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Masked up and ready to paint.
Due to current Covid-19 travel restrictions (and a broken ankle) a few of the 2021 artists have had to cancel their trip to Taupo this Labour Weekend. However Dr Suits, Tāne Lawless, Gemini, Milarky and Bode, will still be creating amazing new artwork in our Taupō town centre.
From Saturday morning, visitors will have the opportunity to watch artists at work as they create their large-scale artworks within the Taupo town centre over the long weekend. The festival team have been purposeful about matching the right wall with the right artist to use each space within the town centre as a platform for their storytelling.
“There’s an awesome atmosphere around the town centre during Graffiato festival weekend – it’s a great opportunity for visitors and locals to witness the murals come to life and engage with the artists as they work,” says Festival Coordinator, Alice Thompson.
Our 11th year sees a change in curator, Olivia Laita from Aotearoa Urban Arts Trust (AUAT). Olivia uses logic creatively and holistically to manage art projects and has been doing so for 10 years. Her CV includes project management of the Askew One ‘Wynyard Quarter Silos’, curator manager for all three ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ exhibitions in Auckland and Sydney and assistant manager for SWIDT’s award winning album ‘Stoneyhunga’. AUAT is a relatively new venture for Olivia and she hopes that through this vehicle and her new role as Graffiato curator, she will be able to add value to Aotearoa’s urban contemporary art community and its admirers.
Tāne, of Tainui and Te Arawa waka. Local to Taupo and Lake Rotoiti.
Tāne has attended 6 previous Graffiato events. He has always loved art since he was a kid but never pursued it. What kept his art flowing was cutting stencils at 15, then self taught screen printing and over the years his part time Clothing brand has kept his passion for art alive. “Graffiato is always a fun interesting event to be involved with”.
Milarky focuses within the realm of Nomadism and what he aligns as ’the Return to Nomadity’ of our species due to the misled ability to care for the Earth. Nomadism being a response to the environment, an adaption through a generationally founded ability to attune to nature, as opposed to our societies current mind set to tune the land to our desired ways. Recently finishing his Masters based on the field between Nomadism and Sedentarization, to decipher the position of a contemporary Nomad, and investigate the domination of current physical and philosophical borders and ‘mobility limitations’ on our species, and its Nomadistic tendencies.
Dr Suits, born Nathan Ingram, is an Ōtautahi-based artist whose work shifts between street and studio, exploring the potential of these distinct sites of creation and installation. With a background that spans fashion, graffiti, graphic design, street art and large-scale muralism, Dr Suits’ art constantly grapples with a deep-set interest in the outcomes of experimentation and repetition.
Rising to prominence with a series of graphic street paste-ups responding to post-quake Christchurch (most notably the 2012 ‘Band-Aid’ collaborations with his wife Jenna Ingram), since 2016, Dr Suits has explored the potential of abstraction as both a response to his surrounding environment and a deep fixation with process and material qualities. This transition away from more literal urban illustrations, playing out across a devastated landscape, to abstract forms that rely more on colour and form for their impact in some ways matches the evolution of the artist’s hometown as the recovery has progressed and shiny new buildings have emerged. No longer faced with the more obvious challenges of an immediately post-disaster city, instead the peculiarities of an urban setting are more nuanced, the realities of transience, change and contestation hidden behind shiny glass and washed concrete. Similarly, Dr Suits’ latest work is understated and layered. Although spending more time in his studio at Fiksate Gallery, a space he runs with his wife, Dr Suits still operates in the public realm (with mural and installation works), but more importantly, his work maintains an overt reference to the urban environment, both in form and material, from paper, concrete and glass, to echoes of the angular forms of street markings and dynamic sprays of graffiti.
A Taupo local designer, Gemini has volunteered at many Graffiato events, and is excited to participate in her first street art festival. Experienced in watercolours and digital art, she has gotten into more paint mediums in recent years, including spray paints. Gemini is inspired by astronomy and witchcraft, and loves combining these themes with portraits.
A new local artist. Bode recently returned to New Zealand and this will be his first attendance as an artist at Graffiato. Born in New Zealand, Klein lived his early years in Scotland and later moved with his family to Denver, Colorado. He began his education in the arts experientially, as a teenager; writing graffiti on the streets, in back alleys and at the train yards of Denver, only later to achieve a Bachelor of Fine Art from Metropolitan State University where his focus of study was painting and drawing. Versatile and experimental, Klein works within and throughout almost all imaginable mediums from more traditional fine art drawing, painting and sculpture, to site specific found art and earth art installations.
October 23 to November 29, 2021
Cut Collective formed in the early 2000’s, bringing a group of like minded artists together to work on collaborative based projects, murals and exhibitions. With all members active in the Auckland street art scene, the collective began to gain recognition for their public works that typically employed spray paint and hand cut stencils.
As the collaboration grew so did the ambition and soon the Cut Collective were set up in their own studio space behind Auckland’s Karangahape Road.
The collective adopted an approach that rejected the conventional pathways that artists were typically required to tread and prioritised the production and presentation of artwork that was accessible for all. In addition to a focus on public space, the artists seek to remove the barriers that stand in the way for much of the public to have encounters with art.
New Zealand’s longest running annual street art festival.More info