Dunedin Midwinter Carnival

by Insiders Dunedin

When: Saturday 18 June starting at 5:30pm
Where: The Octagon

Are you one of the thousands of Dunedinites who brave the crisp Dunedin night to celebrate Midwinter every year? Here is an exclusive look at the secret preparations within the art workshop for Dunedin’s Midwinter Carnival…

Part of the Puaka Matariki Festival, the Midwinter Carnival is New Zealand’s largest lantern procession and is well known for its lanterns, sculptures and spectacular costumes.

This year’s theme is ‘Future Worlds’ and Artistic Director, Juliet Novena Sorrel, says the Carnival Art Team is working hard to deliver another visually stunning event.

“This year’s event is inspired by concepts of the future, from the Da Da art movement of the 1930s, Sci Fi movies and space travel, to David Bowie and the future of our planet. We have some very talented people working on some exciting projects in our workspace and can’t wait to share them with the public.”

One of those talented people is local Dunedin sculpture artist Katrina Thomson, who has been producing two of this year’s most stunning giant lanterns.

“I’ve been quite enjoying thinking about futurism from a surrealist time or a Dadaist time,” Thomson says.

“I’ve been working on an elephant carried by birds, which is quite a surreal image, alongside a whale with a city upon its back. But I guess who knows what could happen in the future,” she laughs.

“The cool thing about the lanterns is that the material is so light, and it’s quite a treat to be able to work so big.”

And just how many hours go into each incredible giant lantern?

“I’d say at least a hundred or probably more like a hundred and twenty” Thompson says.

“Its magical and amazing to see them come to life. Because of the theme, the Carnival really does create a fairytale and a story. You really get that sense of futurism, and being immersed in a future world.” 

Watch Katrina Thomson’s whale and Aroha Novak’s out of this world spaceship come to life through time-lapse on the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival Facebook page and see the procession this Saturday from 5.30pm in the Octagon.

All images by Trev Hill  www.facebook.com/TrevHillPhotography

Post submitted by Sam Valentine


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