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Highlighting our Community2 min read

Nov 5, 2021 2 min

Highlighting our Community2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Lightbox at Tin Tacks Reserve in Onehunga is currently displaying a new Portrait Series, titled People of Onehunga – a collection over time of eight images of local residents.


The semi-permanent structure and solar-powered Lightbox was placed in the reserve in 2019, to display art by local artists.


The display will feature a range of people connected to the Onehunga community, from high school students to internationally acclaimed music producers and film directors. Images will be changed every two months until the end of the exhibition in October 2022.


The artists involved in the activation space are Edith Amituanai – photography, Sione Monū – sculptural adornments, and Manu Vaeatangitau – illustrations. With the guidance and oversight of the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, they hope the exhibition can serve as a stepping-stone towards building stronger connections, meaningful engagement and future projects in the space.


Auckland Council Arts Place and Partner specialist, Sarah Houston, describes the installation as a ‘community-led project focusing on providing a platform for local creatives to share their stories, culture and identify with the people of Onehunga.’ Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board chairperson, Maria Meredith, agrees that it is a perfect way to highlight some of the personalities in Onehunga by lighting up the reserve. “It is such a vibrant and varied community, and there really is no better way to express that than through faces, smiles and connections.”


Jesse Leilua is the second in the series of eight portraits. Jesse is a Year 13 student at Onehunga High School, he’s a natural athlete and plays First Five for the Onehunga High School First XV rugby team.


An opening event to celebrate the new exhibition will be held at Tin Tacks Reserve once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, to give the community an opportunity to meet and connect with the artists.



Tin Tacks Reserve is located at 371-373 Onehunga Mall.