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We are ecstatic!

The opening weekend of Ocean Store was a great success. Though the days were long, they were made easeful with the help of our lovely Attendants and by the generosity of the participants. We are still buzzing from it all!
 
We recorded nearly 100 people in the logbooks that participated in our Guided Ritual. Most had a confronting experience and were left feeling more connected to the ocean and the waste disposal system we currently have in New Zealand. Did you know only 10% of plastic gets recycled, which is the same amount that ends up in our oceans?

At least 100 more visitors engaged with the space; touching the micro plastics in the custom made water-table, finding pieces they recognise and engaging their senses. The Ocean Store logbooks are full of incredible insights and we couldn’t be happier.

 

Preparing for Ocean Store we couldn’t help, but really see the plastic pollution issue in all its raw glory. We definitely learned a few things from our many beach cleans over the last 6 months. Mainly, that these clean ups barely scratch the surface of beach pollution, the production tap must be turned off.
 
Secondly that all the awareness of the issue isn’t much good if it’s not connecting to the individual responsibility in each of us. We’ve certainly noticed the shift in our behaviour since beginning this project and we can only hope Ocean Store works on others in a similar way. Branching into performative, live art is very new for us and running Ocean Store this weekend was a revelation - we love it!
 
Engaging on a one-to-one basis is very powerful and combined with the tight structure of the Guided Ritual, we could see the connection to personal responsibility shift in the participants.
 

We’ve put in a lot of hard work, both physically and mentally, into this project and it is so rewarding to see it paying off. Our only hope now is that the project reaches the right people.

One of the pitfalls of the art life is that you can spend all your time creating the work only to see it reach a limited audience because we haven’t had the time or resources to promote it wider. So we want to ask you a quick favour.
 
Keen to help spread the word? Think of someone you know who lives in (or is visiting) Wellington right now. Whether you live here or not, who is the first person that comes to mind? Great, yes, them!
 
We humbly ask you to consider inviting them to visit Ocean Store.
In fact, why not do it right now! Forward this email to them or click on one of the share button below. Easy as. Thank you!

 
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We hope to see you at Ocean Store this weekend, if you haven’t made it down already. The weather is looking good and we are excited to connect with you and others. If you can't make it, get a friend to go on your behalf and tell you all about it!
 
Join us on Sunday at 6.30pm for our closing ceremony and get-together. It’s been a massive journey and this is our last project in Wellington for the near future, so don’t miss out. Help us celebrate!


This connection to you is our most important asset as independent artists and your support means so much. As always, thanks for taking the time to engage. 

Much love,

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

Ocean Store

When: Thursday 28th Feb -  Sunday 3rd Mar. 10am - 11pm
Closing Ceremony: Sun 3rd Mar, 6.30pm
Where: Wellington Waterfront (between Te Papa and the Marina)

 

The Space

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

We have fitted 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 are displaying these artefacts in the water table to be held, examined and viewed in their natural element. Selected artefacts are also available in the Arcade shop.

Further exploring the materiality of water and plastic using the senses, we have created a video work that plays 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 acts 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 allows 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 are gathering responses, comments and observations in logbooks that we intend to share with a wider audience and use for development of the work. 

Performance Arcade has a SHOP

We have stocked it with a collection of our wares, including Tin Can-dle Holders, Paint Tin Lid Paintings, Ocean Artefacts, postcards, greeting cards and Aoraki Biv prints! Most items are on sale especially for the arcade, too! 

If you are visiting the Arcade make sure you check out the artist shop. You'll find it just behind the Food for the People stall, beside the bar.
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