NZ artists to show their wild side in 2011

Emma Hartley —  22/12/2010

Music in Naseby, sculpture in Rotorua and taonga puoro on Stewart Island – New Zealand will be alive with new sights and sounds in 2011 thanks to our latest Wild Creations artists.

Wild Creations is an artist-in-residence programme that we run in partnership with Creative New Zealand. The deal is that each year, three NZ artists get to spend six weeks staying in DOC accommodation in some pretty special parts of our country. They immerse themselves in the places they visit and share its stories and unique qualities through their art – encouraging all of us to see it in a new way.

One of our winning artists is musician, Dudley Benson. He’ll head to Naseby, Central Otago to work on new material inspired by the history, geography and people of the region. Dudley has just released his second album, Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne, and completed a ten-date nationwide tour performing songs from the album along with all-vocal ensemble, The Dawn Chorus and dance artist, Cat Ruka.

Dudley Benson, photo by Joshua Thomas

Dudley Benson, photo by Joshua Thomas

Dudley and the Dawn Chorus perform at the Palm Beach Hall in Waiheke, photo by Joshua Thomas & Milana Radojcic

Dudley and the Dawn Chorus perform at the Palm Beach Hall in Waiheke, photo by Joshua Thomas & Milana Radojcic

Another Wild Creations residency winner is the sculptor/writer duo Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis. They’ll spend their residency in the Rotorua Lakes region, creating objects for an exhibition using ceramic and other materials from the area, and doing a research project to produce a written work. Madeleine and Philip’s past work includes Doodads & Doodahs and Widespread Occurrence of Possible Symbioses, a super colourful reproduction of a coral reef, which they won a Portage Ceramic Award for in 2009.

Philip Jarvis and Madeleine Child

Philip Jarvis and Madeleine Child

Doodads & Doodahs and Widespread Occurrence of Possible Symbioses

Doodads & Doodahs and Widespread Occurrence of Possible Symbioses

Our third Wild Creations artist for 2011 is musician and craftsperson Alistair Fraser, who will spend time on Stewart Island/Rakiura. Alistair is skilled in making taonga puoro – traditional Māori musical instruments – so while he’s on Rakiura he’ll make the most of the access to the island’s unique materials by creating new instruments and recording their sounds. He also plans to create an interpretive display of instruments and recordings to showcase Stewart Island’s conservation values.

Alistair Fraser, photo by Andy Morley-Hall

Alistair Fraser, photo by Andy Morley-Hall

Taonga puoro musical instrument, Putorino Urukehu (totara flute/trumpet)
Taonga puoro musical instrument, Putorino Urukehu (totara flute/trumpet)

Best of luck to our Wild Creations artists as they venture out into NZ’s wild places and I can’t wait to see what they create!

Emma Hartley

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I'm part of DOC's marketing team. My job is to provide advice and support for campaigns and other promotions to give New Zealanders the chance to learn about and experience our amazing wildlife and wild places. When I’m not working I like to get out and about in Wellington especially to play 18 holes at the golf course!