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A N N E   R U S H

Anne Rush


Dress Nelson City for the Rugby World Cup - Outcomes



In many ways this was a best practise community arts project. The ingredients that contributed to make this so were;

The profile of the Rugby World Cup itself

The seed funding of Nelson City Council and the support of their designated staff contacts.

A significant Partnership with The Nelson Mail. Total value of in-kind promotional contribution $11,781.10 .

The quality and mixed skill set of the project team.

A Curatorial approach contributed to making an overall cohesion between the projects. Installation standards, safety and general maintenance were monitored by Anne Rush the Curator /Project manager for Dress Nelson.

In kind support that allowed the budget to stretch and accommodate the scale of the project, which grew larger than originally anticipated.

Highly skilled volunteers who donated professional services that were pivotal ie media advice and management.

Donated materials that were utilised in the netting art and graffiti knitting projects.

The involvement of a range of community groups, families and individuals who had a commitment and passion for the project.

Social Cohesion –The project facilitated opportunities for locals to interact and participate across demographic, cultural and social boundaries that was both enriching and revealing for those involved. Fun and enjoyment were expressed and it was great to have an excuse to celebrate.

The transmission of craft skills. People learned and reactivated traditional skills and adapted them for the Graffiti knitting project.

The support of the business community.

The public debate and interaction generated throughout the course of the project.

The role of ‘Oi You’ and ‘Pikimai’ as complimentary anchors to the project.

The interest of visitors to Nelson and the ‘word of mouth’ they generated with new media beyond Nelson, nationally and internationally. We have tracked evidence of this on internet sites.

The local, national and international media coverage which included; Breakfast TV with Peta and Tamati, Herald on Sunday-Photo of knitted All Black bike as part of article RWC, Sky Sport Italy’s intro to Nelson with team members filmed with Italian Bike and Graffiti knitters installing in Trafalgar St. etc. Extensive  local media clippings are included with photo essay of projects.

Three documentaries have or are in the process of being made of the Project. There is promotional and fundraising that could launch, promote and contribute to a new set of projects in 2012.


A - FACES OF NELSON Pasting 20 large Billboard style Faces of Nelson on the side of commercial buildings in the inner city.

The Faces Team were George Shaw, Shannon Webster, Klaasz Breukel, Hardy Bachert and Anne Rush

The process: included -

Securing business and commercial property owners to allow the use of their building for the billboard paste-ups. This was surprisingly straightforward and was embraced with enthusiasm.

The Nelson Mail conducted an extensive media campaign backed up with feature articles and reporting on the concept and process including the decision by the Nelson City Council to support the submission to the annual plan. They called for the general public to submit photographs to a defined brief.

A final selection was made by Paul McIntyre (Editor) Craig Dennis (Manager) and sally Chappell from the Mail and George Shaw and Anne Rush who chose photographs to reflect the Nelson Community with a mix of gender age and ethnicity that reflected the community. Artistic quality was also a selection criterion.

The promotional support of The Mail’s contribution alone was $4039.00 for Faces.

Around 80 photographs were submitted for consideration from the public.

There was considerable time spent digitalising, designing and cropping these photographs to the scale of their designated walls, and pasting up the photographic images efficiently. Managing public relations with commercial property and business owners was significant and well managed.

This process also offered considerable knowledge on the logistics of mounting billboard paste-ups on different wall surfaces, and the type of paste that best adheres so it can be removed cleanly. Walls with any degree of stippling on their surface proved problematic and would not be used again for any future such projects

The calibre of the team was exceptional and they delivered more than they were reimbursed for.

Hardy Bachert the project manager of installing and maintaining Faces on walls negotiated the contract to remove Faces and they have cleaned off to our satisfaction.


B - URBAN KNITTING optimising a series  ‘graffiti knitting’  installations on trees, urban furniture, and structural elements of buildings in the Cental CBD.

The core team consisted of Annie MacKenzie, Anne Rush and Gill Taylor of Idea Services and numerous key volunteers.                                                            The process: -

Annie MacKenzie was contracted to facilitate and project manage the graffiti-knitting. Her role grew with the project and we were fortunate to be able to reallocate resource because we attracted such a large pool of donated materials for this and the Netting art component. Annie is a fine arts graduate of Ilam Arts School. She was forced to return home after loosing her employment following the 2nd Canterbury earthquake. She also  has exceptional traditional craft skills and her youth attracted many younger persons to be come involved in the project. She also set up a Facebook page ‘Knit Nelson’ which was a valuable communication tool particularly with the younger generation.

