Date27 May 2020
I have a painting which hangs on the wall above my shoulder where my home office is. It is by Erin Forsyth and is titled ‘Gristelina Goes to Market’. I purchased it in 2015 at the launch of the All Fresco Street Art Festival on K Road.
My apartment in Eden Crescent is filled with collectables, art and made objects from the creatives in the K Road precinct. That part of the city is my spiritual home and the street is completely embedded in my life.
Over the past months, I have digitally welcomed many new people into my home. I had not considered it at the time but everyone sees Erin’s painting in the multiple Zoom and team meetings we are all having. It has brought joy, hilarity and weirdness to everyone who sees it, particularly as I announce that it is a ‘self-portrait’.
In response to lockdown, our team Activate Auckland curated a series of zoom events to share the ideas of innovative people working within urban development spaces. Sarah Smuts-Kennedy is seen here during one our events, ‘Resilience, people, places and spaces’. She is presenting on food security and urban farming with Gristelina overseeing the proceedings.
Barbara Holloway has had 26 years working in the public realm. She first created an ‘Urban Renewal through the Arts Plan’ in 1998. This has been the leading thread in her place making practice ever since, always under-pinned by social justice. The first lesson she learnt was to respect and honour community by being non curatorial. The eleven years as Business Association Manager on Karangahape Road were the most formative with guidance received from many artists, collectives and arts organisations. Holloway is now working with Activate Auckland, facilitating place activation initiatives within Auckland city centre. Some of her team’s work at Council over the last four years is here.