|"Forest has the blues ~ Murmurings" Franklin Arts Centre, 2019.|
"Forest has the Blues" began as a collaborative group project in 2017 when Celia Walker sowed the seed (no pun intended) of her idea and we began to shape and plan how the project could develop. Our initial exhibition was held at The Depot Artspace in Devonport in July 2018. You can read about this stage of the project in earlier posts here.
|"Forest has the Blues" at Depot Artspace, Devonport. 2018.|
Immediately after deinstalling in Devonport we installed a slightly smaller version of the exhibition at the Auckland Botanical Gardens which you can read about here.
|"Forest has the Blues" at Auckland Botanical Gardens. 2018.|
Following on from the huge interest and positive responses received, we decided to develop the show further and this year we installed an all new transformation of the show in the large Steel Gallery at the Franklin arts Centre in Pukekohe 20 July - 24 August, 2019.
|"Forest has the Blues ~ Murmurings" Franklin Arts Centre, 2019.|
This show included 6 of the original artists: Celia Walker, Toni Hartill, Elle Anderson, Esther Hansen, Kheang Ov, Nicola Ov (as Ina Arraoui is currently living in Sicily) and included newcomer Rachel Schanzer. This time we decided to also include two groups of students as two of our artists are teachers so we had a group of year 12 and year 13 students from Pukekohe High School, under the guidance of Esther Hansen and HoD Vicky Moore-Allen, and a group of year 13 students from Westlake Girls High School under the guidance of their teacher and HoD Kheang Ov.
(Scroll on to see more photos from the Franklin Arts Centre Exhibition.)
The show came down in August and it has now all been packed away
and re-distributed back to the artists. There is an enormous amount of work behind the scenes managing such a multi-faceted project and we have certainly learnt a lot that will be useful in planning our future projects but it feels like the right time for us to move on to new things.
It has been a very inspiring and hugely rewarding project to be a part of and we are grateful to everyone involved in making it such a success.
In bringing the project to a close Celia has very succinctly summed up what "Forest has the Blues" has achieved over the 2 or so years from initial conception through to the final de-install.
I think we can all feel pretty proud of what we have achieved.
By Celia Walker
Forest has the Blues started with a little idea of mine two years ago to coordinate an installation involving giving away native plants, with a theme of urban forests - and were instrumental in working out the form of the show, with Toni doing so much work to pull everyone together: we gathered in artists , , and .
All have made massive contributions to the project, which in the end has had some major achievements:
- Well over 1100 visitors to the exhibition over the three venues, (nearly 700 at the Depot in Devonport, around 400 at Franklin Arts Centre, and an unknown number at Auckland Botanic Gardens.)
- Over 1000 trees have been planted as a result of the exhibition (230+ in our Restoring Takarunga Hauraki giveaway to the Devonport community, 800 at the planting day in Pukekohe.)
- Over 50 senior high school students made wonderful print contributions to all the installations, thanks to the huge efforts at rallying them from , and
Hopefully many of those who have seen Forest has the Blues will carry on the message of caring for and respecting nature on our own doorstep, whether in backyards, urban parks or larger native remnant forests - in this climate crisis we all need to step up and do what we can, but we are feeling pretty chuffed with what we have achieved with this...
|"Forest has the Blues" backdrop at Open Mic Night, Franklin Arts Centre.|
Congratulations and many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to contribute to this exhibition: artists, students, gallery staff and production teams.
Many thanks to everyone who came to the exhibitions, attended the workshops, helped out with tree planting, and to all those who purchased works and were so positive and supportive of our efforts.
We hope you perhaps learnt something new about our precious forest remnants, became more aware of some of the issues they face and therefore be mindful of ways that you might contribute to positive changes to help to nurture and protect our natural environment be it in your own garden, your local park or regional reserves.
|"Forest Notes" pop-up book by Celia Walker & Toni Hartill|
Perhaps as a means of a conclusion to our involvement in this project Celia and I went on to create a large pop-up artist's book using various components of our own work from the forest installation and to enter it into the PCANZ selected artists book exhibition "Thinking_Unfolding".
We are very pleased that our book "Forest Notes" has been selected for this exhibition.
Keep an eye our for a future blog about this book.
And so now I think we can safely say "It's a WRAP!"
Scroll on to view a small selection of the many photographs from the
installation, opening and exhibition at Franklin Arts Centre.
Also visit our facebook page:
where you can find a lot more images.
The exhibition was installed over just 2 days. Celia, Nicola, Elle and Toni were responsible for the forest installation. Esther and Vicky managed the installation of the critters with help from some of the students and some generous supporters. And the production crew, contracted by the council, installed the individual exhibition works. De-install was done and dusted in 2 hours.
Opening Event and artist talk
The opening was attended by a large crowd and the artists each spoke about their contributions to the exhibition and how some of their works were created. There was a lot of interest from the audience to learn about the complexities of putting together such a show and to realise how much work went in to creating each of the many components.
This installation was a collaboration by the artists Celia Walker, Toni Hartill, Elle Anderson, Esther Hansen, Kheang Ov, Nicola Ov, Ina Arraoui and Rachel Schanzer and year 13 students of
Westlake Girls High School.
All components were created using printmaking techniques including:
woodcut, linocut, monprint, cyanotype, drypoint and photographic processes.
Exhibition of Individual works
The exhibition of individual works included works by the artists Celia Walker, Toni Hartill, Elle Anderson, Esther Hansen, Kheang Ov, Nicola Ov, and Rachel Schanzer.
|Foreground: Elle Anderson|
To view these artist books in more detail
please go to the Artist Books tab in the tool bar above.
The critter installation was created by year 12 and year 13 students of Pukekohe High School under the guidance of teacher Esther Hansen and HoD Vicky Moore-Allen.
All critters were created using woodcut or drypoint printmaking processes.
Thanks for visiting!