Visual arts installation aims to reconnect people after virtual pandemic

By Stefan Dimitrof

Ngāpuhi artist Charles Koroneho is one of the main attractions of the Nelson Arts Festival which is currently in full swing. 

The festival is showcasing visual arts installations across the city by artists, musicians, actors, sculptors and more.

Koroneho, who is exhibiting his Ko Te Ākau: Poetics of Land, Water & Sky creation says that the response to the arts festival has been positive.

“I guess one of the ideas of the work is that in a way you come to meet yourself when you come to the exhibition.”

The visual arts display fuses lighting, sound and video projection with the work of famous Aotearoa artist Ralph Hotere and Bill Culbert.

“I thought that it would be a great way to honour them and their collaboration and I kind of saw them as being an ākau, which is a place where the ocean meets the land; it’s a place where two very powerful forces meet, gather and create new things."

Koroneho said they are planning to complete two virtual experiences during the festival. He adds the pandemic showed virtual spaces had become an important medium for whānau to connect with each other, but now is a time where reconnecting in person again is becoming just as important. 

“We don’t forget these really important places where we shared ourselves, we shared our thoughts. That is why I’m doing a virtual performance of Ko Te Ākau, it's the idea of what a hybrid experience could be, once live and at a later time in the virtual space.”