30 Nov 2017
Presented by Avondale Art Park on Friday 8th December to 11th December, 2017 Avondale, Auckland
Forum is a new event that celebrates graffiti writing as an evolving and thriving artform. Taking place in the Auckland suburb of Avondale, Forum brings together 10 of New Zealand’s top and most active writers including Berst, Ceap, Erok, Freak, Gasp, Haser, Ikarus, Kezam, Phat1, and Kelly Spencer for a weekend of painting and talks about graffiti as an artform.
Avondale is home to one of Auckland’s significant sites for graffiti and street art. Tucked away below street level on Great North Road is an empty lot that formerly housed a supermarket. Most weeks you’ll find artists down there creating the most complex and eye catching artworks. The artists come from all over Auckland, to paint there and visiting artist from out of town and overseas contribute to the site. The lot has been empty since 1998 and now the permissioned wall is layers deep in colour and art.
Event curator Berst says that “the Avondale site has provided many emerging and established graffiti writers with the opportunity to develop their practice and improve their graffiti art. Avondale is one of the very few places left in Auckland where people can actually paint graffiti art legally so it's crucial we maintain it.”
Forum centres around a one day live painting event on the site and explores the history and future of graffiti writing in Avondale through talks and exhibitions.
Alongside celebrating the high skill and creativity of the artists and the graffiti artform Forum’s goals extend to providing a positive focal point for youth interested in graffiti art. Through exposure to the featured artists and skill workshops the event hopes to illustrate some of the creative and professional pathways available to budding artists.
The workshop will take an Avondale inspired poem from New Zealand’s current Poet Laureate, Selina Tusitala Marsh, and transform it into a text based mural on the wall of the Avondale Community Centre. Selina Tusitala Marsh grew up in Avondale and holds particular insight into this culturally diverse piece of Auckland.
The event kicks off on Friday night at the Avondale Library with a series of artist talks and an exhibition focussed on capturing the breadth of painting activity that has taken place on Avondale’s permissioned wall. The library exhibition continues until the 28th December. It will then be shown at the Blockhouse Bay, New Lynn and Henderson Libraries.
Saturday is an opportunity to paint a new wall in Avondale, the Avondale Racecourse wall along Ash Street. Artists will collaborate to create a work along the wall. This opportunity is realised with the permission of the Jockey Club and Phantom Billstickers who lease the wall.
Sunday brings us a one day painting extravaganza with ten artists from around New Zealand working side by side demonstrating their skill and style. Many of these artists are global leaders in the urban contemporary art field where they have been working for over 20 years. Local radio legends Base FM will be onsite providing the sounds to accompany the painting.
On Monday 6 young artists will work with Berst on a mural. They will take an Avondale inspired poem from New Zealand’s current Poet Laureate, Selina Tusitala Marsh, and transform it into a text based mural on the wall of the Avondale Community Centre. Selina Tusitala Marsh grew up in Avondale and holds particular insight into this culturally diverse piece of Auckland.