Artists Take to the Trees at the Gardens Magic Series

5 January 2009

For the first time in the history of the ASB Gardens Magic series, crowds coming in from the Founders entrance to the Botanic Garden will be greeted by public art installations.

Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE) artist-in-residence, Sayaka Ishizuka, and Wellington eco-artist Heidi Threlfo are soon to decorate two trees next to the Sound Shell, complementing Mike Farrand's legendary lighting of the Sound Shell's surroundings.

Sayaka will pay homage to memory and the past by decorating a tree with discarded belongings and bric-a-brac with Whispers. Taking a tree next to Sayaka's for her installation, Home, Heidi reminds us of the importance of trees in our lives by decorating her tree with lots of white crocheted doilies in a protective gesture. Both Whispers and Home build on previous projects that the artists have undertaken with trees.

Heidi Threlfo is a Wellington-based 'eco-artist' who creates outdoor environmental installations that explore the relationships between people and nature. She says the arts "have an integral role to play in addressing the current ecological and cultural problems we face today".

Sayaka Ishizuka is the fourth artist-in-resident in the WARE programme and has come from Chigasaki-shi in the Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Her installations are usually made up of overlooked, small, modest objects which she assembles and floats in space. Sayaka hopes to remind viewers of other places or things, invisible emotions, memories and time.

A series of artist talks will take place during the Gardens Magic series: Heidi will discuss her work at 6.00pm on Wednesday 21 January, and both artists will discuss the joint installation at 6.00pm on Wednesday 28 January.

WARE is an artist's residency programme between Wellington and Asian arts organisations supported by Wellington City Council, the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Bolton Hotel. Heidi Threlfo's installation is supported by Wellington City Council's Public Art Panel.

More details are available in NZCT Summer City brochures, which are available from Council service centres, libraries, pools and cafés around town. You can also check out details of the festival on the our website, using the links below.