Ryan Hendriks and the need for common unity on Karangahape Rd

For the month of July/Hōngongoi and just in time for Matariki, we had local artist Ryan Hendriks come on board to take over our weekly gig guide posters. As part of The Grow Room collective, Ryan is one of the artists who keeps the original soul of Karangahape Rd thriving. We caught up with Ryan to talk about making both music and visual art, Matariki and the future of Karangahape Road.

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We were excited to see your first poster of the month featured the Matariki constellation. What does Matariki mean to you?

I have mixed emotions towards Matariki, a contrast of misunderstanding and acceptance. Either through coincidence or something else, Matariki has synchronised with me metaphorically a lot throughout life. I guess the best I can explain what it represents to me is the planting of new ideas, dreams and aspirations.

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Most people will know you more for your music - both Badcrop and your solo projects - have you always made visual art alongside your music?

Not really at all, a few posters here and there but art for me has always been another way to express and meditate on something, not so much as a shared medium.

Badcrop in St Kevin’s Arcade. Photo: Locapinay

Badcrop in St Kevin’s Arcade. Photo: Locapinay

What visual mediums do you prefer to work with?

I love using the computer, taking ideas and combining them with other mediums. A mix of photoshop and photography is most likely my preference. Although doing printmaking at school was always enjoyable when I had access to the equipment.

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Given what you and The Grow Room have been through, I wanted to ask how you feel about the upcoming Karangahape Rd “Revitalisation” project?

I’m interested to see how K Road develops, it seems only a stones throw from what it used to be and I still see familiar faces around but I guess at the end of the day it will always be the people on the street who create the dynamic. The community and it’s common unity is important. I would like to see the people come together again with Art and Music at the forefront rather than alcohol and food but in a capital based environment it may be a stretch to expect.

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You recently spent time in Europe. Did that provide any inspiration for your art process?

It definitely changed my process because my personality, understanding and ambition shifted. The reason behind my art has changed in parts yet also stayed the same in parts. I have always taken time with my projects because I want them to be dense with ideas rather than spread thin.

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What's your perfect night out and what would you like to see more of in the nightlife culture of Auckland?

The perfect night out for me is when people are out to support live music no matter the genre, like I mentioned before I think the culture is a direct reflection of the community so if we can come together with support for one another then no doubt when it is your time to perform then the support will be reciprocated. Even if it is smiling at a homeless person or giving a dollar to the street performer, every artist matters, even if no one knows them.

What other projects are you working on now?

Currently I have a lot of music in the pipeline with a few different producers. I think the next project I’m releasing is with a few of the homies from the grow room, Watch out for ‘The Crop’.

Follow Ryan Hendriks on Instagram and check out his album Old Zealand below: