An interactive maze that takes people on a journey from being housed to sleeping rough to help shed light on what it is to be homeless in Auckland.
Urban artist Margaret Lewis constructed ‘‘Stuck in the Maze / from housed to homeless’’ as part of World Homeless Day on 10 October 2016.
The work drew on learnings from the study ’An insight into the experience of rough sleeping in central Auckland’ which was co-launched by the Auckland City Mission, Lifewise and Auckland Council in February 2015.
“I don’t think people realize just how close to being unhoused we all are,” said Lewis. “Sometimes it’s just one or two mortgage or rent payments away, especially for people on minimum wages. Taking a trip through this maze helped people understand just how disempowering the experience of homelessness is.”
“The idea is that there is only one way out – you are unhoused. For this project, different people from the homeless community developed the material for the walls (which outlined different people's experience of homelessness) and stayed with the project all day. This gave those visiting the maze the opportunity to share their experience of the maze with people for whom the ‘maze’ is part of everyday life.”
The maze was built from unwanted corflute (from Auckland's Local Body Elections), similar to the way that different rough sleepers reuse cardboard, newspapers, vinyl and other materials for warmth and insulation at night.
Working alongside Radio NFA and members of the Awhina Mai Tatou Katoa, Lewis hoped that this installation will help people to talk openly and honestly about what it is like to be homeless.
This work couldn't happen without the resources and support of Waitemata Local Board and Auckland Design Office.
Installed at Beresford Square on 10 October 2016.
A work conceived by Margaret Lewis in collaboration with Awhina Mai Tatou Katoa and Radio NFA.
This event is part of World Homeless Day and Artweek Auckland