Sacred Arts at the living wood fair

Among the many exciting workshops, activities and entertainment over this two day event, renowned artists Robin Slow, Brian Flintoff, Bob Bickerton, Ariana Tikao, Holly Tikao-Weir and Solomon Rahui are collaborating to bring art, music and storytelling together as they play and talk about Taonga Puoro – traditional Māori musical instruments. 

The result of an enduring relationship and philosophies shared between artist and teacher Robin Slow; taonga puoro carver Brian Flintoff, and musician and recording artist Bob Bickerton, the collaboration will bring ancestral stories to life.  Bob Bickerton arranged the music, with vocals provided by Holly Weir-Tikao, Solomon Rahui and Arts Laureate composer and performer Ariana Tikao of Kāi Tahu descent. 

Comments Robin Slow: “Our kaupapa has been to work together, using painting, carving and music to bind narratives that help reflect the whakataukī; ‘Plait the rope that binds the past to the future’”.

“We are delighted and privileged to work as a group of friends who believe that our varied art forms, visual and musical, are powerful vehicles that convey treasures held in traditional stories, sayings and concepts,” adds Brian Flintoff.  “We offer this in the hope that this combination of sounds and sights create an experience that can enrich others’ lives in the same way it does for us”. The group will be offering a workshop on how to make two of the taonga puoro; the kōauau (wooden end blown flute) and the porotiti (wooden spun disc) (9.30am Sunday: Workshops Tahi) as well as a presentation on the whakapapa and rich stories behind a wide range of instruments (3.30pm Saturday: Kōrero Rua).  A further short presentation for children explores some of the instruments’ relation to creation stories and other ancient tales (2pm Sunday: Kids Zone).

Ariana, Holly, Solomon and Bob will perform several times over the weekend including a performance on the main stage (1.30pm Saturday) and a ‘short listening experience’ Te Hā o te Ao Tūroa in a secluded part of the ngahere (bush) near the Fairholme Gallery homestead (Saturday: opening ceremony, 11.15am, 12.15pm; Sunday: 12.45pm, closing ceremony).  

Fairholme Gallery is proud to present a wood-themed exhibition to tie into the Living Wood Fair, Forest Treasures. The Forest Treasures exhibition will showcase their work along with a selection of artworks from a number of other established artists: painter Sarah Thomas, sculptors Tim Wraight, Grant Knowles and Jocelynne Bacci; fibre artist Bronwynn Billens; printmaker Kathy Reilly; jeweller Geoff Williams; wood artist Steve Halton, photographer Murray Hedwig and furniture-makers Chris Astill from Takaka, and Ben Grant and Amy Short from the Centre of Fine Woodworking in Nelson.  The front garden will also feature sculptural works by Darryl Frost and David Carson with seating by Humfrey Newton.

Forest Treasures will open to coincide with the Living Wood Fair on 17th April and continues for a further 3 weeks until May 9th. Koha entry for the gallery.

Tickets for the Living Wood Fair are available from Eventfinda until 16th April at 1pm.  $25 + bf for a daily pass; $40+bf for a weekend pass; concession $15+bf per day.  Kids under 16 are free.  Workshop fees are add-on tickets. Get in early as workshops sell out quickly.

Very limited cash only door sales. Please note this is a no dog event as we have horses working on site. 

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