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Happy New Year!

We hope you all had a relaxing, rejuvenating summer break. We managed to fit in some time in the bush spent with good friends and family. But summer is always a busy time for us and this one is no exception!

We have been working hard on our exciting new project, Ocean Store, and today we'd like to share some exclusive insights into what it will contain. Below we'll introduce you to the different elements to the work, including the space, the art and an interactive one-on-one guided experience.

You are warmly invited to come and experience Ocean Store on the Wellington Waterfront during The Performance Arcade festival, from Thursday 21st - Sunday 24th Feb and again from Thursday 28th Feb - Sunday 3rd March.

You'll find us on the small beach where Waitangi stream enters the sea (between the marina and Te Papa), we'll be there from 10am - 11pm during these two 4 day weekends, along with some fantastic volunteers. 

The official opening to the festival is Thursday 21st Feb at 6pm. Let us know if you would like to attend and we can send you the invite email so you can RSVP to receive a free drink.


We have been receiving great responses to the work as we share our process online and the project has had good media coverage (ahem, cover page story). Help spread the word by inviting a friend or forwarding this email to someone.

We hope to see you there!

Much love,

The Performance Arcade and Kemi Niko & Co. present...

Ocean Store

When: 10am - 11pm, 21st - 24th Feb & 28th Feb - 3rd March.
Where: Wellington Waterfront (between Te Papa and the Marina)

RSVP: Click 'going' on the FB event page for updates and reminders

The Space

We have been generously supplied with a 10ft shipping container by The Performance Arcade that we are transforming into the Ocean Store space. Open and facing the sea, the container will sit right on the beach presenting a clear relationship between the work and its subject.

We are fitting it out with shelving and a custom made water table to display the bright, beautiful plastic that we have gathered from Wellington beaches over the past 6 months. 

The goal of this space to create an opportunity for complex emotions about the state of our oceans, plastic use and consumer society to arise. The space asks visitors to enter in silence, to explore with their senses and engage with the material in an intimate way.
 

The Art

When we begun this project we had intended to simply create an experience, stripped of our artists hand. However under the guidance of Sam Trubridge, Creative Director of PA, who pointed out that our craft carries a powerful message of care, the work grew.

Following his advice we have created a series of hand crafted artefacts (or conglomerates) melded from ocean plastic and natural materials gathered from the same beaches. These works build on an ongoing interest of our sculptural practice that speculates on future resources from a salvagers perspective. We will display these artefacts in the water table to be held, examined and viewed in their natural element.

Further exploring the materiality of water and plastic using the senses, we have created a video work that will play inside the space. Filmed from the perspective of the ocean it seeks to present the complexities of our relationship with the sea, of peace and calm, as well as, deep despair and pain. Using rhythm, in movement and sound, the video will act as a soundtrack for the turbulent emotive minds entering the space.

 
The Experience

Drawing on our simple intention at the beginning of this project, we have crafted a Guided Ritual that we hope will allow willing participants to confront their personal responsibility towards the ocean plastics issue. 

After entering the Ocean Store space in silence and exploring with their senses, visitors are invited to select three pieces of plastic from the display based on their gut intuition or aesthetic taste. These treasures in hand, they exit to find an Ocean Store Attendant who guides them to the waters edge where they are instructed to recite a simple, yet powerful, acknowledgment and undergo a symbolic action. 

Based on the participants reaction to this experience they may be invited to participate in the next stage of the ritual. Using locally sourced clay from Papawai and Catchpool streams, the ritual allows for a physical act of closure while also presenting a thought experiment aimed at personifying individual relationships with the ocean, the land and plastic.

This is a new area of exploration for our practice and we will be gathering responses, comments and observations in logbooks that we intend to share with a wider audience and use for development of the work. 


 
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