Queenstown’s light festival LUMA funds emerging artists with Gnome Project

An award-winning light festival in Queenstown which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, has gone gnome-mad.

 Queenstown’s LUMA Southern Light Project, from May 31 to June 3, will be ‘gnome sweet gnome’ to around 30 of the legendary little garden creatures.

But in true LUMA style there’s a twist to this tale – they’ve been lovingly transformed into mini works of art by some of New Zealand’s top artists.

 In the build up to and throughout LUMA, the fibreglass-concrete gnomes are being auctioned off through TradeMe as part of an ‘Adopt-a-Gnome’ programme, raising funds for an emerging young artist to work on an installation for next year’s event.

Art lovers and businesses from around New Zealand are being encouraged to liberate a gnome through the auction. Before LUMA lights up Queenstown, some of the gnomes are on display at the new Macomos art gallery at Five Mile Centre.

During LUMA, part of the Queenstown Gardens will be transformed into ‘gnome man’s land’ with an area dubbed ‘Gnome Alley’, showcasing their transformation.

The brief for the artists was broad – they could decorate, pull apart or incorporate the gnomes into a larger piece of art, and were generally encouraged to go gnome crazy! Resene Paints jumped on board as a sponsor with primer, paints and a clear glaze to ensure the gnomes survive chilly winter nights in the garden, and the project is also supported by the Queenstown Lakes District Creative Communities Scheme and local landscape company Patch Landscape.

Due to the notoriety of runaway (or liberated!) gnomes, they’ll be kept under lock and key at the end of each evening during LUMA.

Each artist will have their name featured alongside their gnome – including luminaries such as Tony O’Keefe, Ben Ho and Mary Mai of Queenstown, Jenny Mehrtens of Arrowtown, Dick Frizzell of Auckland and many more.

Tony Cribb of Christchurch has designed an ice-cream gnome called ‘Gnome in a Cone’ with its hat painted as a cone and its legs and body looking suspiciously like a goody-goody-gum-drops ice cream.

Astro is a seasoned ‘astrognome’ who’s completed over 200 missions as part of the gnome colonisation space programme. Flint is a homeless gnome looking for a loving family (anyone?) while Mossy Gnome from artist Dick Frizzell is apparently the oldest of all the garden gnomes.

‘The Highwayman SH6’ is a time stealer who works tirelessly to hold up all the good people of Queenstown (something of an ‘in-joke’ gnome), while a familiar-looking Minbot is the oldest known gnominion.

LUMA Light Festival Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth predicts the gnomes will be the “sure fire hit” of this year’s event.

“We did tell the artists that ‘anything goes’ for their gnome makeover and they haven’t disappointed us,” he says.

“We’ve had some pretty serious expressions of interest already from art lovers who are ‘in the know’ and are proud to bid on a gnome so they can help us fully fund an emerging artist to develop, construct and exhibit a new piece of artwork for LUMA20.

“Who knows where some of them will end up!”

The Adopt A Gnome auction is underway on TradeMe and finishes on Tuesday June 4 at midday. All gnomes can be viewed on the LUMA website where there is a link to TradeMe.

Now in its fourth year, around 50,000 people are expected to brave chilly winter nights to go on a sensory journey through the gardens and around the Queenstown Bay waterfront.

LUMA Southern Light Project and the LUMA Light Festival Trust are very proudly supported by the Central Lakes Trust, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown law firm Anderson Lloyd.

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Five Mile Centre- your hub for health and wellness

Queenstown’s Five Mile Centre is something of a one-stop-shop for health and wellness in the district.

People are coming to understand that keeping healthy and feeling good isn’t just about the number of reps they complete at the gym, or what you do or don’t eat for breakfast. A wide-ranging and more holistic approach to health and wellness is key to living long, full and healthy lives, and Five Mile’s got a surprising amount of needs covered.

Starting early

Yes that’s right – get into this while you (or they) are young! Mamas Five Mile Childcare has the perfect space in which to encourage littlies to play, learn, discover and grow. Developing lifelong skills of resilience, problem solving and teaching the ability to adapt helps children learn and develop into academically and emotionally well-balanced individuals.

Need some help?

