“Knitting nets is universal. If one can knit a net, one can cross the ocean and connect with people. Knitting nets is part of human wisdom. If one can knit a net, one can transcend time and connect with people of the past and future.” Artist Yausaki Igarashi
From Wednesday 18 October for a week a giant colourful fishing net will rise out of Whairepo Lagoon on the Wellington Waterfront, near the Wharewaka, while a second will call out to it across the water from Frank Kitts Park. The nets are Sora-Ami (Knitting the Sky) made by Japanese artist Yasuaki Igarashi in collaboration with communities from around Eastern Japan in the three years following the Shiogama earthquake and tsunami in 2011. They are part of Shared Lines: Wellington - which Urban Dream Brokerage is supporting - a special programme of discussions and exhibitions in Wellington on 17-21 October that open out discussion about the role artists and urban design plays in earthquake resilience and community building post-earthquakes.
The installation of the work at the Wellington Waterfront Lagoon acknowledges the importance of this area to mana whenua Maori, Taranaki Whanui, as a place of fishing and connection.
The origin of Sora-Ami (Knitting the Sky) is a voyage made by the artist after the Eastern Japanese Earthquake and an encounter with a fisherman living on Miyakejima – a volcanic island in the Pacific south of Tokyo that erupts about once every 20 years. Here the artist learned how to knit fishing nets. Since the encounter in June 2011, Yasuaki has brought people together “to knit” in nine different locations throughout Japan, from the temporary housing facilities in disaster-stricken areas like Kamaishi City of Iwate Prefecture and the Urato Islands of Shiogama City in Prefecture Miyagi to Asakura Jinja in Tokyo – the Shinto Shrine whose shrine crest is a net.
The installation of the work at the Wellington Waterfront Lagoon acknowledges the importance of this area to mana whenua Maori, as a place of fishing and connection. The official launch of Sora-Ami (Knitting the Sky) is 10am Wednesday 18 October outside Te Wharewaka o Poneke. The installation will be up for one week only.
The Wellington installation of Sora-Ami (Knitting the Sky) will be the first of three installations as the nets journey to the South Island to be displayed in Christchurch and Kaikoura in a gesture that connects people from these different islands and helps to share experience and ideas.