Sometimes you have a crazy idea that you just have to put into action. Liana’s Parlour of Natural Beauty was just that. Driven by the idea “why does so much nature connection, science communication and conservation have to be so sciency and intellectual? – Why couldn’t it be more sensory, pampering and joyful?” I came up with the Parlour. And then, along with 17 wonderful volunteers, I put it into action as an 8 day experiential installation that looked like a retro beauty parlour taken over by the bush and connected people to nature and wellbeing. It was all run as part of the Common Ground Groundwater-themed Hutt Public Art Festival February 25- March 4 2017.
In a week we pampered almost 500 people and connected with thousands more; people from all walks of life not just those already interested in environmental issues or the arts.
The feedback was fabulous:
Nature connection is a powerful force for mental wellbeing. This was recognised this year by the mental health foundation who made it the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week. As Re-wild Yourself I joined in the photo competition and was surprised to win a spot prize for a shot my daughter and I made playing on the lawn together – with my flowerfull hair. Thanks MHAW.
MHAW also featured an office lockout lunch hour to encourage workplaces to make sure their staff had some outside time in the day. As I don’t really have an office to lock my self out of I had some fun taking my plastic executives outside at lunchtime!
Seriously though, nature is key to my mental health. Don’t underestimate how crucial it could be for yours.
What a pleasure it was to be the MC/facilitator for the Strengthening Communities Hui at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland. For the first time, three fantastic national networks held their annual hui together; Community Recycling Network, Community Energy Network and Environment Hubs Aotearoa. They not only saved resources by collaborating, but inspired and upskilled thier members and came up with some great ideas for boosting the community enterprise sector as well. I set myself the challenge of graphically recording each main session. People seemed to like the memory prompt for each session and it made for an engaging way to get feedback from all on how the Hui was for them.
One of my latest pen drawings. This is “Ika Toanga” celebrating our precious native fish; giant kokopu, short jawed kokopu, red finned bully, bluegill bully and sprat.