Street artist XoÃ« Hall is among the artists taking part in the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival, from March 5 to 7.
The creative power of māna wahine will enliven the streets of Hamilton next month, when an all-female team of artists get to work during the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival.
Xoë Hall, Erin Forsyth, Gina Kiel, Pounamu Wharekawa, Abigail Aroha Jensen, Rachel Kiddie McClure, and Gemma Yiannoutsos – also known as Gembol – are the artists taking part in this year’s festival, which will be held from March 5 to 7.
The free, public event is now in its sixth year and is responsible for a growing number of eye-catching pockets of colour around the city. For three days each year it provides a unique opportunity to witness acts of high-quality creation and transformation as they happen.
“Street Art has the power to transform and uplift spaces, and it’s great to be working mostly locally this year,” festival director Craig McClure said.
* Colour on campus: University library, lecture halls transformed by art
* Boon Street Art Festival enhances Hamilton’s arts credentials one wall at a time
* Frankton gets fancy thanks to street artists’ endeavours
‘We’re very excited to give some love, some big visual art love, to the north end of Hamilton around Liverpool St.”
Taking things up a notch, the Boon team had invited Grrrl Fest – a multi-media arts festival celebrating female and non-gender-conforming talent – to host a live music stage from 12 to 6pm on Saturday, March 6 as part of the festival hub on Liverpool St.
There will also be opportunities to take VIP tours, and meet and chat to the artists in their element and even buy some merchandise.
Some of the participating artists are well known and have established their credentials in dramatic ways. Erin Forsyth ruffled some of the conservative residents in the Auckland suburb of Howick in 2018 when her sculpture Kid Justice was unveiled.
The vibrant blue fibreglass sculpture depicted a blindfolded girl standing on a boulder, clutching a petition roll with a tauhou (wax-eye) bird on her shoulder.
The work, which commemorated the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, invoked the ire of some of that community’s politicians, which in turn may have led to it being vandalised some months later.
Artist profiles, event announcements, maps, shoutouts and competitions will be posted online through @boonstreetart and boonstreetart.co.nz.
The all-female array of artists is not the only innovation the festival has made in recent times. In November last year several of Waikato University’s lecture halls and offices were brightened up as part of the first Boon On Campus event – a spin-off of the main festival.
McClure said the festival would not be possible without the help of numerous sponsors and businesses including Mr Pickles, Wonder Horse, Craft, Gothenburg, Resene Paints, the Hamilton City Council, Foster Construction, Beca, Chow: Hill, CBD Events, Total Access, the WEL Energy Trust and Trust Waikato.