Panel artists Taakere Wairama, Tualau Fale, Taita College student Sarah Brooke, and Perry Scott, a 3D sculpture tutor from The Learning Connexion, were involved in designing the exterior panels on the Walter Nash Stadium – a local community centre in Taita, Lower Hutt, Wellington.
Commissioned by Pippa Sanderson, the Arts Advisor of the Hutt City Council, each of the local artists created, and put forward several design concepts for the long, thin, concrete panels that would decorate the outside of the building. They based their designs on the curves of the Hutt river and took inspiration from traditional Maori carving motifs.*
Learn more about the project and the artists:
Taakere Wairama’s design displays a kaitiaki (guardian), in manaia form, who watches over the Hutt river. Its feet and hands sit along the top end of the river. The kowhaiwhai represent the different ethnic groups of the Taita and Pomare area and suggest the unity of all people.
Perry Scott’s design represents the Hutt river and a tarataraaki motif from Maori carving which is often used on a pataka - a traditional Maori food storehouse.
Tualau Fale’s design includes Tokelau feletoa, and features a great warrior in a canoe on the Hutt river.
“People seem to enjoy the fact that the panels are thematically related to the people who live in the area – mainly Maori and Pacifica. I think that the locals respond to that and they enjoy the architecture which has those elements incorporated into it. This is a community centre for their use, so it’s good that they take ownership of it [the centre]. They will contribute also, just by using the centre, and when the project is finished, it [the building] will take on the flavour and the culture of the people who have used it.”
Perry Scott, panel artist and tutor from The Learning Connexion
The Walter Nash Centre
The Walter Nash Centre lies within the heart of the Taita community and features:
- Five indoor basketball/netball courts in two separate stadiums
- Taita Library with 20 public computers
- Community meeting spaces
- A community fitness centre
- Blue River Café
- 11 outdoor courts
- Free wifi and free parking
Its focus is to build local connections, provide vulnerable kids with greater opportunities and give them access to things most children take for granted.
The community library and meeting spaces provide digital access for the whole community, and events, festivals, trade shows, services and fitness programmes are regularly hosted there. It’s also the home for Hutt Valley Netball and basketball, and hosts a range of different sporting groups based primarily in Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.
For information about The Learning Connexion’s Creativity and Art Diploma programmes call 0800 278 769 or request a prospectus.