Ten Waikato Artists Wanted To Join An Ongoing Kaupapa Against Racism

Kotahitanga: United Through Creativity is open for 2021, encouraging Waikato artists to unite

through creativity and join an ongoing campaign and conversation that aims to strengthen our diverse communities, and fight racism.

Creative Waikato are again looking for 10 Waikato based artists, to submit a proposal to create a brand new, commissioned piece of artwork that holds and expresses the kaupapa of kotahitanga.

Kotahitanga, came as a response to the tumultuous events of 2020, which saw a disgusting outpour of racism and hate, that Jenny Nand of the Waikato Community Funders Group, said at the time was ‘not representative of the inclusive Waikato that we believe in.”

Champion of the cause, Creative Waikato led a response backed by the Waikato Community Funders Group, and 10 artist proposals were chosen to complete artworks, with extremely moving responses.

‘There’s no place for racism in our society, it only ends with hatred’, said Simon Te Wheoro, one of last year’s artists who shaped a teardrop sculpture (pictured) from Takaka marble sourced from a demolished part of Wellington’s parliament building, to

acknowledgepainandsuffering,saying,‘it’s time for change.’

The new commissioned pieces will join the work of Te Wheoro and become part of a growing collection of mahi that serves to build a sense of whanaungatanga or family and unity through local artistic offerings.

All backgrounds, mediums, and art forms are invited to submit, from visual and written, to performance and cultural.

Completed works will exist across multiple formats, to engage, inform, and connect people across different cultures, ages, languages and communities.

For example, a selection from last year’s works have continued to foster unity, and have been developed into a teaching resource by Schoolkit.co.nz, which are currently rolling out to 350 classrooms Waikato wide.

Each artist will maintain ownership of their original works, which will be returned once the live exhibition for 2021 has closed. However, they shall continue existence digitally on the Kotahitanga Gallery website, to be shared and revisited time again as the collection grows and the important conversation continues.

Deadline for proposal submissions is 5pm, Friday 16th July, with all details and criteria available at creativewaikato.co.nz/ kotahitanga2021