PEOPLE. PLACE. POTENTIAL.
CABAL is a creative studio advancing regenerative practices of Aotearoa / New Zealand. Our integrative approach to development and design, draws on the science of whole living systems, as well as arts and cultural practices unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. We partner with project communities who have bold goals for regenerating people and place. Together we harness new levels of alignment, synergy and creative potential.
Working with communities, NGO's, councils, corporations, government agencies, iwi and hapu, CABAL’s unique combination of facilitation, participatory research, 'essential' storytelling, visual arts communications and land art brings the essence of the land, waters and local people, into the heart of complex developmental and transformational processes.
Tihei Mauri Ora !
CABAL was founded in 1990 by Caroline Robinson, growing from origins as a multi-award winning wearable arts and clothing label. From textile arts, CABAL developed in threatre and performing arts, to become a pioneering integrative arts and design practice, highly regarded for numerous public art commissions and contributions to some of the largest and most complex urban development and infrastructure projects in Auckland, New Zealand.
Caroline was part of the founding core team, undertaking action research and strategic development for pioneering initiative, ‘The Big Idea’ (home of NZ’s creative sector, now with 40,000 members). Her deep whole systems thinking has also been instrumental in the ‘Creative Ecology Living Research’, a new model for resilience in creative communities, with Creative Coalition.
Caroline has authored two books: “Panmure Sense of Place Scrapbook’ for Auckland Council and ‘The Artist’s Workbook’ for the Artist Alliance.
CABAL is all about teaming up.
we are proud to co-create with a huge diversity
of individuals, businesses and organisations, including:
Auckland Council, Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau, NZ
(including formerly Auckland City, North Shore City, Waitakere City)
Aotea Youth Arts Festival, Auckland, NZ
Auckland Transport, Auckland, NZ
Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai, NZ
Fletcher Building, NZ
International Transpersonal Institute, San Fransico, USA
Jasmax Ltd, NZ
McConnell Property Ltd, Auckland, NZ
New Zealand Transport Agency, Waka Kotahi, NZTA
Queenstown Millennium Steering Committee, NZ
Queenstown Winter Festival, Queenstown, NZ
Skypath Trust, Auckland, NZ
Society of Mary, Whangarei, NZ
The Big Idea Charitable Trust, Auckland, NZ
Vodafone, Auckland, NZ
thank you to our teachers, including:
Te Haerenga, Haare Williams
With Caroline’s understanding of processes of human development, public art and the processes of engaging communities in the creation of this art, Caroline skillfully bridges some fundamental domains and entry points into the development of human consciousness.
Bill Reed, Regenesis Group, USA
Caroline brought the drive, focus and skill to move through the process while engaging all necessary stakeholders. This was no small feat as this was the first major artwork funded by Transit NZ and incorporated into a significant engineering project… The blend of Caroline’s project management discipline along with the creative flare necessary to develop art is very rare, and played a crucial part in successfully integrating the artwork into an engineering project.
Kim Barrett, Fletcher Construction, freeflowAlliance Project Manager 2003
Your work at Te Hapua is a masterpiece in its interpretation of our cultural relationship to our land, I believe.
Dennis Hepi, Ngati Te Maunga
… a significant contribution to the depth and success of high profile city projects… I have been delighted by Caroline’s professionalism and communicative approach to design and have also been convinced of her ability to develop innovative and responsive design which is inclusive of community ideas and aspirations. This expertise is carried through to technical and detailed design stages, and is an integral component for delivering a successful result… I hope that you may experience the exciting, positive outcomes she invariably generates, and participate in the inclusive and high energy work environment she encourages.
Nicole Haines, Parks and Streetscape Planning Manager, Auckland City Council, 2003
Tupu te Toi, whanake te Toi, he Toiora i ahu mai i Hawaiki.
Caroline's evolving inquiry into her role as Healer and Designer is an inspiration to work alongside. Given the critical nature of our mahi, it is this depth of personal and community contribution that is needed to bring forward a vital Mauri Ora.
Over 15 years of collaborating together, I continue to learn from Caroline's unceasing commitment to listening to a wide range of diverse interests and intentions. Additionally, there is a refreshing boldness within Caroline's work that always seeks to hold true to a sense of self, a value base and vision for what is possible.
Revitalisation and Joy is what Cabal intentionally generates. Mauri Ora is the point. I not only endorse Cabal's insightfully courageous mahi, I ongoingly declare my commitment to our partnership.
Tamati Patuwai, Mad Ave Studios
Thank you so much for Tuesday. It was so exciting! I can’t thank you enough Caroline. You are so special. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, knowledge, perspectives, experience, beautiful art and creativity and taking all of us in the room on a really special journey. I am so excited to keep going with the circle and see the energy you have ignited in that room of young creatives minds, continue.
Giles Peterson, Whitecliffe School of Arts and Design
Caroline's ability to work with, and give expression to, the diversity of aesthetic expectations of people in our community, Maori, Pacific Island peoples, other ethnic groups, old and young, has been outstanding.
Ann Magee, Director Strategic Projects, Waitakere City Council, 2001
I know Caroline to be an artist leader who completes complex creative projects with a discipline (no matter what the scope, scale and/or materials to be realised) that sets benchmarks for others.
Elisabeth Vaneveld, Executive Director, The Big Idea Trust/ Program Director, ART Venture, NZ
Your opening ceremony personally touched me... the connection to our local native american tribes was very special and the mixing of our waters was a powerful metaphor. Mostly your personal energy was infectious - and was enjoyed in both our opening and closing ceremonies.
Jason McLennan, Founder and CEO International Living Future Institute, Seattle, USA
A packed audience of city suits utterly spell bound with her performance filled with charm, humour and soul.
Penelope Barker, Indesign Editor, Australia
Caroline was highly recommended to Auckland Transport by the staff working with Arts, Culture and Events unit of the Auckland Council. She has been a pleasure to work with, bringing her attention to detail to the client’s design brief and expectations. She has some very innovative ideas which suit the design objectives and budget. I can highly recommend Caroline for the opportunity that you may have available.
Saby Virdi, Senior Engineer: Investigation and Design North, Auckland Transport 2012
I found Caroline’s ability to operate in the abstract to create beauty, while also operating to a highly practical level in the delivery of professional services, to be uncommon and refreshing. I believe this multifaceted quality of Caroline’s adds considerable benefit to her clients.
Catherine Hamilton, Director Soul Environments, Landscape Architect, Albany Lakes Reserve, Auckland 2009
The Artists’ Workbook’ has been a valuable resource for our organization. The ideas posed about how you think about things has definitely stood the test of time. Even though technologically we have stormed ahead in recent years, a lot of the content has stood its ground, and so it is still one of the key resources we offer our members. Just recently, someone told me ‘I‘m always recommending people use it.'
Maggie Gresson, Executive Director, Artist Alliance 2015
‘The Artists’ Workbook’ by Caroline Robinson of Cabal - Commissioned by the Artist Alliance in 2002 as a tool for visual artists, to nurture the culture of professional development within the visual arts sector in New Zealand. Supported by Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.