Sep 23, 2023

Public Art Tour

Wellington creative tech company brings new app-based public art tour to Hastings

 How do you build a giant steel cherry blossom? What does it take to spray paint a mural two stories high? And what’s with those sheep?

 The streets of Heretaunga are about to come alive with the sounds of artists' voices. Working with the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival, Wellington-based creative tech company PickPath have been interviewing artists about some of Hastings’ most iconic public art works and will present their fascinating kōrero in Walking With Artists: An Immersive Guide.


The free guide will be available from Arts Weekend, 14-15 October and remain available for one year on the NZ-made PickPath app. Audiences will be able to access the app on their phone and complete the 45 min experience using headphones in their own time, hearing special interviews with artists including painter John Eaden, mural artist Cinzah Merkens, sculptors Liz Earth and Ricks Terstappen, designer Jacob Scott and more.


Hawke's Bay Arts Festival Director Pitsch Leiser says “It’s a rare thing to hear directly from an artist about their work in such detail, as though you were out for a walk together in the Hastings city streets. I’m excited by the opportunity that this new digital experience can offer us to connect with familiar physical spaces - I think everyone that gives this audio tour a go will see these public art works, and therefore our shared community spaces, anew.”


As part of the guide, local artists were interviewed on site with their work and asked about the importance of sculpture and murals. “Public art can create a sense of identity and belonging," says international mural artist Cinzah Merkens. “In my mind, when you paint a public work, it's your artwork, but you're also gifting it to the public. It gives the locals a sense of ownership over that space without having to own the actual building itself.”


Walking With Artists: An Immersive Audio Tour will be premiering at 10am on Saturday 14th October as part of the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival and Art Trail, and will be available via the festival website: hbaf.co.nz/walkingwithartists for the duration of the Festival. Following the Festival the guide will be accessible from hawkesbayartguide.co.nz, artsinc.co.nz and on the PickPath app.


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