Therapeutic Glimmer


Twenty years after her whanau’s first shop in Coromandel Town, Harataunga’s Kelly Harrison has taken the bold move to revive and renew her parents’ legacy with the opening of a new gallery featuring the stunning works of multiple generations of this exceptionally talented family and other Hauraki artists.

 

Daughter of renowned master carver Pakariki Harrison (Ngati Porou) and weaver Hinemoa Harrison (Ngapuhi), for Kelly, learning these traditional arts and the values that inspire them was akin to breathing air and drinking water. From a young age she accompanied her parents around New Zealand, contributing to the tukutuku panels that grace countless of meeting houses, eventually graduating to leading her own projects.

 

“I remember my dad telling me, always finish what you start. I went to Paeroa which was the first job I took on by myself and he just said you don’t come back until you're done. It took me eighteen months but I did it, it was an amazing time, the people really looked after me there. I felt very cared for and I learned a lot,” she recalls.

Now having returned home to Kennedy Bay, smiling in her gallery, surrounded by the creations of her parents, brothers, cousins, friends and other artists she deeply respects, Kelly, is tentative but determined that her ambitious goal of returning authentic, locally created toi Maori to the heart of Coromandel Town is the right call at the right time. 

 

“It feels like an awakening. It’s as though we have been asleep for the past twelve years since dad died, now we are all coming back to life creatively,” she describes. Adorning the gallery walls and displays are the unique handcrafted works of up to a dozen accomplished artists. The carvings and crystals of Kelly’s brother, Fred Harrison, sit comfortably alongside pottery crafted from the clays of Harataunga by Mike O'Donnell, triumphs of colour and creativity from weaver Briar van Dort and the pasifika flavour of Dessa Bluu’s magnificent mosaics.

Paintings by Kennedy Bay’s Tiana Dobbs overlook the lovingly created natural oils and medicinal remedies of Naomi Pond, while jewellery, sculptures  and ceramics also feature in the collection. A special corner of the gallery has been dedicated to the female spirit. “I believe very strongly in the power of women and this place will always feature a work that represents and celebrates that,” says Kelly. 

 

It has been a challenging few months as Kelly with her partner Jack prepared and launched the new enterprise. “It has been completely self funded and we have put everything we have into it. I absolutely believe this is what I am meant to be doing. I want to be a vehicle that allows our wonderful art and skills to be appreciated and valued in a way that will support our people both creatively and economically. It has been a very tough thing to try and value these precious taonga because to us they are priceless, but the response we have had from the community has been amazing and I am so grateful to everyone who has shown their support for what they are doing.”

 

With the majestic Harataunga korowai, patiently and expertly created by her mother and one of the final carvings from the hand of her father in pride of place to watch over and inspire the growth of this new project, Kelly reveals even the name of the gallery has been borne from the relationship between art and creativity and wellbeing. “It’s called Therapeutic Glimmer. Therapeutic relating to the healing journey that we are all on, and glimmer taken from a karakia that refers to the glimmer of light from the heavens and the earth being the source of all creativity.”

 

With her Harataunga/Kennedy Bay whanau and community behind her, Kelly is already planning the next step towards her goal of showcasing and promoting the traditional skills that have been so important to her family. “We cannot lose these gifts, we need to encourage our youth to embrace these skills so we can pass them on for the future.” 

 

To this end, Harataunga Marae will be hosting three days of workshops from 6 to 8 March with a range of demonstrations and or/classes across a variety of artforms for anyone who would like to learn more. “The first day will also be an open day with a traditional powhiri and a tour of our marae which is something many people may not have had the chance to experience. We will have lectures happening in the evening time on various aspects of our culture including Maori symbolism.” Visit the website listing for  more information on the programme and costs.

 

Regular music nights are also planned at the gallery on Kapanga Road featuring young local performers. “We have already held one and it went really well. Lots of visitors popped in as well as locals and it is a great way for our young people to introduce themselves to the wider community and show what they are capable of. The next one will be on Saturday, 7 March, to coincide with our wananga weekend.”

