Abandoned piano key to exhibition at Artsenta

Artsenta director Paul Smith admires the ‘‘Creative Keys’’ exhibition at the art studio, in...
Artsenta director Paul Smith admires the ‘‘Creative Keys’’ exhibition at the art studio, in Princes St, which is a part of this year’s Dunedin Fringe Festival. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
An abandoned musical instrument was the key to a creative art exhibition in this year’s Dunedin Fringe Festival.

A waka, paintings and jewellery are some of the many pieces in Artsenta’s "Creative Keys" display in Princes St.

However, instead of using typical materials, each item has been made using piano parts.

Director Paul Smith said about 20 artists from Artsenta - which is a creative space for people using mental health and addiction services - spent a few months dismantling and reconstructing the parts of a spare piano at the studio to produce their own work.

"We didn’t want to just throw[the piano] away, so we decided to turn it into art work."

The result was a wide variety of artwork including a 2m-long waka created by Afina Antonio.

Mr Smith said it took Antonio two weeks to put her sculpture together using piano keys.

"[The waka] represents her ancestors that sailed from Hawaiki to Aotearoa, and she has populated the boat with figures which are representations of her ancestors and the journey they took," he said.

"I think that is pretty special when someone brings a story like that to their artwork."

Despite the studio not making sculptures often, trying something new was what Artsenta encouraged its artists to do, Mr Smith said.

"Just give it a go and not worry about whether it’s going to be for sale.

It was about "enjoying the process of creating, experimenting, making mistakes, and not worrying too much about the result of that".

"We are really happy with how it ended up and really proud of the work that people have done."

"Creative Keys" is on display until tomorrow afternoon.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

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