneke Arts Centre until Feb 7th. In this interview we talk about all of these things.

Mark also is holding an animation workshop this Saturday 7th at Toi Poneke from 10 – 2pm ( possibly full but please contact the gallery.)

Glen McDonald – the inclusion solution

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After 21 years of commitment to Vincents Art Workshop it was a pleasure to share some great incites from coordinator Glen McDonald. In this interview, she talks about the Vincents’s recipe that has had a positive effect on many people’s lives, as well as an interesting take on why she see’s Wellington as a “healthy” city and shares her view on the simple change that could help the nation.

Vincents is also having an exhibition for Mental Health Awareness Week that is on until 22nd October, – https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthfoundationNZ

Tracey Monastra – Gallery Girl

Tracey Monastra -City Gallery

Tracey Monastra is another great Welly woman who dedicates her working hours to making sure we are having a great experience at our City Gallery. And as the gallery has just cracked their 21st year in their current awesome space Tracey talks about Welly’s changing art scene, how empowering it is when the Prime Minister steps up as Minister for Arts and Culture,  and what it’s like working at the City Gallery Wellington.