Depot Artspace is hosting an exhibition to celebrate the diverse creativity and talent of a group of participants in the Auckland City Mission’s Homeless Services. The exhibition, running from Saturday 23rd July until Wednesday 10th August, is titled ‘I Am the Art & The Art is Me / Ko au te toi. Ko te toi ko au’ and will feature carving, clay, painting and photography works, providing an insight into the unique artistic perspective of some of Auckland’s inner-city rough sleepers.
The exhibition has been months in the planning, and was initiated by Depot Artspace and two of the volunteer Art Tutors of the Mission Activities Programmes, Clare Caldwell and Peter Lange. Clare Caldwell explains; “The exhibition is a culmination of the deep and transformative processes I have witnessed in my class over the past year as a result of people engaging in art. It is testimony to the focused hard work and goal commitment of the participants and is a celebration of the talent, achievement and diversity of all the Mission artists.”
The idea for the exhibition arose from a visit to the Claybenders show at the Depot by Peter Lange and the Mission’s pottery class and a conversation with staff about the possibility of showing work there. With visual arts tutor Clare Caldwell’s involvement, the idea evolved into an exhibition comprising all disciplines taught at the Mission.
Depot staff say they’re excited to work together with the Mission’s tutors, staff and artists on such a fulfilling initiative. “The arts have the capacity to break down barriers, offer diverse perspectives and change ways of thinking about issues and about ourselves. It’s a great to provide a new experience for artists and an opportunity for visitors to engage in a different way with them and their work.”
A range of art classes run weekly at the City Mission. Auckland City Mission Homeless Community Service Team Leader, Wilf Holt, says the Mission’s Homeless Activities Programme is vital in providing a sense of community and purpose to people who are often left isolated on the margins of society.
“Mission Activities have grown in recent years to include art, photography, carving, pottery, fishing, gardening and more,” says Holt. “These activities help provide a sense of community for the homeless while making a difference to their sense of self-worth and identity.”
I Am the Art & The Art is Me / Ko au te toi. Ko te toi ko au opens at 2 pm on Saturday 23rd July at Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence Street, Devonport and will feature carving, clay, art and photography works.
Special thanks to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for their support of I Am the Art & The Art is Me / Ko au te toi. Ko te toi ko au.
For further information on the Activities Programme, tutors, artist statements and and media contact info see HERE.
Opening Saturday 23 July, 2pm to 3.30pm.
Saturday 23 July to Wednesday 10 August
Main Gallery and Small Dog Gallery
Photos by Amelia Harris