Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga, 2020

Aotearoa wide

Photography: Janneth Gil

Shared Lines Collaborative emerged from the earthquake events that devastated Canterbury, and Fukushima, Japan in 2011. We are a collective of artists and art producers that aim to promote artistic exchange between cities and use art to build resilient cities. We have lived experiences of how art brings people together and works to hold and heal both individuals and the community.

It started in 2011 with an exhibition that could be packed into a suitcase and was taken to Sendai. From there it grew to group exhibitions in pop up spaces, as well as symposiums with residents, community groups and city councillors in Wellington in 2017 and a week-long festival in Kaikōura in 2019.
Our exhibitions are often accompanied by ambitious public artworks, community engagement and visiting international artists. In 2020, I worked along side Amber Clausner and Linda Lee to curate, produce and install Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga.

Pūtahitanga can be translated to mean a confluence, junction, joining place, or convergence. The notion of this work comes from us all being in this river of life together; in our various wakas, rafts or paddleboards. The practical approach to the work draws on the surrealist tradition of ‘exquisite corpse’ where each artist contributes an element as part of a whole - it’s a collaborative approach to art making. 
This project aimed to strengthen connections between artists through New Zealand’s regions and cities at a time when many were feeling isolated and livelihoods had been put under stress. The artwork was made by sixty artists based all over Aotearoa, from Kaipara to Ōtepoti (Dunedin), during August 2020.

It consists of 60 individual artworks, which all connect to form a single, flowing artwork. The 72-metre long banner was installed in Wellington’s Civic Square - flowing long like an awa across the outside of vacant buildings. It was first shown in Cathedral Square Christchurch - inside the vacant ground floor of the Spark Building. The project was exhibited across the motu on digital billboards in a variety of cities in October/Novemer 2020 and continues to exist online.