Landscapes of the Heart

I’ve been listening to stories today that I recorded in the Taranaki community at the end of last year. When I first had an overall view of the stories I saw there were similar thoughts and themes that ran through all of them. But when I listened more closely, I realised that the people and their stories were actually quite different.
koru hand painted rock
“Landscapes of the Heart” is a project I’ve been working on over the past few months with Puke Ariki museum in Taranaki as part of their current exhibition, ‘What If – The Future of Taranaki”. This exhibition asks the community a variety of questions about how they see the future of Taranaki as it relates to the mountain, sea, economy, energy, community and neighbourhoods.
The project uses storytelling as a way to engage with the community, to give them a voice and an opportunity to share their personal stories.

Why storytelling?
People feel valued when they are given this opportunity, they feel heard. They respond with an open mind and in many cases an open heart and a desire to want to share their stories…and of course there’s an element of trust that goes with this as well.
I believe in the power of stories to bring about change. I believe that through our storytelling we can connect with one another and we can see another’s point of view. We may not agree with it, but we can acknowledge it and see it as it is. And from this common place where all these stories and people meet, change can happen.
I’m grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity to hear these stories, but it is only the beginning…
On Wed 23rd March at 6pm (yes in three days time!!) I’m giving an artist talk at Puke Ariki in Taranaki where I will share more about this project and show some of the stories that I have gathered. If you are in Taranaki – would love to see you there!
Arohanui,
Jo x
The book that is in the photo is a book I’ve had for nearly fifteen years! It’s called, ‘Work With Passion – How to do What You Love for a Living’ by Nancy Anderson and has been a great reference book for me over the years.

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