Temple Children, a new arts and sustainability organization founded by Melbourne artist David ‘MEGGS’ Hooke and his partner Miya Tsukazaki, recently launched a creative platform that combines their life passions – food, art, and the environment. The duo created this “platform for the environmentally and socially minded” to unite their network of creatives to nurture a collective vision to merge visual arts and sustainable innovation from the community level up. “Wherever we travel in the world, we seem to align with other people who share the same environmentalist values and a ‘global consciousness’” Miya says in regard to Temple Children’s goals, “It pares down to the basic idea of creating uplifting community-based projects for anyone who wants to be involved.”
The organization developed throughout 2016 and culminated with the launch of ‘VERSO,’ Temple Children’s first collaborative art and food installation as part of 1xRun’s Murals in the Market festival in Eastern Market, Detroit. Inspired by the rich history of the market and its surroundings, ‘VERSO’ paid homage to abandoned spaces in the city, where Mother Nature is beginning to take back. The experiential installation reflects their ideology that in an upside down, consumer-driven society, thoughtful consumption is key. Wood and materials making up the installation were found in areas surrounding Eastern Market and repurposed to create an immersion of space. Meggs & Miya sourced plants and produce from local farmers and provided a home-cooked meal inspired by the market’s seasonal offerings for the ‘Murals in the Market’ artists and staff. The artworks and plants were reinstalled in a public park and friends’ homes, completing the cycle of re-purposing materials.
Immediately following their Detroit debut, Temple Children rolled out ‘Revitalize Hilo’ – a fully immersive public art and food sustainability project in Miya’s hometown of Hilo, Hawai‘i. They added seven visual artists to the team – Jet Martinez, Yoskay Yamamoto, Rick Hayward, Emily Devers, Sam Yong, Kai’ili Kaulukukui, Brandy Serikaku; and filmmaker Cory Martin. Aside from Temple Children’s existing public art efforts in the small coastal town – including sustainability-focused murals by MEGGS Lauren YS and Wooden Wave painted previously this year – Temple Children’s end goal is to build lasting connections for all involved. Their commitment was a 24/7 effort to engage their artists with the local Big Island culture, environment, food, and community – complete with eco-tours, sustainability volunteering, and a group residency. “By treating this as a group effort, it encourages an ongoing discussion of how these creative-types can instigate action to contribute to sustainable innovation and community values on a larger scale,” said MEGGS.
An overarching aspect of Temple Children is food sustainability and they aim to continue their emphasis on thoughtful consumption, driving the message that knowing where your food comes and supporting local farms and businesses is critical in lowering our global carbon footprint. MEGGS and Miya plan to take the concept of mural painting a step further and initiate action, in addition to what they view as the bare minimum – increasing awareness and positive messaging – through their public artworks and community projects.
Photos and Videos by Cory S. Martin / Martin Film Co.
Temple Children is a creative platform for the socially and environmentally minded. They encourage collaboration and community revitalization in Big Islands, Big Cities & Beyond. For more, visit templechildren.com and follow @templechildren on Instagram.