Talk to the experienced team at Five Mile Pharmacy, where they offer professional healthcare and holistic advice to help maintain and restore wellbeing. They’re also home to a great range of over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, superfoods and natural health products.

Queenstown Natural Health is the district’s leading locally-owned and managed supplier of holistic health products from within New Zealand and overseas. Pop in to have a chat about what’s on the shelves to help with nutrition, fitness and weight loss, skin and hair, stress, detox or muscle ailments.

Get fit and get out there

If you’re into running, rugby, netball, yoga or the great outdoors, our new Stirling Sports and long-standing Rebel Sports stores have all the gear you need to motivate yourself (and your crew). Did you know that outdoor exercise, also known as “green exercise”, is great for the brain, body, and soul? It boosts your energy and gives you your daily dose of vitamin D. Being surrounded by nature changes the physical expression of stress in your body.

If you can’t get out there, then get in to Flex Fitness. With their group fitness classes, high-quality equipment, and nutritional guidance, Flex Fitness consistently provides the most relevant physical exercise, nutrition, and education systems to members to help achieve optimal health.

Fuel the body, feed the soul

There’s a saying that ‘variety is the spice of life’ but not many know that the poem from which that lines comes continues with the line ‘that gives it all its flavour’. Taking that literally, spices are known to have several health benefits – spices make traditional Indian home-cooked food amongst the healthiest meals eaten around the world.

Head into Spice King at Five Mile and breathe in the heady ‘spice of life’ aromas in a store that’s packed with spices not just from India, but all around the world.

All that exercise means expended energy has to be replaced, which is where Five Mile’s popular Tank Juice comes in. Tank’s a New Zealand-owned and family run business focussed on making delicious, healthy and fresh smoothies, juices, salads, and wraps with no added sugars or artificial flavouring.

Hikari Sushi Bar is renowned as a bit of a gem in Five Mile’s foodie offerings – their sushi and meals are as fresh as they come, with plenty of gluten free and vegetarian options. The benefits of Japanese food are well documented, so head on in.

Aches and pains?

Five Mile’s got you sorted if you need a helping hand to fix those aching bones.

Queenstown Health Chiropractic and Physiotherapy has been operated for over 25 years by renowned chiropractor Dr Neki Patel. Its all-round service offers chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy services to live life without pain.

Move Physiotherapy has a dedicated team of physiotherapists specialising in helping with acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, sports injuries and persistent pain state to move freely and live a fulfilled life.

Is there a doctor in the house? Mountain Lake Medical offers a wide range of services from general health check-ups to more specific male, female, and childrens’ health services.

Feel good, look good

The way we feel about ourselves on the outside translates to how we feel about ourselves on the inside. For the feel-good factor for the weekend, a special occasion or because you deserve it, Hair on Five Mile and Nail On Five Mile help you feel healthy and look beautiful with internationally-trained hair salon staff focused on stylish hair and colour services and a range of nails, waxing, tanning and beauty services right next door.

Find out more at Five Mile

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Queenstown schools step it up to support award-winning light experience LUMA

Hundreds of primary and high school students from around Queenstown are adding their own special touch to the multi-award-winning LUMA Southern Light Project.

The countdown is on to four evenings of illuminated art, light sculptures and entertainment in the Queenstown Gardens over Queen’s Birthday weekend (May 31 – June 3).

Community participation, collaboration and support is a key driver for organisers of the event – now in its fourth year and expected to attract over 50,000 people who brave winter nights to immerse themselves in the light and sound spectacular.

And for over 250 students whose work will be on display it’s the culmination of months of hard work and creative effort on their collaborative installations.

The person with the biggest job of all is Wakatipu High School (WHS) technology teacher and LUMA school liaison co-ordinator Rebecca Lund.

She has brought together students not only from WHS but from Queenstown, Remarkables and Shotover Country primary schools to work with the theme ‘Lanterns’.

With sustainability in mind though, the theme has a twist — students all have to use recycled materials.

Plenty of plumbing of all shapes and sizes (even sewage pipes) have been repurposed for the works, after students were tasked with finding plumbers, construction and project managers willing to donate materials for them to transform.

