Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Origins is coming next week!

Lance, Shelagh and I were at a reception at New Zealand House last night. It brought home the fact that Origins is coming along rather soon!

Rosanna Raymond, who will be our commissioned visual artist for Rich Mix, was there, as was Jo Walsh from October Gallery, where the Current exhibition opens tomorrow. There were people from our partners at City of London Festival, and a performance by the London Maori, Ngati Ranana.

The Maori performance sat strangely in the penthouse of the High Commission. I was chatting to some of the artists afterwards, and they said that the energy of kapa-haka depends very much on a connection with the earth. And there we were on the 17th floor, staring out over serious London greyness. Hopefully by July 3rd the weather will be glorious and we can all enjoy Maori ceremony and performance in the open air on Hampstead Heath!

I met Noel Tovey at the airport on Sunday morning. What a remarkable man. He lived in London for 30 years, not really acknowledging his Aboriginality, but slowly came to a realisation of the importance of his identity, which took him back to Australia, back to his own people, and into a new life of arts for social good, including scholarships for young Aboriginal performers and work with Aboriginal young offenders. His production of Midsummer Night's Dream for the Dreaming Festival is legendary. It's a great privilege to collaborate with him as he returns to London to tell his life-story. He tells me that it was something he had to do. Part of a homecoming process that works in both directions.

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