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Artists shine light on worthy cause

“I hope this project inspires people"

Published: 13 June 2018
  • Auckland illustrator Nicole Lim at the Tararata Creek in Māngere.
  • Hanna Scott with the Tararata Stream Team tote bags.

Fans of Māngere’s flora and fauna can now look good while supporting a worthy cause.

Fashionable tote bags featuring a beautiful image of the Tararata Creek are now available at the Māngere Arts Centre for only $20.

The artist behind the custom illustration, Nicole Lim, says creating the bag is just one way to support the fantastic efforts of the Tararata Stream Team who have been working for many years to rejuvenate their local waterway running from Coronation Road and along the back of Moyle Park in central Māngere.

“It’s all about encouraging people to look after the stream,” she says.

“With the tote bag, there’s this idea of reuse-ability and sustainability and the illustration also has images of the creek. The stream team will also be setting up fish refuges in the stream, made by students from Māngere College, to help the spawning of whitebait and eels."

“I hope this project inspires people to explore and find a new appreciation for their local surroundings by getting involved with community groups such as the Tararata Steam Team.”

Nicole will also be exhibiting further works inspired by the stream at the Māngere Arts Centre.

“The totes bags will be part of a display [at the Māngere Arts Centre] alongside a large vinyl wall piece of the image and three framed works, which were created to further compliment the team's kaupapa.”

Using art to support the team

Auckland Council’s Arts and Culture Senior Program Leader Hanna Scott says the idea behind using art to support the Tararata Stream Team started a few years earlier.

“Photographer Natalie Roberston did two big video projections here at the arts centre of her own awa [river] in the East Cape. When she wanted to do her project here in Māngere, I said to her that the challenge was how to make it relevant to the people of Māngere,” Hanna says.

“She came back with this amazing proposition of taking a drone and flying it over Tararata Creek. She chose that creek, because she already knew there was this group working the area to revitalise that stream, and she wanted to shine a light on what was happening there.”

Hanna and other Māngere Arts Centre staff have volunteered at previous planting days at the stream and she hopes others will be keen to get involved after seeing the artworks.

“The artists are effectively shining a light on this local group, to energise, empathise and magnify the work that is already happening and using creativity to do that. The bags will be available for sale and will help support the volunteers with their efforts to look after the stream.”

Project lines up with local board's priorities

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board Chair Lemauga Lydia Sosene says preserving the area’s environment is a big priority for the board and that’s why they have been willing to provide grants to the stream team.

“This project reflects a number of aspects which are important to our board, which is our commitment to environmental sustainability, championing community-led initiatives and promoting our community’s natural environment.”

On 30th of June, the Tararata Stream Team will be holding a special event to help provide a better habitat for aquatic life.

The event will include the blessing at dawn of a boulder on the site, originally sourced from Waitomokia, courtesy of Mt Gabriel Quarry, the installation of a fish refuge created by students at Māngere College and native tree planting.

The first 25 people to purchase a ticket can claim a custom illustrated denim tote bag by artist Nicole Lim from the Māngere Arts Centre Ngā Tohu o Uenuku – and from then, registration is free.

The event is supported by the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board and the Māngere Arts Centre Nga Tohu o Uenuku. It accompanies an exhibition at the arts centre by Auckland illustrator Nicole Lim – celebrating the life of #TararataCreek which will run from 30 June – 28 July.

For information go to the Tararata Stream Team's Facebook page

Read more:

Arts Environment Manukau