18 Jul 2021

Shannon Novak offers opportunities for plurality in art

From Standing Room Only, 1:50 pm on 18 July 2021

An ambitious exhibition that's taking over both Tauranga Gallery and other sites around the city offers marginalised artists a rare opportunity to show their work and share their stories.

Curator, artist and activist Shannon Novak advocates for the LGBTQI+ community,  and he's the driving force behind the Mānawatia Takatāpui/Defending Plurality exhibition.

Its focus is diversity and inclusivity, not just in subject matter but through multi-disciplinary art.  There's photography, sculpture and painting, as well as flags and vinyl work on windows, floors and walls.

Shannon's own contribution is a colourful, abstract installation.  It covers the art gallery's ground-level atrium and spills outside the building.

Even with his strong links to marginalised communities, Shannon Novak tells Lynn Freeman there was some reluctance from artists he wanted to include.  

WARNING:   This interview contains references to suicide.  For people affected by some of the issues raised, the phone number of Lifeline is 0800 543 354, while that of Samaritans is 0800 726 666.