Wayne Youle, contemporary artist of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaeke, and Ngāti Pākehā descent is working with sets of prison linen to create sculptural responses to incarceration – wall hangings, soft furnishings, floor items and ‘creature comforts’ constructed using ‘retired’ prison sheets, pillow cases and blankets. Wayne will be opening his exhibition at CoCA (Centre of Contemporary Art) in the last week of September, running for seven weeks.


Rose James, Dunedin-based sonic artist, is creating a sound installation using suspended sheets of stainless steel with small speakers attached, through which she will play sound recordings she made while visiting the building as it was being demolished. Rose used contact microphones, capturing sounds of the building itself as it was taken apart. Rose’s work is at CoCA until early August.


Vanessa York, a perfumer based in Auckland, is creating two scents that will be experienced during the exhibition. One scent will represent hope – possibility, promise, the “new improved” Ōtautahi. The other will represent regret – disappointment, broken promises, dead ends… The yin/yang of the smell experience in the removal and rebuilding of the city which, for those who have noticed, has produced a wide range of olfactory ‘notes’.


Ariana Tikao (Kāi Tahu) and Piri Cowie (Kāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) are creating a multimedia installation – Aro ki ta Hā. The kaupapa relates to breath, breathing/hā in the body (also hau/mauri), and the inner knowing that is innate in us, and through being in touch with our body and emotions then we can be healthy in balance. This knowing then extends to knowledge of our external environment. In Canterbury where the work is situated this can manifest in cloud formations, and knowledge of the winds and also acknowledgement of our kaitiaki such as birds and the atua associated with winds, and flight. Ariana is consulting with Te Maire Tau (Ngā Tūāhuriri) and has drawn further inspiration from the book Tikao Talks. Videographer Louise Potiki Bryant (Kāi Tahu) has recently joined Ariana and Piri to contribute imagery and edit the components to create the finished work. The work opens on May 24th at CoCA, and will be screened on the front of the building.


Trent Hiles is working on the creation of a multi-sensory ‘micro-gallery’ that will offer the individual an intimate experience of the demolition of the Police building through still and moving images, sound recordings, movement, and smell. The vision is to locate the small structure as near to the original site as possible and it will feature elements of a whare – a pou topped by a koruru, and maihi.  Whakaraupo Carving Studios tohunga whakairo Caine Tauwhare (Ngāi Tahu) is assisting to develop the elements from te ao Māori.


Support has come from Matapopore in guiding the project through the opening, to ensure the tikanga of Ngāi Tūāhuriri is honoured and acknowledged appropriately.

Other contributors include artist and graphic designer Jen McBride of Jn Creative, who has worked on the logo design and print material, and Dr Johnson Witehira in allowing us the use of his font Whakarare for some of the text.