ABOUT the Free Time project

Welcome to the Free Time blog.  My name is Sarah Read and I am a Wellington-based artist.

For two weeks in the winter of 2012 I was engaged in my Free Time project, which meant living in Christchurch and volunteering my services free to anyone who needed a little help.

Read on for an explanation of the project, or use the menu on the right to see what skills I offered and how the project panned out.

Free Time looks at how we value time and how we choose to use it.

Like most artists, I wear several hats in the course of making my living, and I’m pretty handy.  The opportunity to exhibit my art at The National in Christchurch set me wondering if my non-artist roles might also be useful to the people of this City, who are now well into a second winter of  broken houses and uncertainty.

  • I currently have a part-time caregiving job and also freelance as a technical writer.
  • Back in the day I co-founded and -managed a small company, and also worked in a not-for-profit organisation.
  • And of course there is (always) the house.

So, here’s the plan:

  • For two weeks I offer my time and various skills to anyone in Christchurch who needs me. I’ll advertise this via newspaper ads, word of mouth, and posters around the City.
  • The contact details in the ads include this blog, where you can view my CVs and references for each of the five roles on offer.
  • Bookings are made by phone on a first come, first served basis.
  • I’ll tally the number of hours worked in each role; (see the Bookings page).
  • For identification I’ll wear an official Free Time name badge at all times

If you are tired/over it/need a break, or if you know someone who is struggling, take a look at what I can do and let me know how I can help.

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This is a genuine offer, with no strings attached. I am honest, reliable, hard-working and cheerful, and I have:

  • a full clean NZ driving license and my own transport
  • solid experience, heaps of common sense
  • excellent references for each of my roles


How to book

Go to the Bookings page (listed in the menu on the right) for instructions.


Why am I doing this?

In 2010, whilst completing my jewellery training at Whitireia NZ,  I seriously overused my hands; two years on I still can’t work with hard materials for more than a few minutes a day.

The silver lining is that I’ve been nudged towards other ways of working, and have found my fit; what truly floats my boat is a project with an element of collaboration or community participation and a life that extends beyond the gallery.

I am currently exploring magical thinking, radical gratitude and the sense of connectedness that makes all the difference when life is difficult.

So this ticks many boxes for me.

Plus, I get to keep the badges  :-).  Score.


Thanks and acknowledgements

Heartfelt thanks to:

  • the artists  who made the badges
  • Jhana for brainstorming and creative input early in the piece
  • everyone who has given feedback
  • everyone who has supplied references or agreed to act as a referee
  • my family for freeing up me, going without the car, and all the other support
  • Iris Eichenberg, my wonderful mentor in the Handshake project


Contact details:

  • txt or call: 027 226 5736
  • email: sarah.read@xtra.co.nz


Volunteering organisations in Christchurch

2 Responses to “ABOUT the Free Time project”

  1. Noel Read Says:

    You are fabulous wife x

  2. Karren Says:

    Aw what a fabulous initiative Sarah and a truly creative way to express life as an artist, x

Leave a Reply to Noel Read Cancel reply

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