Rituals: Healing Through the Black Imagination was a celebration of Black artistry, where artists and attendees converged to witness the transformative power of ritual. The installation, curated by Serenity Wise, was situated at the Caretaker’s Cottage in Albert Park. Serenity specialises in visual arts and nuanced narrative storytelling from an African and African diasporic perspective, which shone through in every corner of the space.
The installation explored the power of the Black imagination, as inspired by Natasha Marin’s 2020 book. The event focused on representation, community capacity and capability building, along with opportunities to share cultural knowledge and expertise. Rituals provided a space for conversations and connections between those present, embodying the intention to provide healing for Black communities.
Poata Alvie McKree (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, St Vincent, Barbados) was one of the key contributing artists in this installation. She holds a strong commitment to storytelling and facilitating connection to the divine, the ancestors and the earth. Through performance and textile-based installations, her work reimagines the lived experiences of her ancestors as a way of healing the rifts in cultural identity caused by colonisation, migration and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
For a more extended kōrero check out this review by The Pantograph
Presented from Saturday May 20 - Sunday June 18 in the Caretakers Cottage, Albert Park, Auckland CBD
Curated by: Serenity Wise
Artists: Poata "Alvie" McKree and Natasha Marin
National Contributors: Ev Deans, Amina Farah, Theo Shakes, Keven Souza, Esther Gathambo, Tsitsi Mapepa, Mohamed Abdilahi, Sharl Fynn, and Daisy Remington
Serenity is a curator and arts organizer with a background in dance and visual art.
Her visual arts work includes education, curation, and project management for a range of exhibitions, from community-based venues and projects to large-scale museums. Her background in Asian, Islamic, and African/African diaspora art have motivated her to create nuanced, narrative, and intersectional exhibitions and programming.
Poata "Alvie" McKree
(Ngapuhi Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, St Vincents, Barbados) Alvie is an Artist, Qoya teacher and Art Therapist.
Her work is driven by a desire to foster connection to the earth, to people, to the ancestors, and to the divine. This manifests variously through facilitating therapeutic art workshops, offering Qoya, ritual, and ceremonial gatherings for women.
Her people-centered projects have circled the globe and been recognized and covered by The New York Times, Washington Post, Al-Jazeera and many others. Natasha's book, Black Imagination focuses on representation and opportunities for sharing cultural knowledge and expertise
Conceptual artist based in Seattle, Washington and is a published poet and activist with roots in Trinidad and Canada, whose work focuses on people, community, and healing.