'NATIVE' - NZ Artists for NZ Natives

'NATIVE' - NZ Artists for NZ Natives

Detail by Hannah Heslop's 'Mountain Lily' (Paper Rain wine barrel skateboard)

New Zealand natives are the inspiration and the cause behind The Paper Rain Project's latest art collaboration. 

The ‘NATIVE’ exhibition - to be launched at our Ponsonby Pop Up Store from November 19th - December 2nd is a partnership between Paper Rain and thirteen renown New Zealand artists, who will hand paint their one-of-a-kind artworks on hand-finished longboards.


Hannah Jensen and The Paper Rain Project, 'Native' Show

Carved paint, detail by Hannah Jensen. 

A donation of $50 from each of the Paper Rain skateboards will go directly to support The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin, to help New Zealand species that require veterinary assistance and recovery, says Paper Rain Project co-founder Indigo Greenlaw of the company’s first themed show. “It’s a celebration of all things New Zealand, and it’s about connecting our audience to art and social good.” With so many natives now endangered, it’s a cause every Kiwi understands, she says. “This show will set a precedent for board art with a greater purpose.”


Milarky and The Paper Rain Project, 'Native' Show 

One of two compelling works by Milarky (Paper Rain black wood board). 

Guest artists include Hannah Jensen (who hand carves into 60+ layers of paint) and the unique styles of Flox, Milarky, Erika Pearce, Sean Duffell, Ellaquaint, Cinzah, and Michel Tuffery. Each artist has worked on a range of gleaming wooden boards, made in-house from locally grown macrocarpa, recycled oak wine-barrels and rimu. 

“It’s a collaboration of artists in support of protecting what is inherently ‘New Zealand’,” says Indigo. The NATIVE theme doesn’t necessarily mean endemic and nor is it necessarily about the usual suspects, she adds. “I hope we’ll see obscure insects and little-known epiphytes make their way onto boards, along with the classic tui and kereru.”

The collaborative approach to art is key to Paper Rain’s philosophy of nurturing design, environment, and community, she says. “We know that alone we can strive for change, and together we can achieve it, so we’ve grown to work with this wide, wonderful and welcoming community of artists.”


Emmaline Bailey and The Paper Rain Project, 'Native' Show

Manuka detailing on Emmaline's board artwork (Paper Rain macrocarpa skateboard)  

Paper Rain Cause co-ordinator Hannah Heslop explains that the company creates work to support a number of charities, but chose the Wildlife Hospital as the single beneficiary of the exhibition. That would ensure a greater impact, “and use art to bring our natives to the forefront”, she says. “The group of artists we work with share our passion for wildlife and conservation, so this is a Cause we have banded together on in full force.”

The Paper Rain Project is also taking its art to the streets in the Ponsonby pop-up, with the long-awaited release of a rideable board series. The boards, which come in three sizes, are crafted from Marlborough-grown blackwood timber, with etched lattice-like artwork that acts as a non-plastic grip. “We love that they are usable and beautiful, in a mash-up of aesthetics and ergonomics,” says co-founder Wills Rowe, who crafts the boards in a Marlborough cherry orchard. “Like our ethical apparel and board art, this is about connecting people to the process of making - from the materials right through to the end product.”

The ‘Native’ Board Art Exhibition and Pop Up Store will run from November 19 to December 2 at Ponsonby Central, Shop 4A. The launch event is from 5.30pm on Friday, November 23.