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Men in Invercargill Prison make Matariki art

28 July 2021

Men in Invercargill Prison were supported by Toi Māori Arts volunteer Sharne, recent winner of the Arts Access Whai Tikanga Award 2021, in the creation of a carving for the Murihiku Matariki Festival.

Sharne spoke with the men about Matariki, its meaning and significance. She designed the artwork which was carved and painted by one of the men in the prison workshop. The neon was later added by volunteers outside the prison.

The carving gave the men an opportunity to learn about Matariki and create an artwork which would help tell this story to the wider community.

One of the men said they were all excited to be part of Matariki, “even from in the prison,” he says.

“It is great to learn about our heritage and also be part of a community project that Sharne is coordinating. It makes us feel like we are doing something good for others.”

The carving is currently on display in the Invercargill Queen’s Park Band Rotunda.