Anne Rush and Annie worked diligently on all aspects of the project, which proved surprisingly labour intensive to facilitate. This shift became important as we observed the level of participation and range of people involved as the project generated steam.

The other very pivotal component of the graffiti -knitting project was Gill Taylor of Idea Services, who with her clients introduced Nelson to Graffiti Knitting during the 2010 ‘Oi You’ at Founders Park. Idea Services provides services to adults with intellectual disability. Much credit must be accorded to the idea Services as they pioneered this concept in Nelson.

Gill reported from Idea Services perspective:

The project was really collaborative and inclusive. So many people at our Day Service were enthusiastic about the project and joined in. The knitting brought a lot of fun, purpose and joy to our lives.

The new skills that people learnt including French knitting, making pom-poms and various knitting techniques.  They will be able to continue to use these in other ways.

The wide range of people in the community that the project enabled us to meet, including artists, local media, people at knitting groups, people who run local businesses who we did installations for (eg: Romanos, Labels clothes store, Prego, the Suter Art Gallery) and all the visitors and locals who complemented us when we were putting the knitting up.

A group of our Service Users talked to students at St Josephs School about our art project and enjoyed joining in with their crafts afternoon.

Many of us were filmed by John-Paul who is putting together a documentary about Dress Nelson

We appeared on Breakfast TV

We were able to be part of a high profile urban art event that made everyone feel really included in the Rugby World Cup celebration in Nelson.

The role of artists involved was pivotal in the assembly of installations and the packaging of recycled materials that were distributed by the Nelson Mail’s material exchange bins and gave an artistic edge.  Artists involved were Annie Mackenzie, Anne Rush, Meg Latham, Nic Moon and Josie Cachemaelle

A Curatorial Approach contributed to making an overall cohesion between the projects. Installation standards, safety and general maintenance were monitored by Anne Rush the Curator /Project manager for Dress Nelson.

Role of Volunteers was extensive. They operated at various levels ranging from donating professional services to assist the project, teaching people craft skills, donating materials, providing knitted content for installation projects, assisting with installing and maintenance programmes. The age range of participants ranged from 5 years to 88 years was very heartening

Media support and public reaction. The Nelson Mail conducted an extensive media campaign backed up with feature articles and reporting on the concept and process including the decision by the Nelson City Council to support the submission to the annual plan. They called for the general public to participate in a material/fibre exchange and embrace graffiti knitting in various ways. This was pivotal to the success of the project. The value of the advertising for the knitting alone was $7742.00 Even the early public opposition helped raise the profile of the project and motivate participation and reaction to the project

Knit inns were facilitated at Red gallery on Thursday afternoons and at the Freehouse on Tuesday evenings throughout the duration of the project. These were advertised in community columns and attracted a broad range of people across age. These proved one of the engine rooms for social interaction and the passing on of skills. One striking observation was the number of younger people and new residents to Nelson who wanted to meet people. At times these knit inns facilitated accommodation and work opportunities by the network knowledge exchanged. Café knitting baskets also proved very popular and provided a lot of material for sites adjoining these cafes. ie. Morrison Street Café’s Veranda poles trees outside Yaza and entrance to Red Gallery.

Community groups were involved. Apart from idea Services groups most notable included Queer Youth, Migrant Women’s Craft Group who meet at the Library to practise English and St Josephs School.

Transmission of craft skills was highly evident in this project.

The calibre of the team was exceptional and they delivered more than they were reimbursed for.

In kind support included-The use of Anne Rush’s studio above Red Gallery on Bridge Street as a project base, The Nelson Mail in kind promotion and the contribution volunteers and business made to the materials required and labour to support the project.

Alignment to Rugby World Cup Some of the Graffiti knitting installations aligned directly with the World Cup ie.The Burger King Trees were decked out in tree socks of the colours of the teams that were playing in Nelson. Notably Russia, Italy, USA, Australia and we added the All Blacks. The decorated bikes were also a great feature.

