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Posted by Diversityworks on 17 August 2011, 6:40 pm in , , , ,

Auckland embraces new ideas about diversity

Over 150 people attended the opening of Artstation’s latest exhibition, How Diversity Works, an innovative art event that sparks a complex and intriguing new conversation about diversity, in Auckland last night.

Artstation Manager John Eaden said it may have been the Auckland Council community gallery's best attended opening yet.

Cr Richard Northey 

Cr Cathy Casey

How Diversity Works is produced by Diversityworks Trust to encourage artists to think about diversity beyond the usual categories of gender race, disability and sexuality.

Guests were entertained by Auckland singer-songwriter samRB and enjoyed a rousing acrobatic performance by circus performers Sarah Houlbolt and Edward Clendon.

Sarah Houbolt and Edward Clendon


“Diversity is not about physical characteristics and political categorisations,” said exhibition curator and Trust Director Philip Patston. “It’s about recognising our simultaneous uniqueness and commonality.

"It’s about agreeing to disagree, feeling comfortable with discomfort, being certain about uncertainty, and embracing the paradox of decay and growth.

“Most of all diversity is about building healthy relationships with each other, based on understanding these things and,” quipped the ex-comedian, “buying the beautiful artwork in the room.”


Diversityworks Trust Founder and Director Philip Patston
chats to Auckland Disability Law's Neha Patel

Diversityworks Trust Chairperson Carol Waterman and Maria Brown

Involving 23 artists the exhibition features works in a wide variety of art mediums including moving image, fused glass, painting, drawing and sculpture, by artists from both New Zealand and abroad.

Exhibiting artist, Afuwa Granger from Canada, said of her understanding of diversity, ““The barriers used to construct someone as Other are themselves a prison.”

“Diversity is all and nothing at all,” said NZ artist James King, and DJ Grierson defined it as “the recognition of the ontology of the human race.”

Joey, Ivan Yeo (Mental Health Foundation) and Wai Ho

How Diversity Works is on display until 3 September and features a related public programme. On Saturday 20 August at 2 - 4pm join a selection of artists for a panel discussion as they reflect on diversity in all its complexity.

On Wednesday 24 August, 5.30 - 7.30pm is the Diversity Inquiry Workshop (DIVINQ) an exploratory workshop-like process designed and facilitated by diversity and social change consultant and ex-comedian Philip Patston.

More information and registration here.


Photos: Anna Nelson

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