Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Umbrella Project

The Umbrella Project. Top Dome Installation; Bottom: Pool Installation. Images Courtesy Sarjeant Gallery.
I LOVE this (top) photograph of the Umbrella Project which is currently installed in the dome of Sarjeant Gallery in Wanganui. It was taken by the gallery’s staff photographer, Richard Wotton and brilliantly conveys the wonderful juxtaposition of whimsy and classical architecture. The work itself came about when nearly 60 Wanganui secondary school students attended workshops with well known Pacific Island artist, Michel Tuffery. It responds to the problem of graffiti and tagging in a positive way – and allowed the students to mark their umbrellas with Maori and Pacific inspired designs and references to their own identity. More than 250 finished umbrellas were then installed for one day at the now-disused Gonville swimming baths – a site that has been subject to excessive tagging and graffiti. The umbrellas have since been installed in the Dome of the Sarjeant, where they will stay until March 1, 2009.

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