Artists' message in a mini hut idea takes off
People are leaving little notes for each other all over Wellington thanks to two Mt Cook artists.
Kemi Whitwell and Niko Leyden have left "Public Art Survey" logbooks in seven locations for people to leave their thoughts.
It is part of a larger art project called Miniature Hikes, combining Wellington's walking culture with human connections.
Seven miniature huts, constructed by the artists using recycled materials, are located in suburbs around Wellington.
"We like creating unexpected things for people to encounter on their everyday walks or exploring of nature," Whitwell says.
Earlier this year the logbooks were placed at potential hut sites to gauge community interaction with the area. Those who wrote in the logbooks were unknowingly contributing to the design of the hut for that site.
"With Mt Albert, people really took to the logbook so we decided that hut would have a more interactive component, because obviously that community wanted to engage more," Whitwell says.
As a result, the Mt Albert hut near Newtown has a blackboard and map for marking interesting spots in the area.
Leyden says participation in the Breaker Bay area logbook was a bit more removed and dispassionate, so the huts for Tarakena Bay were designed to have less of an impact.
Five of the huts still have logbooks, the entries ranging from drawings, people's wishes, and messages of thankfulness.
"Takes my breath away no matter how many times I see it. We are so lucky, thanks for leaving your pencil," stated one entry left at Tarakena Bay, near Moa Point.
Another read, "Please take care of the Orangutans and give them their homes back", and, "Help humans to realise they don't need much to live".
Whitwell says the logbooks show that people want to connect and writing about experiences for others to read is a nice way of doing that. "When you are out there you can feel like it's quite a solitary experience being by yourself in nature.
"But then when you come across a logbook and you see that other people have also done this walk and have also admired the view or thought about how beautiful life is, they're connecting with that person even though they're not physically there."
A book showcasing logbook entries is on the cards.
- The Dominion Post