An "ephemeral art installation" along Kerikeri's Wairoa Stream is a reminder of our own impermanence and the life-affirming pursuit of beauty, the artist says.
Last Friday afternoon Jo Lumkong and a small band of volunteers spent a "magic afternoon" installing art at various locations along the stream from Kororipo Pā to Wairere Falls.
The art installation was part of the Tūhono Kerikeri series of events marking the town's 200th birthday.
The main event, Kororipo Heritage Park Festival, was to have been held on Saturday but was postponed until further notice following government advice to cancel all large gatherings due to the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus.
Natural objects such as leaves, flowers, feathers, shells and seedheads, along with more than 400 stones painted by Kerikeri schoolchildren, were used to create mandala-like designs, cairns, rock trails and patterns along the Wairoa Stream walkway.
Lumkong said people were welcome to view and add to the installation, which would grow, change and diminish over time.
Placing objects on Papatūānuku (Earth Mother), then allowing the elements and other people to change the creation over time, was a reminder of "our responsibility, our impermanence and our connection to the land".
Lumkong said for her the project was about "the pursuit of impermanent beauty and how that can become nourishment for life to continue".
Kerikeri Primary, Riverview, Bay of Islands Academy and Springbank schools took part.
While other Tūhono Kerikeri events were postponed until further notice, Lumkong decided to go ahead as planned because her project involved small groups working in the outdoors. Families that wanted to participate had the option of working separately.
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Village Arts closed
Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu – regarded as one the region's best galleries – has closed until further notice as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for Northlanders to practice "social distancing". Gallery trustees are considering alternative ways of presenting artists' work.
Go Green Awards postponed
The 2020 Far North Go Green Awards, which were to have been presented at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell on April 3, have been postponed until further notice.
Resilient Russell Charitable Trust chairman John Maxwell said the organisation didn't want to put anyone's health in jeopardy.
"We have sold over 100 tickets and the trustees felt that was getting close to the limit for a crowd gathering," he said.
A new date has yet to be chosen.
The awards seek to recognise the efforts of groups and individuals working to safeguard the district's natural environment.
The supreme winner of last year's inaugural awards was Project Island Song, which is working to restore native flora and fauna in the eastern Bay of Islands.
Project Island Song coordinator Richard Robbins was to have judged and presented this year's outstanding company or organisation category.
Here at Bay News we'd been looking forward to the Big Bike Film Night, a one-night movie festival focused on mountain biking.
It was to have screened at Cathy Cinemas on March 31 and at Whangārei's Forum North on April 15.
Festival curator Brett Cotter said Northland audiences would be below the limit of 100 for indoor events but he had decided to postpone all screenings, big and small.
He was hoping to reschedule the festival in September or October.
The Stage Door Theatre has postponed its youth production of the Wizard of Oz, which had been scheduled for March 27-29, and Stage Right, a comedy revue raising funds for Hospice Mid Northland which was to have been performed on April 4 and 18.
Both productions would have taken place at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri. New dates have yet to be set.
Kerikeri Rotary Club has also postponed its fundraising fashion show, scheduled for April 17 at the Turner Centre, until sometime next year.
A conservation-themed collage exhibition at Russell Museum, due to open on April 1, is now expected to take place in November.
Aroha Music Society was to have held its AGM at Kerikeri Retirement Village tonight but it has been postponed indefinitely. The society's first concert of the season, Villani Duo on April 5, will now be staged in October.
Creative Communities gives $13k in grants
The historic Waimate North Courthouse at Kaikohe's Pioneer Village was the venue for Creative Communities' first meeting of 2020.
The meetings are more usually held in the Far North District Council chambers but they were needed for an extraordinary meeting on March 3.
Creative Communities chairman Wally Hicks, of Kohukohu, said the heritage building was strangely appropriate for a challenging meeting.
"We had $39,000 worth of applications chasing $13,000 of contestable funding, so we had some tough decisions."
Deputy chairwoman Janet Planet, of Russell, said a major issue for arts funding in New Zealand was the yawning gap between Creative Communities' district-level funding and CreativeNZ's national-level financial support.
Hicks said the result was like an economy without a middle-class.
"There's so few places for 'medium-sized' arts projects to obtain money. We receive worthy applications for larger sums we can't fund or fully fund, as doing so might be unfair to smaller applicants. CCS funding isn't 'capped' but, realistically, applications over $2500 have little chance."
Successful applicants in this round were: Arts Far North ($1920), Soundgarden ($500), Russell 'Go Green' Wearable Arts ($1950), StageDoor Theatre Group ($2000), Tai Huri Films ($2500), Te Tai Tokerau Access Arts Trust ($2400) and Whakawhiti Ora Pai ($1400).
Creative Communities' next funding deadline is May 8 for a June 9 meeting. Potential applicants are urged to contact the administrator or one of the Creative Communities committee members listed on the FNDC website to discuss their project before submitting a funding request.