Since 2019, I have continued to work alongside Jarred Taylor, as we take art installations to different festivals in New Zealand. Working with Jarred is awesome, we make a great team. We are very used to working with each other now, and new project ideas come forth and are born without too much stress.
The end of 2019 saw the birth of Jarred's first art installation "The Aqueerium". This is a lowered 3m gazebo, with a tunnel out the front for people to crawl through. Inside is a psychedelic under water scene lit with UV lighting. Magical things happen in this space, taking people through a space warp into a curious world, tightly packed with strangers shoulder to shoulder. Hysterical laugher was often heard as we walked past to check up on it.
The Aqueerium had its first iteration at Lubble October 2019 and featured at AUM 19/20, Kiwiburn 2020, (as part of Pepperland, see below), featured at the Geoff Wilson Gallery in Whangarei, Snailed It - Northland Burn, Bing's 60th Birthday Party, and the Gemini Winter Solstice 2021.
Another big set up was Kiwiburn 2020, just before the world changed with the news of Covid-19**. Here we set up Pepperland for the second time (previously at 2017). This theme camp is based off the 'Yellow Submarine' Beatles movie. We created a journey through some of the seas that the submarine goes through, The Aqueerium was the entrance, then the Sea of Holes, and out into the back with a large area to congregate and watch a movie. (Sorry I can't find many photos)
(**we actually heard about it from one of our international campers about a virus going through China where she taught english. She wasn't going back because of the quarantines).
Both Burning Man and Burning Seed moved to online events, due to Covid travel restrictions, and this was a fascinating dive into how to create immersive events online. For Burning Man, we participated via the Religious As Fuck theme camp, curating churchish services and experiences through Sparkleverse. Jarred taught himself how to use Mozilla Hubs to create worlds, making Sacred Seed and The Unicorn Orphanage on this platform for Burning Seed. The Orphanage then hosted events in the Mozilla spaces, and via the SparkleVerse, a map and zoom-driven platform, created for Burning Man and which Burning Seed adopted.
MoonBurn was a prank that Jarred set up in 2014, a burn happening on the Moon. As the time got closer to the actual FB event date (October 2020) we started to brainstorm around what we could do for this event. With the advances of online experiences, we combined both the 3D world of Mozilla, and Live Performance via Zoom, to create a space shuttle experience that took people on a journey to the moon. Starting in the Zoom room, with key characters in costume, we simulated a shuttle ride, complete with safety briefings form the Space Stewards and reports from the Captain. During the journey we dived into mythology about the moon, and had an amazing meditation/visualization by Jo Roberts and Jason Richardson (TRANSIT video below). We ended up at the moon, where we simulated the landing, and jumped into Moonbase - a Mozilla world created by Jarred and bounced in there. We did this event 3 times, with a total of 30 odd people particpating. Huge thank you to Lumi and Tyne who made this event so realistic!
SNAILED IT - Northland Burn
Jarred, Sam Newsome and I worked together to create Snailed It, Northland's first taste of a burn experience. Held on private land in Mangapai, 100 people came to a 3 night festival. There were three major theme camps and a couple of other zones. Sacred Seed was set up in the forest walk, and alongside this "The Mystery Art Journey" from Shine and Delphy, creating art immersive moments/activities in their own little walk. A small crew of people crated the signage and we met some spectacular (new-to-us) volunteers who we continue to work with!
AUM New Years Festival 2020-2021
For the third year in a row, Jarred and I brought art to Aum, and this event we combined with Shine and Delphy and also brought a friend from Whangarei - Alivia. We used a space right in the centre of the Festival on a hill ridge, looking down on multiple stages. In the past this had been swarming with wasps, but this year pest control was on it, making it an amazing new space for AUM. The first day was spent making the land useable. It was covered in fallen branches, some huge and too big to move. So we created our space using the unmovable branches to show us where the pathways would go, and then moved all the ones we could to build up those pathway boundaries.
This space was decorated with Sacred Seed's familiar features, the art journey S&D created for Snailed It, and new pieces made by Delphy and other women she knows which were based around the yoni - named 'Yoniverse'. It was great to have access to generator power, and Jarred had found 400m of fairy lights at the Quarry Arts Centre, from a festival long ago. These resources meant we could mark out a huge area, and light all the pathways up and down the different sides of the hill.
The installation became what it was intended, both as a short cut between stages, and also as a more still haven for people to chill out. Unfortunately the music level was very loud up there, and sound clashes sometimes brain exploding if multiple stages were running, so it wasn't a peaceful place to hang out, but it still was a place to take refuge. We are planning to do art up there again this year, and have requested that there be an hour at some point during the days so that we can do a workshop up there without having to shout.
I took Pepperland to Kiwiburn and with Jackie and Glenn we set up a smaller version than 2020 within three days. It was great to have a simplified, stream-lined version of this camp. Also at this theme camp we created BaristaCats Cat Cafe event, which will replace Pepperland at Kiwiburn 2022. It was exciting to see the work done in The Forest area and the invitation of art back into this space. I'm looking forward to bring art to the forest at Kiwiburn again! Being able to return to these humble beginnings is fantastic. And I have a new epic art installation in mind.
GlowTown is new interactive installation that Jarred and I created after doing a community event in our town of Whangarei.
It is a very simple set up, and super effective at involving people to create their own art. Four double starpickets pounded into the ground, pink UV rope and clothes pegs strung up like a washing line, and lit with a UV black light. Near it is a table with Black A4 pieces of card, and UV paint. Participants can paint their own design on the A4 card, and then peg it onto the washing line. All the art work together creates a fantastic story of people's hearts and minds in that moment.
This installation has been installed at Lubble Easter 2020, Catalyst 2020, Gemini Solstice Party and Dargarville Matariki Festival.
As well as setting up GlowTown at Lubble Easter 2021, just for fun (and because we were bored of the music) Jarred and I, along with the help of Kate and Maddi, set up art behind the stage for people to find. The bass echoing through the farm building was terribly awful, but at least we turned this cool space into something a bit more fun to look at. Grateful for Jarred to create the video that shows this art installation by day and night side by side.
Catalyst - Karangahake Burn - 2021
One of the amazing volunteers that came to help at Snailed It was Keegan Walls, who also volunteered at Kiwiburn 2020. He decided to utilize a piece of land he had at his fingertips to hold a small unofficial burn. 70 people, including kids, participated in this little burn, 10% of which were artists. Each of these artists brought more than one piece of artwork, and this created a fantastical landscape of art to enjoy. Each night we managed to pull together an Art Tour that went and visited the art, and each night new art was featured (because us artists are too addicted to sit still). This was a great little family friendly burn, with a stream, hills and an all-day fire to burn the gorse weeds, which the kids just loved.