Take Time to Kōrero/mā te kōrero, ka ora - Art Exhibition drops on Mental Health Awareness Week
Artworks by some of New Zealand’s most famous artists will be on show across the country as the Urban Art Foundation (UAF) and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 27 September through to 3 October.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is themed around the importance of having a little chat/kōrero for our mental wellbeing: Take time to kōrero/mā te kōrero, ka ora - a little chat can go a long way.
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson said about the UAF exhibition: “Art can be a fantastic tool for sparking conversations between people. It’s the small, everyday conversations that allow us to get a better understanding of each other – and these chats can make a big difference to our mental health, too. That's what this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is all about - taking time to kōrero. We hope that people might take a moment to pause, reflect and engage with these art pieces when they come across them while out and about - we can give our wellbeing a real boost when we simply take a moment to notice our surroundings.”
UAF creative director Andrew Hagen said: “UAF's In Isolation exhibition, which ran after lockdown last year, was very well received. From that, one thing became clear: art creates conversation. 'Take Time to Kōrero is an attempt to contribute to Mental Health Awareness Week by showing art that not only inspires people but also evokes communication and connection.
“We are fortunate to have had valuable assistance from major art collections, including the Waikato Museum, the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, the Fletcher Trust Collection and the Chris Parkin Collection. Many of the artists in this exhibition are household names, including Rita Angus, Don Binney, Robin White and Jacqueline Fahey.”
Ms Sandra Schmidt (AThR ANZACATA), a Wellington-based registered Arts Therapist, said about the exhibition: "Engaging with the arts, either by being part of the audience or making and creating is an invitation to connect with yourself and others. Creating, in particular, enables you to meet other aspects of yourself. It’s like looking into a mirror that is kind to you. That creates a unique reflection that is more than the sum of its parts! Creating and engaging with the Arts is a positive interaction - it´s not denying or minimising but giving to yourself and the community around you.”
Courtesy of oOh!media NZ, the exhibition will be on show on digital signs on streets and in shopping malls across New Zealand. oOh!media has previously partnered with the UAF presenting numerous art shows to the general public.
oOh!media NZ general manager Nick Vile commented: “This is another fantastic collaboration raising awareness for an extremely important national issue. We are very proud of the work we do with Urban Art Foundation, and this is yet another example of how art can raise awareness and hopefully encourage conversation between Kiwis as they move about their communities and see these works on the street.”
The exhibition commences this coming Monday, 27 October and runs for six weeks. It will be on show on various oOh!media digital advertising panels within bus shelters and in retail shopping centres nationwide.
About the Urban Art Foundation
The Urban Art Foundation (Urban Art) is a not-for-profit company committed to making art accessible on streets and in public gateways to enrich New Zealander’s experience of their urban environment. It takes art created by New Zealand artists out of archives and displays it in contemporary easily accessible, outdoor digital media sites – street furniture - for people to view as a source of enjoyment and education.
This is achieved through an association with outdoor media company oOh!media who provide electronic billboards on city centres, shopping malls and bus shelters throughout New Zealand.
Urban Art’s exhibitions appear in shopping malls, gateways and on street signage across the country. Exhibitions screen in Auckland, Taranaki, Hamilton, Christchurch, Bay of Plenty and Wellington where Urban Art have a unique six-screen digital gallery on Lambton Quay’s ‘Golden Mile’, the busiest shopping area in New Zealand.
New Zealand continues to be the only country in the world that presents art to the public in this manner on an ongoing basis, with up to three million pedestrians being exposed to the works during the course of an exhibition.