Home Ground artists and mentors have been working in Arohata Prison to create a performance piece for Matariki and the Arohata Inside Out Matariki Concert 2021.
Project Rua runs for over seven weeks, but has an intensive 3 week series of creative and well-being workshops. We co-create a show where women have the opportunity to tap into their specific creative talents, reflect upon what their life experience can offer, and address challenges they face in the system.
Unfortunately due to the reality of Covid-19 the decision was made to postpone the concert until late July (date to be confirmed).
The Home Ground artists (inside and outside of prison) chose to put on a concert for the other women inside, to celebrate Matariki and all the offerings that come with this very special time of year.
The women presented a 10 minute performance that talked of creation, remembrance, whānau, our inner fire, our reflections and resolutions! They created such. powerful and life affirming piece - there were tears... shouts of support and a real feeling of celebration for the women.
We were lucky enough that Moana and her back up crew, Hunter and Jerry - performed beautiful inspirational songs and we even got to have a dance!
These moments make the community stronger, allow for reflection and honesty about where we are in our lives, and the impact of the system on us as wāhine, mothers, sisters, grand mothers.
Throughout this time together we encouraged women to develop strategies for resilience and provide creative opportunities for women to learn through co-creation and self-direction.
Some of our feedback:
"I feel Home Ground helps women reconnect to their femme in an artistic way"
"This project has helped my mental health immensely"
"It reminded me of who I want to be, not my conviction"
"The project and my Home Ground family helped heal my soul that Corrections broke"
"Home Ground gives women something to belong to and a safe space to express themselves in a way that works for them. It’s support that is ongoing inside and outside of prison which is extremely important to minimise re-offending."
Everyone worked so hard to make this performance special and we look forward to sharing it with our community. We are working on a digital performance, that we will share on our website for friends and whānau!
We thank all of the incredible artists who joined us on the Project Rua 2021 journey.
Our amazing artists include William Brandt and Jo Randerson on storytelling through words, Moana Leota on music and all it's magic, Aimee Martin on Sounds and how they shape our stories, Dan James with visuals and projection, Anna Wooles our Home Ground Creative Producer, Kasmira Krefft on Photography, Ruby Hinepunui Solly with Taonga Puoro and Tupe Lualua on the power of our bodies and their movement!
It was a tough time with our Covid challenges, so it took extra love and care from everyone to see this one through, especially our artists inside. Our creative community makes the world go round!
Thank you thank you thank you to everyone that made this possible, we acknowledge your commitment to changing the world, one mission at a time.