Archives For Wild Creations

The Wild Things exhibition kick started Conservation Week in Rotorua with a display of the works of Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis. The work was the results from their Wild Creations residency.

Wild Things exhibition

Wild Creations is the Department of Conservation’s Artists in Residence Programme, run in partnership with Creative New Zealand. Each year Wild Creations gives three New Zealand artists the chance to spend six weeks in natural or historical sites to experience the people, stories and challenges of the site, and draw inspiration from their surroundings to use in their work.

Mt Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

Sculptor and writer duo Madeleine Child and Philip Jarvis came to the Rotorua Lakes region, with the idea of creating objects for an exhibition using ceramics and other materials from the area. Stationed at Lake Tarawera, the artists had unfettered access to the beauty and splendor of the mountain and lake vistas.

“This work being kind of souvenirs-of-our-time in this weird and romantic region: real and imagined landscapes, the past and present, the mythical and magical, solid and fleeting… volcanoes, rock, mud, dense weed, clouds, ash, mist, reflections,” explains artist Madeleine Child.

Mount Tarawera in nylon and polystyrene

New materials made their way into the works: fishing line, paint on mylar, polystyrene, and plaster. Working drawings and marquettes were created, with some ideas exported back to Dunedin, where further ceramic pieces have been created for the show. In keeping with the environmental theme, the works also use throwaway materials: coffee cup lids, polystyrene, and old CDs.

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

Lake Weed - nylon & ceramic

“Wild Creations allows DOC the opportunity to support artists to explore the natural environment, to develop new work and connect a (potentially) new audience with some of our special places via with their art (and the stories it tells).

“Often these stories are told in a totally different method and medium than the traditional forms of interpretation, inspiring others to take an interest or rekindle ones passion,” says DOC’s Robert Griffiths.

The ‘Wild Things’ exhibtion will run from the 9th – 30th September at the Rotorua Arts Village.

The competition to win a limited edition copy of Wild Creations artists Rosy Tin Teacaddy’s new album All Mountains are Men is closed.

Jack van Hal, from Hillsborough in Christchurch, is our winner. Congratulations!

The challenge was to name the two New Zealand native birds featured in Bucketful of Bones and Beauty My Dear. The correct answers are:

_______________________

Rosy Tin Teacaddy’s album All Mountains are Men is a national treasure, and we have a numbered limited edition CD to give away.

Wellington folk duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy

But more on that later. First I’ll try to explain why I’m sounding like such a tragic fanboy.

It’s partly a pride thing. The whole album was written and recorded in an isolated DOC cottage beside Lake Tarawera while the ’Caddies were on a Wild Creations artists’ residency so, in some small and frankly delusory way, I feel I contributed. And the whole Bon Iver, lonely-cabin-in-the-woods vibe doesn’t hurt.

Then there’s the way New Zealand past and present seems to have been captured in miniature in the songs. Released on the 125th anniversary of the eruption of Mt Tarawera, the record rings with echoes of the explosion that buried Te Wairoa and engulfed the Pink and White Terraces, the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.

The album was written and recorded at Lake Tarawera

Lake and mountain flirt shamelessly, the local telegraph master stays at his post to report the disaster as ash rains down and dead men turn up at their own funerals.

None of this would mean diddly if the songs hadn’t lodged themselves in my subconscious ever since a colleague played me the demos.

Apart from the title track, the songs I keep coming back to are a lament to the lost Pink and White Terraces called Beauty, My Dear, domestic-scene-with-disaster Out of the Frying Pan into Fire, and Telegrams and Ashes, which documents the eruption in staccato telegraphese.

The songs are mysterious and evocative, mythic and everyday, funny and sad, richly melodic and wrapped in beautiful harmonies. What Gillian Welch and David Rawlings do for Americana, RTT do for New Zealand’s songwriting traditions.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check out All Mountains are Men on Bandcamp.

Cover of Rosy Tin Teacaddy album All Mountains are Men

All Mountains are Men CD

What do you get when two musicians are sent in song-writing exile to the scene of one of New Zealand’s largest volcanic eruption? You get a crackling new album rising from the ashes.
 
