2016 Exhibition

2016 Exhibition

Vivid’s exhibition celebrated Wellington Boys & Girls Institute’s Can Control programme, exhibited three emerging artists Onyx Karati, Leon Hohepa & Jaiden Matine, and highlighted the works involved in Vivid’s 2016 Festival.

Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute (BGI) has been creatively responding to what local youth need since 1882. In recent years, BGI’s developed a programme for emerging young artists called ‘Can Control’. The programme creates groups of young artists aged 12-24 who have an interest in street art. The name ‘Can Control’ refers both to the technique of mastering a spray can and also the fact that young people can control, and choose to channel their talents into constructive community artworks.


BGI’s goal was to develop a community of pro-social peers who enjoy artistic forms and encourage others on the street to do so too. Various groups met weekly at BGI after school and devoted school holidays to painting. Workshops were jointly facilitated by youth workers and skilled resident street artists. BGI developed Can Control from late 2010 until 2014. In 2015 major funding was cut and BGI is searching for further funding to reboot the initiative.

Notable artworks by Can Control include:

  • Opera House Lane (2011)
  • Aro Valley Community Centre bunker (2011)
  • South City Youth Trust in Christchurch
    (painted a few months after the 2011 quakes)
  • Porirua Alt School (2012)
  • Lombard rooftop (2012)
  • Luke’s Lane (2012)
  • Chapman Lane (2012)
  • Lanefest (2014)
  • BullyFree Welly series (2015)
  • Lazule (2015)
  • Te Aonui o Ruhia (2015)


Thistle Hall Exhibition Featured Artists:

Onyx Karati

Onyx has been exploring graffiti since flipping through Hip-Hop magazine Back 2 Basics magazines at age nine. At first, his urge meant he started to draw on everything at home which didn’t impress his family, including father, carver Harry (Are) Manea Karati. Onyx’s tagging expanded to the streets while walking to school. He participated in Wellington Boys & Girls Institute’s Can Control programme receiving mentorship from Wellington Street Artists. Over the years he’s learned more about the history of the graffiti movement, explored other mediums and forms of art. Recently he completed a diploma in Maori Visual Arts at Te Wanaga O Aotearoa.

Leon Hohepa

Born and raised in Porirua, Leon started studying Maori art at Te Wananga O Aotearoa last year, and is currently doing his diploma. Particularly interested in realism his current main influence is his art tutor Rongo Tuhura, who’s attention to detail and stylised realism paintings, continues to inspire Leon.

Jaiden Keanu Martin.
Earth, amidst the unfathomable amount of space
Human, from the bottomless pit
Nga puhi, broken identity
Wellington high school/rimutaka prison
Inspired by the need to do without inspiration, inspired by the need to find self in ones own skin, inspired by demotivation and the hurt that finds you first
Trudge on through the friction of discovering thought, create a sense of history and further unriddle the twisted tongues of three head serpents.

Thistle Hall Exhibition
15-21st of Feburary 2016