Mānawatia Takatāpui/Defending Plurality : Cross Together
'Cross Together' is a collaborative street painting by Paul Darragh and Shannon Novak. It is loosely based on the rainbow pedestrian crossings which Novak has been a key proponent in establishing in New Plymouth. Only here the pedestrian-only-space of the Historic Village has allowed the practitioners greater latitude to develop a more dynamic composition.
Their collaborative approach to artmaking and their desire for unity has directly fed into their conceptualisation of the piece. While the colourful composition is well integrated, each artist took ownership of designing two sides of the composition, and then collaborated to ‘weave’ the composition together in the middle sections.
As Paul Darragh explains, "for me, the artwork speaks about collaboration and unity in the fight for freedom. In the same way that we collaborated so positively on this artwork, we see a need for a united front within LGBTQI+ community to bring about positive change."
The stripes of the flag radiate with purpose to create other definitive shapes and compositions, symbolising action and interaction within the community.
Placed in a prominent position in front of The Incubator Creative Hub’s main gallery, the work boldly asserts the vibrancy of the LGBTQI+ community within the Historic Village, which Darragh and Novak claim as a destination where diverse creatives and community groups can meet, practice, celebrate and showcase art and culture. This project is a collaboration between the Incubator Creative Hub, Shannon Novak, and Paul Darragh.
Shannon Novak founded the Safe Space Alliance, an organisation that encourages businesses, individuals and other organisations to list spaces that welcome the LGBTQI+ community. The Incubator Creative Hub is proud to be a part of this alliance which demonstrates zero tolerance to violence, bullying or hate speech towards the community.
This work is supported by the Creative Communities Scheme and is a satellite installation from a series featuring works at the Tauranga Art Gallery, Bayfair, The Kollective and Baycourt. Tauranga Art Gallery's exhibition 'Mānawatia Takatāpui / Defending Plurality' reaches beyond the gallery walls and into the community.
Shannon Novak, Paul Darragh, and The Incubator Creative Hub.