|Wintec School of Media Arts’ highly anticipated Ramp Festival 2021 is once again bringing creative-based thinkers from across Aotearoa to Kirikiriroa, Hamilton from 4 – 6 August. – https://www.ramp.ac.nz|
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy is pleased to see regenerative themes being discussed in an academic context. Image: Supplied.
This year the Ramp Festival lineup includes New Zealand artist and creator Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, who approaches her work through a lens of thinking and focusing on generating systems that support and nurture life.
“As a practitioner, I’m very excited to be able to contribute to a broader conversation,” says Smuts-Kennedy. “It’s wonderful to see regenerative conversations being facilitated, by the generations that come behind me.”
Ramp Festival has a long history at Wintec, providing students and the local creative community with the opportunity to expand their minds by welcoming cutting-edge makers, doers and creators to share their stories through accessible events, talks, workshops and exhibitions.
Smuts-Kennedy has supported Ramp Festival for many years, saying it provides a safe space for students and industry speakers to exchange change-making ideas. Smuts-Kennedy will be opening the festival on Wednesday 4 August, at 9:30 am, with an hour-long talk on regenerative themes.
This year Ramp Festival themes are regenerative thinking, circular design and Mātauranga Māori. “I’m in a place now where I can talk about these things without feeling mad,” laughs Smuts-Kennedy. “For a long time, things like regenerative thinking, circular design, Mātauranga Māori, have felt silo’d and disconnected from the general discourse.”
“It is wonderful that our communities are ready to have these urgent and rewarding conversations.” says Smuts-Kennedy. Smuts-Kennedy says it is important these conversations extend beyond academic purposes. “The themes we are exploring shouldn’t just sit on an intellectual layer, they need to be embodied in the hearts and souls of our lives and integrated into our daily practices.”
Due to Covid-19 alert levels, Ramp Festival became an entirely virtual festival in 2020. Festival organisers found a way to keep the conversations going, through the podcast series Ramp Connects.
Ramp Festival 2021 is set to take place at Wintec from Wednesday 4 August.
The festival intends to be a physical event this year, taking place on Wintec’s City campus, situated in the heart of Hamilton. However, festival organisers want to acknowledge how the global pandemic has impacted the creative industries.
Ramp Festival Director Megan Lyon says, “Like many in the creative sector, we’ve seen a shift in our priorities and how we utilise our time.”
“The way we see our mahi (work), life and creative practices has completely changed. To reflect this, Ramp Festival 2021 is based around the themes of regenerative thinking, circular design and Mātauranga Māori. These themes reflect the progressive conversations we are seeing across Aotearoa,” says Lyon.
Wintec School of Media Arts Director Sam Cunnane says that Ramp Festival provides “a meaningful way in which our students can indulge their curiosity and strengthen relationships with creative communities, that also allows for reflection and exploration within their creative practices.”
Also sharing their creative goodness at Ramp Festival this year are environmental activist Adrienne Grant, founder and editor of Here, Simon Farrell-Green and architect Nicholas Dalton, who has embedded Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) into his practice.
Interested in attending Ramp Festival?
This story was written by Year 3 Wintec Communication Student, Maddy Morris.