Colourful chalk rangoli designs will cover the ground outside Ellen Melville Centre before the Auckland Diwali Festival – and one of them will secure a $500 cash prize for its creator.
Ellen Melville Centre and festival organisers are presenting a programme of Diwali-themed festivities the day before the festival, including a rangoli-drawing competition open to amateur, student and professional artists.
Registrations are now open for artists keen to secure one of the limited pavement spaces for the Friday 19 October competition.
Rangoli is an Indian folk art form where designs are drawn onto the ground, traditionally using coloured powders and embellished with sand, rice, candles or flower petals. The designs can be simple geometric shapes, depict deities or flowers or they can be more elaborate.
For this competition, the designs will solely be created with chalk.
Competition entrants will get 20 jumbo sticks of coloured chalk, a 1.5m² patch of ground and three hours, from 9am-midday, to complete their designs.
The works will be judged on their balance of traditional design and modern influences, alignment to the Diwali Festival themes of lights, family, celebration, colour, and their representation of the relationship between New Zealand and the Indian diaspora. The winners will be announced at 1pm on the day.
Festival producer Leilana Meredith says the team wants to hear from anyone with experience of creating rangoli or similar art forms.
"Whether you do this as a family tradition or a hobby, you're an art or design student, or you make a living from art and design, we'd love you to help us bring a burst of rangoli colour to the heart of the central city.
"Spaces are limited, so please register your interest online now."
Alongside the competition, there will be a host of free, family-friendly activities in Ellen Melville Centre.
Visitors can have a go at DIY henna or mehndi, learn how to wrap or drape a sari, create rangoli patterns to take home and play interactive digital Hindi language games. There will also be snacks to sample - sweet mithai treats and savoury namkeen nibbles.
Enter The Competition
To enter the rangoli chalk drawing competition, and to view the rules, terms and conditions go to the Auckland Diwali Festival website. The competition is open to amateur, student and professional artists aged 13 and over, and is subject to weather conditions.
Auckland Diwali Festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, in conjunction with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.
Ellen Melville Centre is located at 2 Freyberg Place, corner High St and Freyberg Place, central Auckland. This community hub has five hire spaces, lots of classes, programmes and events, many free to attend. See facebook.com/EllenMelvilleCentre for more information.