An art project using natural materials to create transient sculptural works began in Horowhenua on Sunday.

Centred around the Waikawa Stream, the month-long project will include a series of ephemeral arts workshops experimenting with different mediums, and installations in open spaces at multiple spots along the stream, organiser Kristy McGregor said.

An example of an ephemeral artwork created at a workshop held at the Waikawa Stream.
An example of an ephemeral artwork created at a workshop held at the Waikawa Stream.

The works are inspired by British sculptor and photographer Andy Goldsworthy and stem from an interest in reconnecting people with the stream, McGregor said.

"The arts are a good way of connecting people and engaging them with their waterways and natural environment," she said.

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"The outdoors becomes a learning space and shows people that art doesn't have to be in a gallery or formal space."

The workshops are being led by local artist Birgit Moffat, whose work is characterised by the use of natural materials and a spontaneous approach, making the philosophy of the project a perfect fit for her.

"Being creative is not necessarily about a big painting. It's about opening your mind and using what you've got," she said.

The workshops are funded by Creative NZ's Creative Communities Fund, administered by Horowhenua District Council. They are part of the broader Waikawa Stream Community Catchment Project which aims to improve water quality, which has just begun in the Waikawa catchment.

It is being led by the New Zealand Landcare Trust, and brings together a wide range of community stakeholders.

The first workshop, held over the weekend at the Waikawa Department of Conservation campsite was about creating mandalas from leaves and natural materials. It was well attended by people from children through to older people, showing the appeal of the activities on offer.

Children taking part in an ephemeral art workshop at Waikawa Stream.
Children taking part in an ephemeral art workshop at Waikawa Stream.

The next workshop will be based on building rafts from driftwood. It will be held at the Hank Edwards Reserve, Waikawa Beach on Easter Saturday, 20 April, 1pm to 3pm.

The last workshop will be on painting river rocks at the DoC Waikawa Campsite, North Manakau Road on Saturday 11 May from 11am to 1pm, with a reveal and celebration at 1pm.

McGregor said RSVPs were appreciated but not compulsory.

"Don't let that stop you turning up on the day for some fun," she said.

All ages are welcome, however children must be accompanied by an adult. The events are weather dependent and will be rescheduled if necessary.

For further information or to book a spot, email kristy.mcgregor@mitchelldaysh.co.nz or phone 021 191 3231.