Media students at the high school have also been able to get involved again this year, introducing an element of sound to the school pieces encouraging people to interact with the artworks by finding sound-sensitive buttons to press in conjunction with the light elements.

“The students are as excited as they can be because they’re presenting their work not just to our schools’ community but to thousands more visitors and locals at LUMA,” says Rebecca.

“Because of the ‘soundscape’ element of the installation it’s meant we can be more cross-curricular than ever before, involving more than 70 students from the high school alone.”

For the first time the WHS Art Department has dedicated a Scheme of Work to the LUMA project and created a ‘cityscape’ using clay. Under the watchful eye of teacher Abbey Brown, students have learned how to handle, bisque fire and glaze clay structures.

“I sometimes wonder why I sign up for this year after year, but when I see the end result and how proud students and their families are, it’s all worth it,” says Rebecca.

Over the past two months, LUMA director Simon Holden has been coming into schools to give authentic stakeholder feedback on student ideas and concepts.

“Students have found that pretty challenging but have accepted the challenge,” says Rebecca. “It’s a valuable lesson for them to learn that this is the way things happen out in the real world. I really value the fact that this is an amazing authentic project.

“It has actual stakeholders that students have to listen to and adapt their work accordingly depending on feedback.”

Another ‘first’ for WHS students is the chance to help in the set-up of their works, working on site with technicians to install their creations before the crowds arrive.

LUMA Light Festival Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth says the level of involvement from local schools is a key element of community initiatives and engagement, aligning with the Trust’s core values.

“These students work so hard each year and we’re as thrilled as they are to see their work literally come to life over the LUMA weekend,” he says.

LUMA Southern Light Project and the LUMA Light Festival Trust are very proudly supported by the Central Lakes Trust, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown law firm Anderson Lloyd.

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Business support flows for award-winning Queenstown light experience LUMA

Two major Queenstown businesses are flying the flag for the multi-award-winning LUMA Southern Light Project.

Skyline Queenstown and Queenstown Airport are supporting the event as installation partners, with the countdown well and truly on to four evenings of illuminated art, light sculptures and entertainment in the Queenstown Gardens over Queen’s Birthday weekend (May 31 – June 3).

Now in its fourth year, around 50,000 people are expected to brave chilly winter nights to go on a sensory journey through the gardens and around the Queenstown Bay waterfront.

The free public event is a riot of light and colour, focusing on the transformation of space, public interaction, art, culture and education. It’s all made possible by curated collections of stunning light sculptures and thought-provoking installations, brought together by a group of young Queenstown professionals who donate thousands of hours’ time to bringing the event to life.

Skyline Queenstown is supporting the creation of a two-part projection titled Superposition by Creature, by artist Lakshman Anandanayagam, which will link the gardens installation to the Skyline Queenstown complex on nearby Bob’s Peak.

Queenstown Airport is supporting ‘Trilogy’ by visual arts initiative the South Island Light Orchestra (SILO) and & AMD. The installation has been designed specifically for LUMA and will also appear at the airport after the event.

Duncan Forsyth, LUMA Light Festival Trust chairman, says the increased business support is a new phase of growth for the event. Skyline is a first-time installation partner and Queenstown Airport returns to the event after taking a break last year.

“We’re thrilled to be an official installation partner for LUMA19,” says Skyline General Manager Wayne Rose.

“At Skyline Queenstown, we continuously look to support local community initiatives we feel align closely with our core values and represent who we are as an organisation.

“LUMA is the perfect opportunity to do just that and by mirroring an installation from the gardens within the Skyline complex, we’re also providing Gondola Annual Pass holders with another reason to ride up the Gondola. And it promises to be a lot of fun!”

Duncan Forsyth says the trust is delighted to see more local businesses than ever before recognising the value LUMA brings to the town.

“Community engagement is at the heart of everything we do at LUMA so this is part and parcel of that,” he says.

“The event continues to evolve as a sensory experience with a broader focus this year on live performance, so this increased support from two very prominent local businesses goes a long way to confirming we’re on the right path.

“We can’t thank them enough.”

LUMA Southern Light Project and the LUMA Light Festival Trust are very proudly supported by the Central Lakes Trust, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown law firm Anderson Lloyd.

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