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Call for proposals

Nikau Superette Art wants your work

Nikau Superette Art is a hyper local project responding to the idea of a community notice board. Over the last year and a half we’ve shown everything from traditional painting to socially engaged projects.

Nikau Superette Art takes place in a restored and repurposed community notice board on Queen Mary Avenue in New Lynn. Originally built by the Queen Mary Avenue and Durrant Place Neighbourhood Support Group and sponsored by a local real estate agency – Glover Real Estate – the notice board fell into disuse as social media took over the role of community notices.

On this site there is an interesting intersection of labour, commerce, migration, suburbia, digital displacement, ecology, and how we perceive and construct ideas of security and community

How to propose a project:

Send an email to with your name, a brief description of the project you’d like to present and links to images of your previous work.

Tell me if you have a connection to the area and how soon you will be ready to show (i.e. its existing work, I can put it up next week, or I need to make the work, it will take me three months).

Deadline: 5 August 2024

The technical details:

Size: 1164 mm wide, 450 mm high, 125 mm deep with soft board backing. 

Duration: a one month occupation of the notice board starting mid month

Budget: Thanks to Arts Whau we have some (very modest) budget to support the artists ($150 per project)

The considerations:

Community site: work should have pathways to appreciation and/or engagement for a non arts audience (aesthetics, explanatory material, clear affordances) 

Weather resistant: While the noticeboard is covered and relatively dry there is some risk that moisture could seep in. 

No security: while the box will be screwed shut, I can’t guarantee that it won’t be opened and the work removed. Consider presenting a multiple or making the work with easily replaceable elements.

No insurance: the project is not insured so works are placed at the artist’s own risk. The work should not be overly valuable or irreplaceable

Those themes expanded:

Labour: it is a site of work – where the dairy operators stock and sell small necessities riding a fine profit margin to keep them afloat – and a site for respite from work. Each day a constant flow of work vans and trucks pull up in front, their drivers dropping in for a quick pie and coke for the lunch break their schedule doesn’t really afford. 

Commerce and migration: The dairy has long operated as a key entry level small business for migrants with some initial investment money. Yet these are economically marginal businesses, squeezed by the supermarkets. They require long working hours and intensively utilise familial labour. 

Suburbia: The area – New Lynn North West –  is a classic 20th century suburban development that is currently undergoing intensification through infill housing, townhouse developments, and some 3 story apartment buildings. It is demographically mixed. 20 % of the area migrated in the last 9 years and 54% were born overseas. 32% of the area identify as Pākehā, 49 % as Asian, 10% as Māori and 17.5% as Pacific peoples.

Perception of security – the notice board was established by Neighbourhood Support, akin to neighbourhood watch – an international movement that arose in the 1980s as a community led crime prevention movement. It is a response to a rising crime rate and the way fear of crime reduces trust in fellow residents. However neighbourhood support groups tend to be most successful in low-crime middle-class neighbourhoods, so are an expression of class and privilege. 

Community, hyperlocality and digital displacement: A community notice board implies the existence of an active social locus, and yet the use of the physical notice board has declined, in part due to the difficulty in opening it and in part due to the rise in digital community building and advertising. A physical noticeboard is now a suburban back street anachronism. 

Ecology: The notice board is a short walk from the Whau river, a tidal estuary with a unique muddy ecologies dominated by mangroves and mud. One of the LAWA monitoring sites is just off the tip of Queen Mary Reserve, allowing us to see its health – which isn’t great 🙁

Histories of human habitation in the area:

A number of local historians have presented accounts of habitation around the Whau river and the portage to the Manukau including Avondale based local historian Lisa Truttman.

In 2017 Angela J Thomson published Te Whau: Connecting the people, the places, the taonga with the support of the Te Whau Pathway trust. This includes a summary of two iwi accounts – Te Kauwerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua, first published in The history of Waitakere, published by Random House in 2009. It then goes on to outline the history post colonisation.