Urewera 18 focus of exhibition

17:00, Jun 01 2011
DUE PROCESS: Lance Ravenswood, left, and Ben Knight with works for the Concerned Citizens exhibition in Garrett St, off Cuba St. The exhibition is intended to draw attention to the pre-trial treatment of the Urewera 18.
DUE PROCESS: Lance Ravenswood, left, and Ben Knight with works for the Concerned Citizens exhibition in Garrett St, off Cuba St. The exhibition is intended to draw attention to the pre-trial treatment of the Urewera 18.

An exhibition that started with five artists supporting the defendants in the so-called Urewera 18 raids has ballooned to 60.

Each artist has donated a piece to be sold in this weekend's Concerned Citizens exhibition, with all proceeds going to support, and aid in the defence of, the 18 arrested.

"When it comes to New Zealand law testing cases of freedom, I like to participate," artist Roger Morris, aka Remo, says.

Concerned Citizens co-organiser Ben Knight says the idea for the show came after watching Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones' documentary about the October 15 raids, Operation 8: Deep in the Forest.

Initially five artists were asked to participate but, as people heard about the exhibition, more joined up. By Wednesday, 60 were on board.

"Once we started doing it we were overwhelmed by the support that people were showing," Knight says.

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Although he believes the accused to be innocent, he says the exhibition is to show strong objection to the process of the arrests and trial, rather than the charges themselves. "These people are being punished before standing trial."

Co-organiser and contributing artist Lance Ravenswood says there is no overarching style in the show – just a uniting motivation for those getting involved.

"We're concerned about whether justice is being done here. Lots of people in the community have questions about this case. We want them to get together, experience some great art, and talk about what's going on."

THE DETAILS

Concerned Citizens is upstairs from People's Coffee in Garrett St.

It opens at 4.30pm tomorrow, and there will be a screening of Operation 8: Deep in the Forest at 8pm.

Entry by donation.

The exhibition is also open on Saturday and Sunday from 11am till 8pm, with some live music on Saturday afternoon.

The Dominion Post