Tauranga Zinefest will celebrate their 5th birthday next weekend, and no one is more excited than festival Director Hannah Wynn. We had the chance to chat to Hannah about how the Zinefest came to be, what you can expect to discover on Saturday 24 July (Tauranga Art Gallery! 10am to 3pm! Don’t be late!), and letting go of creative doubt. Read on, and we’ll see you at the Zinefest next weekend!
Your occupation, job title, artistic discipline (or very brief description of what you do):
What cities/towns have you lived in (or spent more than a few months in) beginning with the place of your birth?
Having read about Charli from Koha Apparel’s kōrero, I’m happy to out myself as an Essex girl too! Luckily (ha!) I grew up just outside Glasgow, so that ‘Essex twang’ didn’t stay with me for long. I moved to Aotearoa in 2005, and have lived in Tauranga since arrival. However I had a ‘lockdown romance’ meaning I’ve lived between Tauranga and Cambridge for a while now – exploring the creative vibe in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton) is fun!
What are the earliest stories you remember hearing? The ones that told you about the world?
Heck, that really got me thinking. I’m not sure I recall stories that told me about the world, but I know songs and nursery rhymes from childhood really stick on my head. My Dad used to sing ‘there’s a hole in your bucket’, and so I’ll randomly start blasting that from time to time. Music, in particular melody, is something that moves me… and gets me moving.
How did Tauranga Zinefest come to be?
I was in my second year at Toi Ohomai, studying Bachelor of Creative Industries (majoring in graphic design) and my dear friend, and partner in crime, Lynette Fisher was in first year. She randomly asked me one day if I wanted to be involved in running a Zinefest. And honestly, my first response was, “What’s a zine?” As they say, the rest is history. We partnered early on with Tauranga Art Gallery (Karl Chitham was the gallery Director at the time, and really pushed the event from the ground up) and it’s just grown year to year – this year is a our 5th birthday.
What are you most excited for at this year’s Zinefest?
There’s soooo much to get excited about every year! I’m in loooove with zines! I can’t wait to see all my favourite zine makers, as well as some new faces. My good friend Pepper Racoon is coming up from Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) this year, so that’s damn exciting. But also I’ve doubled the offering… enter the inaugural Wham Bam Tauranga Poetry Slam, happening Friday night (23rd July). I’ve teamed up with Whanganui-a-Tara-based Motif Poetry, so I’m in good hands (or so I’ve been promised). Please check out our events on Facebook and Instagram for more details, but this is not the poetry you learnt in school…it’s fun, exciting and relevant. There’ll be more live poetry at the Zinefest on Saturday too, as well as a ‘make you own’ table, workshop and lots of amazing zines to read and purchase. I’m veeeery excited!
What music was present and still memorable from your youth/adolescence?
I’m not ashamed to admit it, but the Spice Girls were massive when I was a kid, and I’m all about the cheesy pop. Any music that makes you smile is a win for me, and I’m often told my music choice in the office is a winner.
For you as a creative person, who are three influential artists or thinkers?
Woah, this is hard. My every day is filled with visual reminders of just how many amazing artists and designers there are out there. So pinning down three is madness, but I’ll give it a crack. And let’s split it out as local, national, and international.
Locally, there’s truly so much talent, but I’m going with my gut and will say Nicol Sanders-O’Shea. Nicol taught me at Toi Ohomai, and I’m always in awe of her. She’s one of those ‘silent achievers’, terrible at self -promotion, but 100% knocks it out of the park every time. If you don’t know her work search it up. And look out for her amazing installation (presented by Supercut Projects) as part of the Tauranga Arts Festival.
Nationally, I recently purchased a very cool piece from Ghostcat – from his show at Fiksate gallery in Ōtautahi (Christchurch). He creates these splendid miniature pieces, and I’m now the proud owner of a minature skip bin. Truly in love.
Internationally, I adore Sydney-based Elliot Ulm, you have to check him out. But London-based Mr Bingo takes the biscuit. His aesthetic really floats my boat, and any art/design that’s hilarious, that’s my jam. I’m happy to say I own a “Fuckofftopus” print and “Don’t forget to have fun” gravestone. Tū meke!
What are you planning for 2021 that nobody knows about yet?
Pregnancy. Ha! That’s a total joke. Anyone who already knows me will know how funny that is. But actually, there’s this very cool exhibition in Kirikiriroa I’m keen to be part of, so we’ll see.
In one sentence, can you define art?
No. Ha. Can I have another sentence? I’d say… art is a safe place to explore what’s in your head.
What was your first real job, second, third?
I’ve had a wonderful range of jobs. Starting in retail, moving to IRD and then the DHB. Then post study I’ve worked in events, and now I’m a designer. I’ve truly loved every job, and feel like they’ve all helped lead me to where I am now.
Where would you like to live, but have yet to?
Melbourne has always pulled me, even though I’ve never visited.
What word of advice would you offer an aspiring creative person?
Every creative I’ve met doubts themselves on the daily. So for me it’s about pushing through that doubt, and trusting yourself. Trust yourself!
What’s the biggest problem about life in New Zealand? How you would solve it?
Jeez, that’s a deep and difficult question. I love New Zealand, but every country has it’s issues right? And I think inequality is still, sadly, pretty big here. And my thoughts are much of this stems from racism. If we could, collectively, work on that I’d be pretty stoked.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself/your organisation?
Please come along and enjoy the day with me. It’s an amazing FREE community event, that celebrates many other creatives. You don’t know ’til you try, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
More about Tauranga Zinefest
Visit Tauranga Zinefest’s Creative Directory profile for more info
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