Students from The Learning Connexion School of Creativity and Art – both past and present – are bringing Christmas cheer to Lower Hutt this festive season.
An eclectic mix of traditional and non-traditional media and creative approaches have been used to create dozens of Christmas trees as part of Hutt City Council’s Christmas on High and other events designed to bring life to the city.
With a strong TLC presence, a dozen or so 1.8m wooden Christmas trees have been installed around High Street painted by local artists to bring together the diversity of Lower Hutt through a Christmas tree.
In addition, TLC artists have contributed to Re-Tree, a Christmas Tree Pop-up Exhibition. Local artists, crafters and Christmas enthusiasts have designed and created unique Christmas trees from everyday items that have been recycled and repurposed. The exhibition is set in a grotto like setting, aglow by twinkling fairy lights.
Re-Tree has gained national attention with TLC student Jago Collier and Graduate Jojo Garcia Jowett featuring in this newshub story.
‘Nipa Hut in the Hutt’ (pictured left) is a Christmas tree home by TLC graduate (Level 7) Jojo Jowett, which takes the shape of her family's traditional home in the Philippines. “I have used dried flowers, dried tree trunk, dried weeds from my garden and cardboard boxes. This is a reminder that I had been gardening in my backyard for 31 years in New Zealand.”
For her, Christmas is about home, but with closed borders she can't visit her loved ones this year - so she’s bringing her home to New Zealand.
"If I can't see my kids or my family in the Philippines I might bring my home inside into my 'second' home," she told Newshub.
Another TLC Level 7 graduate Johannes Mueller-Welschof has created a decorative Christmas tree using a coat rack, heat gun and scissors. ‘Recycle-Bling’ also uses optical PET sheets from old TV sets, blurring the lines between 2D and 3D through angle and reflection.
Meanwhile, TLC student Jago Collier took his inspiration from old broken bicycles - using wheels to create a tree shape - and decorating it with chains, gears, bells and lights.
"We had an accumulation of wheels and I thought I could strip them down and turn them into a tree, it's cyberpunkish. I think it's taken those sort of recycling elements and has that industrial feel."
Entry to Re-Tree is a simple Koha, with all proceeds going to the Lower Hutt food bank to help those in need this Christmas. It is running until 23 December in a pop up shop at 152 High Street.