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 (Ngāi Tahu) and Piri Cowie (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) are creating a multimedia installation – Ka taka mai i te raki – of their impressions of the species (specifically tuna/hao), kōrero, and whakapapa of the whenua in and around Ōtautahi and Puari pā. Drawing upon the mahi of Matapopore, and scholars and elders of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, in a dismantling of time, this work will be a rediscovery of the delightful nature of the tuna and stories associated with the natural environment which still exists beneath the outer skin of our paved city streets. 


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 these two parts, to ensure the tikanga of Ngāi Tūāhuriri is honoured and acknowledged appropriately.

During this creative ‘scope of works’ season there is an opportunity to host a one-off, day-long ‘performance’ on a vacant site, in conjunction with the Festival of Transitional Architecture’s FEAST programme over Labour Weekend. This is a work-in-progress.


Contributors continue to join the project. Most recently artist and graphic designer Jen McBride of Jn Creative, who is working on the logo design and print material, and we are fortunate to have support from Dr Johnson Witehira in the use of his font Whakarare for some of the text.