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Ara Toi Relationship Advisor Council Initiatives Lisa Wilkie said the Public Art Selection Panel met last Thursday and chose Ayesha Green’s Ko te Tūhono as Dunedin’s new public artwork out of four finalists.
"Ayesha (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) developed her work in close conversation with Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou," says Ms Wilkie.
"The selection panel was especially taken with the intimate connection to place evinced by this work and all felt that it was important – and overdue – for mana whenua to be visibly centred in a public space like the Octagon."
Ms Green described her artwork as a "gateway connecting us with our deep ancestral ecologies; it is a passage to our landscape, our life and the wairau we share with the harbour … when you move through Ko te Tūhono you are inside and outside, you are coming and going. As a monument to our tipuna and our tamariki, Ko te Tūhono transcends time and place."
"It was a pleasure to see people read the information provided about each of the four finalists and their respective works and responded in a thoughtful, positive manner. It was a delight to see people engaging with the potential artworks like this and Ayesha’s proposal was popular."
The installation and siting details will now be worked through with relevant council staff. It was hoped that the artwork will be installed later this year.
"At a time when there is strong emphasis on supporting local businesses, Ayesha will be working with local businesses to fabricate and install her work."
"It's also worth noting that during the Covid-19 lockdown, Ayesha was awarded one of the Arts Foundation’s inaugural Springboard awards."
Six artists, each at a formative stage of their career, with outstanding potential in a variety of arts disciplines were been selected, one of whom is Ms Green.
Along with a $15,000 gift, she was matched to senior artist mentor, Suzanne Ellison MNZM.