Structures telling stories: Art Fetiche

Applying art to tell stories is a meticulous craft, and through decades of history, it’s one that still requires the most experienced of hands.

Steel structures, massive walls, and stories of historic Māori craftsmanship, make up the latest Art Fetiche project, revealed in December. The ‘Pounamu Pathway’ building located in Māwhera (Greymouth), showcases a lifetime of gripping history, rightfully located in the regional birthplace of pounamu.

Together with Ngāi Tahu and SMART Project Management, the Art Fetiche team crafted the exterior artworks to captivate visitors and locals alike.

The project is the collaboration between the two Rūnanga, Makaawhio and Ngāti Waewae, represented by Paul Madgwick and Francois Tumahai.

Art Fetiche’s Brent Brownlee says “It’s a great honour to be working with local iwi, carvers, and designers, helping to tell their stories, and leaving a lasting impact on the landscape of Aotearoa.”

The centre pulls together history, culture, and magic, and has become a completely immersive journey through time. Storytelling of taonga and history, it’s an invitation through the tales of Te Tai o Poutini, West Coast ancestry. While the building’s size and intricacies stun at just a glance, Art Fetiche’s Ben Lakin says it’s not all about looks; “it’s so much more about what it means.”

Creating a centre of such magnitude meant more precautions had to be taken. Art Fetiche, Fayne Robinson, and Mahana Coulston, collaborated with Sam Summerton’s SMART Project Management to safely bring together the experience. Internationally experienced, Sam managed seamless construction for a successful, on-time outcome, and even facilitated a visit from then Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins.

On your next trip to Greymouth, bookmark a day to visit the ‘Pounamu Pathway’ centre. A company that is anything but ordinary, Art Fetiche work with the people and organisations that want to stand out.

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