 

A portion of all profits made at Therapeutic Glimmer go towards the restoration of the Harataunga Marae. “Look after your marae and your marae will look after you,” says Kelly. In between the demands of running the gallery and planning events, Kelly acknowledges one more thing she must dedicate time to. Despite all the glorious offerings at her shop, there is one notable absence. “All of my pieces sold, which I guess is good,” she reveals. The weaver who specialises in tukutuku panels is determined to rectify the situation.

 

“I should have something ready by early March I hope. But I feel so incredibly lucky and honoured to have so many amazing artists allowing me to share their work and being surrounded each day by such positive, creative energy.”


Contact info:

info.creativecoromandel@gmail.com




Visit the Coromandel’s best artists - Open Studios ArtsTour 2020

Book yourself a weekend visiting the Peninsula’s best artists - it's guaranteed to inspire!

Creative Coromandel launches new artist mentoring programme

Creative Coromandel welcomes new patrons

Coromandel artists embrace NZ Made Products Facebook Page

We chatted with a few local artists from around the Peninsula who generously shared their experiences

Therapeutic Glimmer

Inspiring the next generation

Keeping in touch

Locals entertain via Bubble Bites 

A message from the Creative Coromandel team

New waharoa is a labour of love

Te Puru School embarks on new Māori carving project

Te Puru School brings Kotahitanga to the Thames Coast through Māori carving and mural project

Tuia - Encounters 250

Te Powhiri, Te Whanganui o Hei commemoration October 2019

Floyd Johnston

From Kuaotunu Kid to Kick**s Creative

The Back Room

A creative haven with a difference

Give it a Go with Wendy

Whitianga artist Wendy Walls' love of teaching is inspiring her to share her skills and help others find their inner creative.

ArohArt - A Labour of Love

A Thames centre celebrating and showcasing authentic Maori art is getting people talking and the owners are excited by the dicussion.

Off the Scale

A feast of talent on show at Whitianga Music Club

Anniversary sculpture taking shape

Star Waka project ready to launch

Ka Tito Au

Kupe's enthralling journey comes to Mercury Bay

Artful Performance Space

Barry Brickell Memorial Stage

Jandal On The Mandel

#jandalonthemandel on the Hauraki Rail Trail

Back Room Gallery showcases local art

Barry Brickell Play with Clay Day

Make your Escape to Mercury Bay

Hausmusik NZ presents "Cupid's Arrows"

Steampunk The Thames

Shining the light on local talent and performance art.

Diverse Displays at BADO

Creative showcase of local art at Whangamata's Big Arts Day Out.

Handle The Jandal

First sculpture for Hauraki Rail Trail

Showcase of Creativity

New website showcases creativity on the Coromandel.

New Home For Steampunk

New base for Steampunk The Thames

Auckland Youth Orchestra

May performance in Mercury Bay

Creative NZ arts funding

Coromandel artists apply for CNZ funding

CCS Funding Projects

Successful applicants for CCS funding announced.

Creative Spaces

The Coromandel, with many heritage buildings intact, lends itself well to adaptive reuse for the arts.

Dr Tracey Slaughter Talks

Free Short Story Talk at Waikato Museum

Steampunk Arts Vision

A vision for arts in the community

Coromandel Muso's

Are you a muso based in The Coromandel?

A Winter Visit

If you love the arts, you'll love The Coromandel this winter.

Who We Are

He Mana Toi Moehau Trust

Funding Creativity

CCS funding applications open this month.

A Funding Chat

Bring your coffee to our online arts funding forum.

People’s Choice Award

Pam Mundell announced winner 2018 Mercury Bay Art Escape award.

Hub for Creative Sector

Welcome to your Coromandel Arts & Creativity hub.

New Members Wanted

Mercury Bay Art Escape 2019 call for new artists & groups.

A Buzz of Creativity

Arts celebrated across the Peninsula

The Back Room

A creative haven with a difference

Ask Where I’m Local

A visual art exhibition in Coromandel Town.

Coro Summer Fest

Everything a festival ought to be

ArtStation presents a creative feast

Tuia Stage showcasing Coromandel’s best

Open Invitation to Funding Hui

Workshop to help artists understand the grant application process

Coromandel Peninsula artists embrace NZ Made Products Facebook Page during lockdown

We chatted with a few local artists from around the Peninsula who generously shared their experiences

Street Art Festival In March

Mercury Bay Art Escape commemorate Tuia 250 Encounters with Street Art.