Vandalism and maintenance a team checked for Vandalism and had a volunteer maintenance crew. Vandalism and theft was relatively minor when considering the scope of the project although some pieces disappeared.

Other Business support was provided by Burger King, ASB Bank, Shine, Gallery 203, Cooper and Rouge, Labels, Morrisons Café, Yaza Café, The Freehouse.

Documentaries Three independent parties were motivated to shoot documentaries of the Graffiti knitting projects. They included primary school children from St Josephs School, Students from NMIT, and John Paul-Pochin. We propose to create a showing and fundraiser when these three are all complete in 2012.

Breakdown and Recycling of knitting was conducted by Idea Services  and our project volunteers.

The rationale was so we could recycle, sort and wash knitted material. A lot  could be reutilised for future projects should they eventuate. Idea Services  revamped the second grade knitting into dog blankets for the SPCA.


C - ARTIST led projects on netting fencing in the inner city.   

The Netting Art lead artists were Hillary Johnstonne, and Linda Dimitreivski. They were selected from a set of proposals by artist peers.


Three projects were undertaken:

1 The Collingwood Street Bridge - Lead artist Hillary Johnstone supported by artists Cliff Fell and John Paul Pochin. Hillary also engaged all the students. staff and local volunteers of Hira Primary school.


2 Maitai Walkway Netting Fence - Lead artist Linda Dimitrievski supported by Anne Rush, Deb Walshe and


3 Café Deville’s Netting Gates - Lead artist Linda Dimitrievski This project which involved the use of the netting security gates at Deville’s Café was used to test the netting art / industrial vinyl concept. The gates had a Russian design theme as Devilles were supporting the Russian Team.

Introduction:-It was decided at the beginning of the Netting Art project, that Cup Art could produce some difficulty in wind prone environments, and was more subject to vandalism. A better solution was found using donated, and recyclable materials. Aflex Industries donated industrial vinyl, and Nelmac recycled plastic bottles. Artist Hillary Johnstone paid for paint and tie tags and generously donated her artist fee to Hira School for their contribution to the project.

We were delighted to be able to support Linda Dimitrievski a young emerging artist who came to our attention through the recommendation of artist Geoff Noble. Her concepts, were universally supported by artist Peers and the were selected for their simplicity of design and implementation.

The biggest issue with all the above projects was the short lead in time. We were collectively pleased by what was achieved in this short timeframe, and how many others were involved.


The process: -

The role of artists

A Curatorial Approach was pivotal to making an overall cohesion between the projects. Installation standards, safety and general maintenance were monitored by Anne Rush Curator /Project manager for Dress Nelson. Sites were selected because of their Netting fencing and public foot traffic. Two sites were adjoining the Maitai River and Walkway.

Role of Volunteers was extensive, and included tourists. They operated at various levels ranging from donating professional services to assist the project, donating materials, assisting with installing and maintenance programmes.

Media support and public reaction. The Nelson Mail covered the Maitai Bridge project as a feature story and it was noticed that residents became guardians of the bridge project. There was an extremely high level of appreciation for this project at multi levels and across age-groups.

Lighting of the Bridge John-Paul Pochin and his daughter designed and constructed the solar powered lighting system for the bridge which included . This greatly enhanced an already fantastic installation

Educational opportunities The project was used by Hira School as an educational opportunity.

Community groups Hira School engaged members of its broader community to assist and participate. Linda Dimetrievski  utilised fellow students at NMIT School of Arts, family and passers by who wished to assist.

The calibre and diligence of the teams  were exceptional and they delivered more than they were reimbursed for.

In kind support included-The use of Hira Schools facilities and Anne Rush studio for prep work.

Vandalism and maintenance All projects were regulary checked and maintained and vandalism was relatively minimal. No damage appeared to be made to any wire fencing that supprted any of the projects

Business support Devilles Café, Wakatu Inc supported the use of their netting Fence on the Maitai Walkway, although the project manager Anne Rush had to sign a legal document of personal guarantee against damage to the fence. This is an issue or future projects?

In summary although a greater allocation of our budget went into facilitation than we first anticipated, we believe we truly delivered great projects and outcomes for the investment that Nelson City Council made in Dress Nelson city for the Rugby World Cup.