Art in the Dark lights up

Glowing installations take over city park

BRIDGET JONES
Last updated 12:01 08/11/2012
Art in the Dark
ELIZABETH CLARKSON

LIGHTING THE WAY: Art installations will take over Western Park for Art in the Dark this weekend.

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Ponsonby's Western Park will come alive as more than 40 artists present the best and brightest in contemporary art at Art in the Dark this weekend.

Now in its third year, the free two-night festival covers the whole spectrum of art - from outdoor cinema, glowing tiny city systems to breathing grass lungs.

There are also performance art pieces, including the Tamashii Tako Drummers, a traditional Japanese drum group, described as turning "drumming into an extreme sport".

This year a competition was also run to find three tertiary artists to join the event, with all three places being won by AUT students or alumni.

Many of the instillations are interactive, meaning no art work stays the same for long.

Art in the Dark's Kristina Hard said the event, which started as a university project, was created as an attempt to re-claim the inner city parks at night, which for so long had been "scary spaces".  

She said events like Art in the Dark showed how public spaces could be used by the whole community after the sun sets, rather than becoming places to be avoided.

The event also has a strong sustainable feel, with artists challenged to present projects that not only fit the specific contours of the urban outdoors, but that also illuminate the dark using clean, eco-friendly energy and materials wherever possible. 

Around 30,000 people attended the event last year, and organisers are hoping this year will be even bigger, however they said securing funding for the event was an issue.

This year they received a grant from the Waitamata Local Board and ran a Pledge Me crowd-funding campaign, which raised $10,000.

But Hard said to continue and grow Art in the Dark, securing funding was something the organisers would be looking at.

ART IN THE DARK

 WHEN: November 9 and 10, from 8pm to midnight

WHERE: Western Park, Ponsonby

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