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Invercargill glows during Murihiku Matariki festival

09 Sep 2020

In a celebration of culture and community, Invercargill’s Murihiku Matariki event brings together families of all ages. “We thought it was important that we marked this very important occasion handed down to us by our ancestors and to share this with our community,” says Sharne Parkinson, Murihiku Matariki project manager and events coordinator.

Dripping off branches are over 700 shapes made by the Invercargill community which glow thanks to Resene FX Fluoro paint in Green, Yellow, Pink, Blue and Orange and blacklight lighting.

This year, they wanted to encourage greater community involvement in the festival, “just showing up for the event is not in the spirit of Matariki,” says Sharne. So, the idea to create a community art installation was born.

The Murihiku Matariki project team, with support from Trust Turama, ICC PARKS, The Creative Communities Scheme and Resene, launched free community workshops for all ages and abilities and supplied art packs to schools and kindergartens to encourage the community to contribute to the art installation.

This installation was part of the Hiwa I Te Rangi section of the Murihiku Matariki festival. Resene FX Fluoro paint in Green, Yellow, Pink, Blue and Orangewas used for each creation and then blacklit to create the glowing effect.

Using Resene Fluoro FX paint, the community created 700 whetu [stars] and 46 Manu Tukutuku [kites] over four weeks of work, which were strung up in Queens Park and blacklit. “It made such an amazing magical feature to our realm of Hiwa I Te Rangi – the youngest star from the Matariki constellation. It’s the star you send your hopes and dreams to during the Matariki period,” says Sharne.

The team was overwhelmed with the support from the community participation in the art installation. Resene FX Fluoro paint in Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange and Pink was used to make the shapes come alive.

This, along with pieces from four local artists and beautiful sound tracks of traditional Maori instruments helped to totally transform the park into something spectacular.

“My highlight was seeing everyone’s eyes light up as they walked into the different spaces and watching them as they spotted their toi [art],” says Sharne.

images Murihiku Matariki