Windmill lights up festival

20:39, Aug 13 2014
Audio-visual show  projected onto Nelson's Christ Church Cathedral and the Church Steps.
PIKI MAI: Audio-visual show projected onto Nelson's Christ Church Cathedral and the Church Steps.
Piki Mai
Piki Mai
One of the many stunning visuals from Michael Hodgson's Piki Mai installation. Click through the gallery for more images.
piki mai
Piki Mai
piki mai
Piki mai

Founder's windmill will become the canvas for a special light installation in this year's arts festival.

Nelson Arts Festival director Sophie Kelly says the historic windmill will come alive through the magic of video-projection mapping.

The installation, called Winds of Time, will be "in the spirit" of the 2011 arts festival smash hit Piki Mai, but on a smaller scale.

BACKDROP: The historic windmill at Founder's Heritage Park will be the canvas for a specially commissioned video- mapping installation called Winds of Time.

"It's not going to be as big as Piki Mai, but we want to reference to it so people do understand the nature of the work."

The free event will run each night of the festival from October 16 to 26 from 9pm until late on a 10-minute loop.

"It's an experience we want everyone to enjoy," Sophie says.


The festival this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The specially commissioned installation aims to reflect "where the festival has come from" and capture some of its past.

Sophie says Winds of Time has been created by Delainy Kennedy who started helping out on the arts festivals as a child. His mother, Cynthia Lorrian, is a core production crew member of the festival and is responsible for the venue dressing.

Delainy's father, hairdresser and DJ Gene Kennedy, will be providing the soundscape for the visual treat.

Delainy worked with Piki Mai creator Michael Hodgson on the installation in the 2011 festival and has since gone on to work in the video-mapping industry.

He now lives in Auckland and works for international video-mapping company Darkroom.

"They are supporting him through this project which is cool."

Piki Mai ran in the 2011 Nelson Arts Festival and had a budget of $80,000. It was an overwhelming success and thousands of people enjoyed the 15-minute audio-visual show on the Church Steps. Sophie says Delainy, now 21, is "really chuffed" to have his own show in the festival after 10 years of helping out.

Sophie says this year's birthday lineup includes a wide range to works to suit a combination of tastes and will feature 85 events including six international acts.

This year boasts a huge lineup of free and ticketed events, including theatre, dance, music, comedy and writers' talks.

Highlight ticketed events include Man Booker Prize winner writer Eleanor Catton and renowned contemporary Australian circus troupe Beyond.

A personal highlight for her each year is the Masked Parade which is on October 17 and has a theme of Earth, Wind and Fire. Already 2000 people have registered for the event billed as one of the largest walking parades in the Southern Hemisphere.

This year's festival will be bittersweet for Sophie because it is her last. After 10 years working on the Nelson City Council-run event she has decided to set up independently so she can work on contract.

"I just want to get involved in other things and have a bit more diversity in what I do rather than focussing on just one project," Sophie says.

She has already been selected as artistic director for a new festival in the Bay of Islands in April next year.

She is also looking forward to a three-month holiday in Europe with her husband and two teenage children.

To book your early bird tickets, visit, the Theatre Royal box office week days, or the ticket booth at the Saturday market. Grab a programme or view it online at

The Nelson Mail