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Kiwi-flavoured design
Bay News, Tauranga  by Rebecca Mauger
30 Nov 2017
General News - Page 5 - 516 words - ID 880647673 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 370.00cm2

Artist Ashlei Luckman-Taupaki is fascinated with positive and negative sides of human nature.

The Bachelor of Creative Industries graduate is expressing those elements in her cutout decorative artwork, which is destined to be hung on a tree in the Twelve Trees of Christmas project with Tauranga City Council and The Incubator Creative Hub.

"The main idea behind my decorative disks is the cutout. I'm addressing balances of myself the positive and the negative. I have anxiety sometimes and we all have our negative moments which we want to cut out and get rid of." Ashlei was the designer picked by The Incubator's director Simone Anderson to design the larger-than-life "trees" for the project.

Twelve Trees of Christmas has 12 wooden trees decorated by more than 20 local schools, tertiary organisations and community groups displayed in Red Square and at the waterfront.

Ashlei looked to her Maori roots to come up with the stylistic kowhaiwhai pattern and the trees were inspired by New Zealand's native Christmas tree, the pohutakawa.

Ashlei will decorate one side of one of the trees with her symbolheavy cutouts of Maori designs, Celtic and various other patterns.

The groups have the opportunity to paint and create their own decorative disks which will be hung on the remaining trees. Some of the the community groups involved include Toi Ohomai students and staff, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Maungatapu Primary School, Tauranga Multicultural Society, Tahatai Coast Primary School, Te Tuinga Whanau Trust, Te Aranui Youth Trust, Graham Dingle Foundation's Project K, Tauranga Pryde - Rainbow Youth, Bethlehem Primary - Te Ao Huri Huri , YMCA, Pillans Point Primary, Tauranga Society of Artists, Omokoroa Art Group, Welcome Bay Primary, Te Puke Art Society, and the Tauranga Hospital children's ward.

TREES OF CHRISTMAS Tauranga City Council and The Incubator Creative Hub are bringing the Twelve Trees of Christmas to the city centre.

The project has wooden trees decorated by more than 20 local schools, tertiary organisations and community groups displayed in Red Square and on the waterfront.

On December 2, the same day as the Trustpower Christmas Parade, there will be an opportunity for the community to get involved and take part in a free workshop on the waterfront. People will be able to paint decorations for the public installation. The workshop will be open from 11am at the Edgewater Fan.

The Incubator director Simone Anderson says Twelve Trees of Christmas is an opportunity for the community to contribute to the temporary public art project during the festive season - "a time where community connectedness and whanau is encouraged and celebrated".

Tauranga City Council Mayor Greg Brownless said the Twelve Trees of Christmas was a unique way to bring some festive cheer to the city centre.

"We see it as a project for the community, by the community. It's an opportunity for more than 700 people in the community to see their artistic talent on show," he says.

The trees will be on display from December 1 until mid-January 2018.

Caption Text:
Ashlei Luckman-Taupaki was tasked to design the trees of the Twelve Trees of Christmas. PHOTO: Rebecca Mauger

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