Anusha Bhana: Korimako Creative

08 November 2021


We speak to the voice of Creative Coromandel for the last year and a half. She left Auckland in 2019 for the creative life in Whitianga, became heavily involved in the local creative community, and officially started her own business. It is with a heavy heart that we say a fond farewell to Anusha from Creative Coromandel, but not from the Coromandel or creativity. 

 

LOCAL FAVOURITES

 

Describe the Coromandel: stunningly beautiful, tropical paradise escape, an arts and nature destination 

Fave swimming beach: Wharekaho (Simpson’s Beach) 

Fave scenic beach: Opito Bay Beach (Kuaotunu)

Fave walk: Sailor's Grave (Tairua)

Fave Indian restaurant: That Curry Place (Whitianga)

Fave date night spot: Marina Bay Eatery or fish & chips at the beach (Whitianga)

Fave summer concert venue: Coroglen (Thames-Coromandel)

Fave intimate venue: Embassy of Friendship (Whitianga)

Fave venue vibe: Luke's Kitchen (Kuaotuna)

 

 

WEEKEND PLANS

 

Gardening, galleries and life admin! I want to catch The Little Gallery’s: The One Thing Exhibition in Tairua, need to catch up on some self-employed life admin (yay!) and get some gardening done while the sun shines. 

 

 

Who is Anusha? A freelance communications/marketing professional. An ex-Aucklander. A huge music fan, passionate social justice advocate and a sometimes artist.  I have my own business called Korimako Creative which encompasses all the different services I enjoy providing; event management, writing, marketing, communications planning and designing. I love planning, coming up with bold and creative ideas and making them happen. The best part for me is bringing all those moving parts together to create something new, and seeing how people respond to it. 

 

I’ve always perceived The Coromandel as an arty place; the beachy, laidback thing. And it’s a reality. It’s soooo cool to come here and be surrounded by all these different artists. Before coming here to live, I hadn’t thought too much about all the different types of art here. I knew there was a lot of visual arts, but I didn’t know much about the musicians or the bands here. And I didn’t know anything about the performing arts scene either. I assumed that most of the creative scene was based around the visual arts. Mercury Bay Art Escape was something I was following on social, so I thought maybe that’s what it’s like all over the Peninsula. Now having lived here for two years, I’ve discovered that there’s so much diversity here in the type of art that’s practiced or shared, which I love! 

 

After initially being quite homesick for Auckland when I first moved here, I couldn’t imagine going back and living in Auckland. Living here has relaxed me somewhat, I’ve learned how to slow down...well at least I’ve started to learn how to slow down...it’s a work in progress! 

 

My first taste of the local arts sector was when I met Jan Wright [former Chair of Creative Coromandel and founder of Creative Mercury Bay], back in March 2020. It was during the first national lockdown, and she’d reached out to my partner Dave Rhodes (music producer) with an idea for an online performing artists series, a creative platform for performing artists and their audiences in Mercury Bay during lockdown. The project needed a video editor and someone to market the online performing art series, so that’s how we both became involved with Creative Mercury Bay, as contractors for the Bubble Bites series. 

 

Bubble Bites was such a cool project to be a part of - local performing artists would film themselves in their bubble– music, drama, poetry and send it in and then we’d edit it together into a half hour episode. We made 10 in total. The poetry in particular really spoke to me, I think Pete Delete/Pete Aldrich's Bubble Bite was particularly special. He performed spoken word poetry as he was walking around his art studio, so every piece of poetry was related to a piece of art. It was raw, honest and moving. And you can go back and re-watch them anytime you like on the Creative Mercury Bay YouTube Channel!

 

Bubble Bites was a really meaningful thing to be doing at a time that was…weird. And scary. 

 

I think the feedback from viewers saying things like, ‘I really needed that,’ ‘that made me feel better’ - they were the most memorable. That was the whole point of the project. It was to make people feel something other than absolutely terrified about what was going on in the world. It was a clear demonstration of how the arts can make you feel good; take your mind off things, even for a little while. 

 

We were also very grateful to have the project funded by Creative New Zealand’s Arts Continuity Grant as well, without which Bubble Bites probably wouldn’t exist. 

 

After Bubble Bites, I got fully involved with Creative Mercury Bay as a Trustee, and then eventually became the Chairperson. I also did the marketing for our events. At the same time, I started doing the marketing for Creative Coromandel, so most of the last year and a half has been spent promoting our local creative community. I’ve met and made so many new friends and been inspired to restart my own art practice too, which has been on the backburner for at least 10 years now. 

 

The Arts are such a huge part of our identity, our nation, our people - regardless of whether it’s performing, visual or literary arts. Should the Arts be funded? Absolutely! Without a doubt. It’s sad how much of a struggle it is sometimes to get arts projects off the ground. It’s been eye-opening to be involved in the local arts sector in the way that I have, in both governance and contractor roles. I now know firsthand how much effort goes into gaining funding for the arts, and only hope that over time that will become easier. Funding or the struggle to get it, was actually one of the reasons why we unfortunately had to close Creative Mercury Bay in July this year. 

 

To me, the Arts is a force to be reckoned with, it’s a powerful means of expression. It’s probably why I painted so much when I was younger. It was a way of getting out whatever was in my head or whatever I was feeling. I’m also a massive music fan. I can’t play any instruments or sing, but I just love it, deeply.  I think for me, music is probably where I’ve had my best connections to the Arts. 

 

I love visual arts, I love going to the theatre or a dance performance or whatever, but music is what gives me the feels. 

 

I remember going through some really awful times as a teenager and music literally saving my life. 

 

My life would be very different without the Arts. Apart from going to see exhibitions and gigs and stuff, creativity is very much in my life. The way I design the interior of our house, the clothes I wear, my obsession with crazy hair colours, the way I present projects, my way of thinking, the way I write. It’s just part of me. That’s why I chose ‘creative’ as part of my business name.  I would be a very boring person without the arts and creativity, and probably very bored! 

 

Where I’m at in my life at the moment - I’m actually trying to combine all the things that I love into my business. Combining the creative side of me with the communications/marketing side of me, and the advocacy/social justice side of me.

 

Contributing my skills to projects that are doing something meaningful and positive. I used to think I had to leave New Zealand to save the world and stuff, but I realised when I got older and possibly a little wiser, that I can make a difference right here.

 

If you’d like to get in touch with Anusha to discuss a project or idea, you can email her at anusha@korimakocreative.co.nz


Contact info:

0223287192

anusha@korimakocreative.co.nz




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