Raine Mackenzie is calling for creative locals to come together for a project creating artwork promoting “collective worth”. PHOTO/BRENDON LANG/PHOTOMOJO

Emily Ireland

Masterton artist Raine Mackenzie is embarking on a journey to bring Wairarapa people a collective sense of worth through street art.

Her newly-launched project, Collective Worth, is in early consultation stages with the community and she is in the process of applying for funding through trusts.

The end result will be pieces of street art around Masterton created by locals for locals.

Her particular goal is to give youth a project they can invest in – a constructive legacy they can leave for others. Raine, a tattoo artist at Sacred Art Tattoo & Piercing, grew up in an “unconventional household”.

“When I was young, what really helped me was art,” she said.

“Growing up with neglectful parents, I found I could retreat within my imagination and that sparked my creativity.

“With every hard circumstance in my life, I could always retreat to that creative space. What I’m trying to do is engage that part of other people.

“Horrible things may have happened, but we can retreat and create together.

“I want to put some of our beautiful tragedy into the streets so that people can be inspired.”

Raine said, growing up in Masterton, she felt disconnected from the community – “I’ve been in low places and fell into the pitfalls of doing drugs and abusing alcohol”.

“I’m far from perfect, but I’ve definitely gone through the trial and error process of refining myself to make the best decisions for my mental health.

“I feel like I’ve done really well this past year and I want to keep up the momentum by helping other people – and the thing that helps me a lot is that feeling of accomplishment.

“I want other people to feel how much a sense of purpose and accomplishment can change things.”

Raine launched the Collective Worth Project concept on Facebook and has received a great response from people online. Now, she is hoping more people will share their ideas and potentially spaces where the street art can be displayed.

She would love to see the street art displayed in public spaces where youth in particular gather – “places like Henley Lake, the Queen Elizabeth duck pond, and skatepark”.

“Wherever it can be seen by lots of young people.”

It is envisaged that the street art would incorporate positive messaging to boost self-esteem and a sense of worth and purpose.

In particular, she hoped the messaging would honour “those we have lost from mental health in our community”.

“I want people to see this art and know that there are people who care about them.”

To get in touch with Raine or get involved in getting the Collective Worth project off the ground, visit the Facebook page, Collective Worth Project.