Art makes connections

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 07:55 20/11/2012
Pop up WEL
POP UP: Scott Phillips, left, Sam Morrison, Margot Peacock and Nathan Child, are involved in the community art project Pop Up.

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Building connections is key for community-based art project Pop Up.

Pop Up was created by Avondale resident Sam Morrison 12 weeks ago in collaboration with a Te Atatu South based organisation A Supported Life which works with teens and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Mr Morrison, 32, has a master's degree in art education and has been involved with A Supported Life for many years.

The idea of Pop Up came to him during a trip to Christchurch.

"The project emerged from the earthquake and they utilised a lot of dilapidated urban spaces and developed art projects to build communities, morals and life," he says.

"There's a spirit in that we'd like to explore."

With a $4000 grant from A Supported Life, Mr Morrison's transformed an old dairy on Edmonton Rd in Te Atatu South into a colourful and quirky exhibition space.

"It's sort of like a childhood dream to have a shop. It's so exciting," Mr Morrison says. "The framing of the project was that we would work together for 12 weeks and explore the idea of building connections in the community through making art, and the idea that art can bring about social change," he says.

In order to build lasting connections, the group is making sure to keep business in their backyard.

"We've challenged ourselves to use as many things as possible that are sourced locally," he says.

"All our paint is from local places, and all the boxes are from Countdown."

There are several members of A Supported Life involved in Pop Up, including 26-year-old Nathan Child.

"My favourite part is having this shop and being able to decorate it. How often do you get to have a free shop and decorate it with all this," he says.

Margot Peacock of Te Atatu South has been involved with A Supported Life for two years and enjoys taking photos as part of the project. "I love the photos and the videos as well. I like interviewing people."

Some of Pop Up's projects include setting up eye-catching art installations in public places like on the corner of School and Edmonton roads as well as Lincoln Rd.

The group has collaborated a series of videos documenting their projects.

"It's to show people some of the things we've done in the area. It's about having presence and confidence in the community through creativity," he says.

Art form the Pop Up project will be on display at 226 Edmonton Rd until the empty shop is leased. A television in the shop window will play the group's videos between 9am and 5pm.

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Visit Pop Up's blog, popper uppers.wordpress.com.

- Western Leader

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