Nelson Arts Festival launches free photography exhibition

An outdoor photography exhibition giving young people a voice on climate change has opened as part of the scaled-down Nelson Arts Festival.

The exhibition, Through the Eye Of Whakatū, is part of a series of Through the Eye of the Lens projects across the country, organized by the creative non-profit organization Track Zero, which gives middle-aged children the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and photographers to share their own perspective on climate change.

Lilly Hodson, a Grade 8 Nelson Intermediate student, spoke on behalf of the students attending the opening and said being part of the project had been an “incredible opportunity”.

“Climate change is totally upon us, and we need to act.”

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She was concerned about the sea level rise predictions. “I find that shocking, because I didn’t think it would be so soon.”

She said she was looking forward to “looking through the lens’ eye again” for future photography projects.

The exhibit of photographs is displayed in the showcases of the Nelson Provincial Museum, with captions explaining their inspiration.

Andy MacDonald / Stuff

The exhibit of photographs is displayed in the showcases of the Nelson Provincial Museum, with captions explaining their inspiration.

Track Zero founder Sarah Meads said the project is about hearing the voices of young people and helping them feel empowered to make change.

Nelson’s photographer Tatsiana Chypsanava was one of the artists involved, along with Auckland photographer Ray Sagapolutele who was unable to attend the opening.

“He is a well-known Pasifika Moana artist, I learned a lot from him. It was my first workshop like this with kids – I learned a lot from the kids too.”

Nelson Arts Festival co-director Rose Campbell said it was only thanks to the hard work of Nelson Intermediate tamariki and the fact that the exhibition was outdoors, and therefore not restricted by Covid.

Nelson Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar said the fact that so many events had to be canceled only made the exhibition more important.

The group Nelson Intermediate Kapa Haka performed at the opening of the photography exhibition for young people.

andy macdonald/stuff

The group Nelson Intermediate Kapa Haka performed at the opening of the photography exhibition for young people.

“We know that the arts are transformational. The arts can educate and inform in ways that facts and figures never can. »

She said the exhibition was “visually stunning” and said Nelson was privileged to have talented artists both “young and old” in Nelson.

The photographs, along with brief explanations in the photographers’ own words, are displayed in the showcases of the Nelson Provincial Museum.

The exhibition is one of many Nelson Arts Festival events that have been able to continue under current lockdown levels. The revised program can be viewed on the Arts Festival website www.nelsonartsfestival.nz.

Tracey L. Sweeney