Warming the Whau

Warming the Whau is a response by curator Ariane Craig-Smith, artist Xin Cheng, and film-maker Amarbir Singh, to recent discussions of a city and country in crisis, of individuals and families struggling for basic needs, of refugees, increased financial precariousness and homelessness. In a time of bleakness and scarcity of money, the urban environment can seem desolate, cold, uninviting and unwelcoming. The title of ‘Warming’ refers to a desire to literally make a space feel warm and welcoming, abundant in resources and support.

Our ancestors have always looked to the landscape to support themselves – for food, medicine, shelter and other resources. How can the largely urban landscape of the Whau be seen as a nurturing resource? Beyond the mainstream of privatised space, commerce and consumerism, what abundance is already there, and what further abundance can be encouraged? How can we inhabit and use public spaces in a way that promotes connection?

Warming the Whau is a process of exploration, action and conversation, to investigate the resources that may already exist in the area – of people and organisations, free materials, knowledge, to explore and share ways of using these resources, build dialogue with Whau locals and visitors and to document these resources and material explorations for others to follow.

On Sunday 11th September Warming the Whau will be attending the Koanga Festival at Te Pou Theatre to invite people to make, draw and talk about what is abundant in their neighbourhoods. Look out for us popping up over September in public spaces around New Lynn and Avondale, including All Goods Gallery, inviting people to make and share with us.

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