Unused retail spaces set to come alive for shows


A horse head, humour and hip-hop are scattered throughout Dunedin's unused retail spaces this weekend.

In collaboration with the Fringe Festival, public art organisation the Dunedin Dream Brokerage (DDB) is providing a home to four innovative performances, ranging from protest art to an ancient tale.

Behind painted windows in George St, The Sorry Shop is a satirical work which aims to shine a light on the mental health system.

Artist Liz Manson wears a papier-mache horse head as part of her satirical work The Sorry Shop...
Artist Liz Manson wears a papier-mache horse head as part of her satirical work The Sorry Shop.PHOTOS: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Actor-director Liz Manson - who dons a papier-mache horse head for her performance - said she was taking common discriminatory language and stigma used in the mental health system and placing them in a different context.

Among these is an apology Manson received from a community mental health centre.

"This is a protest work at its fundamental basis," she said.

Honor McKellar, a resident of the Yvette Williams Retirement Village, appreciates art at The Nude...
Honor McKellar, a resident of the Yvette Williams Retirement Village, appreciates art at The Nude Exhibition at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday.

Another empty commercial space is hosting Orpheus, an award-winning modern remake of the ancient myth, which incorporates folk music and speech into a theatrical event.

The performers are also running three workshops tomorrow, which are free to the public.

Alexander Wright (left) and Phil Grainger prepare for their performance of Orpheus yesterday...
Alexander Wright (left) and Phil Grainger prepare for their performance of Orpheus yesterday afternoon.
The brokerage is also hosting "Otepoti Hip-Hop Hustle" tomorrow at the Underground Market in George St, which is being transformed for an all-ages hip-hop celebration. DDB broker Kate Schroder said the organisation was excited to be part of the Fringe Festival for another year, bringing experimental contemporary art to a wider audience.

Ms Schroder thanked the council for providing it with funding, which allowed people to put on innovative events in empty retail spaces in the city.

"The fact that the council has continued support for the last three years to allow these events to happen in the community is really amazing."

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