PROJECT: Groundswell Love Our Laneways – 2018

The Institute of Architects and the Groundswell Festival of Innovation connected with Creative Bay Of Plenty, and together, with sponsorship from Tauranga City Council, created Love Our Laneways. For three days, a little lane off Grey St was filled with creatives, filling the neighbourhood with sweet tunes, scents and sounds, and enticing people into the interactive space.

‘te ātea’

A commonplace, a place where everyone is welcome;

A collaborative and creative urban space for our Tauranga community to gather and exchange goods, ideas and kai.

The idea is to create a vibrant space, showcasing ideas about identity, change, growth, abstract reality and the urban jungle.

Held as part of the Groundswell Festival and Festival of Architecture in 2018, the laneway between the Priority One building and Kiwibank on Grey Street was alive with built and visual arts, entertainment and food.

Once a connection was made with our city’s stakeholders, and the project began to take shape, Creative Bay Of Plenty reached out to local artists, musicians and stall holders to be a part of the action. Several brightly-hued murals were constructed over the course of the three-day event, featuring works by artists Shane Walker, Alex McLeod and Jasmine Smith. A particularly notable installation arrived each day in the form of a large, mirrored cube, created by Kristy Robinson. With words stencilled in each side, viewers tended to walk around The Box reading its inscriptions – only a few got close enough to discover the person sitting inside. Kristy’s piece represents how one’s physical appearance can affect how others interact with us – with the performer sitting inside representing one’s true self, or soul. Maraea Timutimu’s circular canvases hung from the scaffolding like lush full moons on the Thursday, and the vast copper works from local artists ReWorkit shone spectacularly. Billy’s Bagels were a hit, serving up treats each day, and the delicious Heat Caravan rolled in on Friday.

With the promotion of creativity, Tauranga CBD can progress into the realm of a colourful and lively city, full of talented community members and a thriving economy. As one member of the public put it: Laneways are the road to a vibrant city – we are putting ourselves on the map as a city full of innovation, integrity and prosperity. We look forward to supporting the project in years to come.

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