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Home Ground 2023

In 2023, Home Ground delivered a range of workshops, projects, resources and good vibes throughout Aotearoa.



CARE projects, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga, provide access to art-making activities and creative expression for people who experience barriers to participation.

We delivered creative programmes in Manawatū – Palmerston North (Te Papa-i-Oea) and Te Tairāwhiti – Gisborne (Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa) for 25 wāhine. We also ran weekly online workshops, and an ongoing workbook-based programme.

Women’s Strategy

We held a book launch and Matariki celebration, and created an Artist Hui where women who had been a part of previous projects could participate and collaborate with professional artists. 20 wāhine participated, and we distributed over 30 workbooks and provided follow-up with our online weekly workshops.

Creativity and Cultural Wellbeing Strategy

Home Ground delivered Creativity and Cultural Wellbeing workshops in Christchurch Women’s Prison and Arohata Prison, funded by the Department of Corrections.

28 wāhine participated, and we distributed 30 workbooks in each prison, as well as providing ongoing opportunities for creative practice.

Artist Development Hui and Audio Journey

We decided to focus on the women who have previously finished a Home Ground project, inviting them to explore and extend their creative practice, reconnect to our amazing practicing artists, and see what crazy collective dreams we can manifest!

Over three days, 14 wāhine participated, and we experienced engaging discussions, valuable insights, and inspiring stories. Out of the development hui, we created the concept for an Audio Journey ‘Take the Space’. A one-off grant from Grace Memorial Trust allowed six wāhine to design and produce a podcast addressing the impact of the justice system on women and whānau. This project is currently under development through Wellington Access Radio, due to be launched in March 2024.

“It’s a great course for women. There should be regular courses like this. We need to occupy our mind, hands and soul.”


The Home Ground Workbook

The Home Ground workbook was created as a response to barriers that prevented our crew from being able to provide in-person workshops to wāhine inside prison. In our workbook we've included our rituals, abundant colour, a sense of community and artistic collaborations with our whānau. Wāhine can use the tools in the workbook to inspire self-led creative expression when they're on their own, or equally when they're surrounded by a busy family life at home.

We had requests from participants to trial the workbooks with rangatahi, specifically younger wāhine. We also trialled the workbook with members of the Newtown Park Apartments, and in 2024 will create supplementary volumes to encourage whānau connection. The Edward Carter Special Assistance Fund have continued to fund our ongoing development of the workbook and in 2023, 91 workbooks were distributed.


Community Connections

Home Ground provides access to a diverse range of arts and artists. Home Ground participants were invited to exhibitions at Te Papa, Pātaka Gallery and Hoea! Gallery, and performing arts initiatives such as Kia Mau festival, The Sun and the Wind with Taurima Vibes, Footnote New Zealand Dance, and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Artistic Collaborations

Sacha Copland – Movement Specialist | Performance

Java lead us in movement in 2023. Sasha delivered a series of workshops for our artist hui and developed some movement rituals we recorded to share virtually with our community.

Fran Kewene – Lecturer in Health, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University

Fran sat in an advisory role with us in 2023. She set the tone for our engagement with wellbeing: We are enough. I am enough.

Nathan Taare – Scentologist

In 2023, Nathan created his fourth scent for Home Ground, which speaks to a sense of ‘belonging’. The Home Ground perfume was made from materials that produce the effect of homeliness: family, comfort, warmth and nostalgia.

5Ever – Publishing House

This collaboration was critical to the success of our online and prison programmes. 5Ever provided design, printing and publishing skills to create the Home Ground workbook.

Hoea! Gallery – Melanie Tangaere Baldwin, Michelle Hinekura Kerr

Led by mana wāhine and practicing artists, Melanie and Michelle, Hoea! provided a home for us in Te Tairāwhiti. Hoea! has been actively involved in all of our projects, delivering online workshops and access to the diverse and strong Toi Māori community in Te Tairāwhiti.

Participants as Leaders and Artists

Our focus in 2023 was on integrating Home Ground participants as workshop leaders and artists, demonstrating that ‘if I can do it, you can too’. We had emerging artists contributing to the growth of Home Ground by delivering workshops, co-facilitating online workshops and representing Home Ground at performance events.

Our crew

Whakahoa K‍aitoi i Te Ara Poutama Arts in Corrections Artist Fellowship

As a recipient of the Whakahoa Kaitoi i Te Ara Poutama Arts in Corrections Artist Fellowship, Roseanne Leota, the Home Ground creative advisor and administrator, successfully completed the fellowship in 2023 and created a stunning collection of poetry.

Another Home Ground artist, Phillipa Mita, was the latest recipient of the Whakahoa Kaitoi i Te Ara Poutama Arts in Corrections Artist Fellowship. Based on her experience working with Hoea! Gallery in Te Tairāwhiti, Phillipa wants to develop her arts practice on painting with whenua.

Home Ground Headquarters

We were invited to take up an artist residency in the heart of Omārōrō Newtown at Newtown Park Apartments, managed by Te Toi Mahana. Home Ground has now signed a five year agreement with Te Toi Mahana to embed ourselves in the community. We have a Home Ground headquarters, office space, and a permanent place to invite our hapori between projects.

Growing Home Ground

During 2023 we were able to return to regional areas and deliver inside prisons after a long time navigating the impact of covid.

  • We continued to advocate for women in the justice system, providing wāhine-led, trauma-informed programmes to people experiencing barriers to accessing the arts.

  • A Home Ground artist secured the cover art for the report on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.

  • We completed a case study for the World Health Organization study With Care and Curiosity: Arts practice and the ethics of care.

  • We hosted three events at our new home base at the Newtown Park Apartments.

  • We participated in RUCKUS, a week-long performing arts development workshop with Barbarian Productions.

Overcoming challenges

The main challenges we encountered in 2023 were delivering in an overstretched prison system, and working hard to prioritise the wellbeing of our community at the same time.

We worked hard to prioritise our wellbeing, deliver, and develop tools for training. This is needed at the moment. There has been a significant shift in the prison community post-covid, and we are finding the mahi far more complex and harder to navigate.

Having a permanent ‘home’ has allowed us to reduce our logistical load, and instead allocate time to unpacking the impact of the work. We have found there is professional and personal safety in continuous practice, rather than project-based delivery.

Having successfully created and trialled our three-day programmes, we were able to focus on increasing consistent programming between the projects. We provided online-tailored content, through a weekly engagement initiative called Kotahitanga.

Having a bespoke workbook that participants can flexibly engage with has been a huge asset to Home Ground. The impact of Covid is still felt in 2023, but the workbook has made many of our projects that much more meaningful.

Although there have been many challenges, we are carving out space, using our voice and are excited for another year. We have a home, and are embedded in our local community! Our team made it to the end of 2023 without burning out, we have survived and are growing!


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