I bet a high percentage of artists and creative practitioners had huts in various forms throughout their childhood. In some ways, creative studios are an evolution of such huts. In my primary school years I had a hay bale hut in winter, a corn hut and cherry tree hut in summer, and the quintessential blanket bunker hut on rainy days. In my teenage years, I was delighted to access a music studio ‘hut’ at school and now my own children, even as I write this blog, are deconstructing my lounge to make a hut ‘for our kids.’ Hut making is clearly a rite of passage.

Little surprise then that members of the Kāpiti Arts & Creative Industries group were intrigued to explore a ‘hut’ designed by Kemi Niko & Co at the NZ Festival of the Arts launch in Kāpiti last year. Against the backdrop of Kāpiti Island Marine Reserve and Kāpiti Island, the hut played with shadow like a dancer creating shapes as the sun set.

Designed from salvaged materials by artists Kemi Niko & Co. a total of five huts have been commissioned by the festival and the project itself has been curated by Bret McKenzie. Each hut will be matched with a local writer who has been tasked with crafting a short story (in written and audio form) to furnish the hut with character.

The project has had significant community support from Kāpiti groups and individuals and is free, ready and waiting for us to explore! As the festival programme says,  ‘lose yourself in the adventure of discovering hidden wild spaces and creations right on your doorstep.’

View the map of huts here.
More information: www.festival.nz/events/all/urban-hut-club/
Short video here: www.festival.nz/events/all/urban-hut-club/#watch