an exhibition held at Expressions Gallery, Upper Hutt in 2013 featuring Wi Taepa and his sons Ngatai and Kereama. The exhibition was a feature of the 10 year anniversary of Expressions Gallery.
"Alakazam" was a vinyl installation artwork about my identity and the place I grew up in:
Alakazam is a magical word used to conjure - from a time of mystic and magic. This installation work references my life within Upper Hutt and also in general. It aims to present the parts of my life that have made me who I am today - those experiences that may have been small or big yet have had an impact nonetheless. More importantly it highlights the connection I have to this special and magical place that formed the building blocks on which I have built my identity.
A product of the I 980's and I 990's means I have grown up before and during the introduction of the digital age. I remember film cameras, the phone with the clicking round thing and recording my voice through headphones, plugged into the mic port on my brother's boom box. The brick was the first cell phone, ninjas were awesome and so was break-dancing - baggy pants with kung fu shoes the fashion of the day. Spacies was the local hangout and a wire was the first 'hack' us youngsters learnt. Twenty cent pieces lined the screen - 'seconds' was a common term heard within the spacies shop.
We also grew up with a real sense of community. We knew everyone and everyone knew us. We were free to go bush without any parents and play on the streets. We were even allowed to walk to school unsupervised. A large group of kids meant that we were always safe - we were always safe.
Now as we are older with kids of our own we come back to Upper Hutt often. As we come down from the Haywards my wife and I always comment on the beauty of the valley - the idyllic scenery. I am settled to know I have made my way back home. It is the place I began my life - the place that still holds those magical memories of my own childhood.
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