In 2010 Billy Earl (Andy Hummel -The Woolshed Sessions, Rhian Sheehan) and Betty Grey (Holly Jane Ewens) of Wellington folk duo ‘Rosy Tin Teacaddy’ spent six weeks on the shores of Lake Tarawera. The duo were the recipients of the Wild Creations artist in residence programme, a joint venture between the Department of Conservation and Creative NZ. They set out to research, write and record their translations of local history and isolation in a site-responsive manner.
Temporary recording studio - Lake Tarawera

Temporary recording studio - Lake Tarawera

The result is a work that explores the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and subsequent loss of the self-appointed eighth wonder of the world – the Pink and White Terraces.

Rosy Tin Teacaddy have made use of historical anecdotes and found sounds (while holding fast to their harmonic and word-wizardry roots), in their new full-length release All Mountains Are Men. Presented with hand-numbered booklets, the album extends the duo’s artistic concept beyond the audio as they translate stories of the past into a present-day archival treasure.

Album cover - All Mountains Are Men

Album cover - All Mountains Are Men

The BATS theatre show, ‘Coffee Cups and a Porridge Pot at Frying Pan Lake’ gave audiences a taste of this experience in May 2010.

Forthcoming single Telegrams and Ashes, uses snippets from newspapers of the day with a dedication to the local telegraph master. Sitting on a bed of backwards guitar and finger-clicks there is little to suggest this album is merely two folkies strumming away in the back-blocks.

Playing on location - All Mountains Are Men

Playing on location - All Mountains Are Men

There is cheek amongst the ruins too, with songs like Blow Your Top where the duo imagine the lake and mountain flirting with one another in a present context—’Facebooking, perhaps’, while the lament Beauty, My Dear swells with loss and hope—’Can’t have a clear sky, without a frost/Beauty, my dear comes at a cost’.

Simultaneously cinematic and intimate, this album is layered as deep as the lake bed and seeks to provide fans with a slow burner through the cold winter months ahead.

All Mountains Are Men will be released with a blessing by local kaumatua at Lake Tarawera on June 10, in conjunction with the 125th commemoration of the eruption of Mt Tarawera. This will be followed at 7pm by a concert in the stunning historic Rotorua Museum of Art and History.

 Album release venue - Rotorua Museum

Album release venue - Rotorua Museum

The following evening, Saturday June 11, Rosy Tin Teacaddy will play at the Buried Village, Te Wairoa, Lake Tarawera, joining Cornel de Ronde (GNS Science) as he shares his findings of recent exploration of the Rotomahana lake bed and the discovery of remnants of the Pink Terrace.

For both these evenings, bookings are advised. Contact the Rotorua Museum (07) 350 1814, or the Buried Village (07) 3628287.

Rosy Tin Teacaddy will be touring All Mountains Are Men throughout the country with Bond St Bridge (AKL) who is also promoting his new album, Spring Summer Awesome Winter.

For more on Rosy Tin Teacaddy and their full line up of shows check out their Facebook page.

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!

Billy Earl and Betty Grey

Rosy Tin Teacaddy rolled into Rotorua a few weeks ago in a Toyota jammed full of chaos, for the first of their Wild Creations residencies. Billy Earl & Betty Grey are the creative geniuses behind the indie-folk band, Rosy Tin Teacaddy. As apart of the Wild creations programme they have come up with the inspiring idea of creating a new collection of songs based on their experiences, the land, and the people and stories of Tarawera.    

The Wild Creations residency programme is a partnership between Creative NZ (Provides the funding) and the Department of Conservation (Host the artists) allowing great folks like Billy & Betty the opportunity to get away from it all and do what they do best – create!   

Sunrise over Tarawera

During their latest stay they have been out and about researching the area by day, visiting local ‘hot spots’ and catching up with locals etc. By night they can be found at their humble abode writing & playing. All this mixed in with numerous cups of tea of course!    

According to Billy & Betty this first stint has mainly been dedicated to devising their stage show, which is playing at BATS theatre May 19 to 22. “The show and the album project have become parts of the same thing. The show is almost the springboard into the project as a whole” comments Andy.    

“On our next visit to the area we are hoping to coincide the dates with the anniversary of the Mt Tarawera eruption (10th June 1886). Some may say that this is a great coincidence. I believe that it is somewhat serendipitous” says Betty.    

“We are hoping to throw together a special anniversary gig for the locals come June”    

Creating the night away…

Stay posted on the latest escapades by checking their blog site: http://rosytinteacaddy.wordpress.com/
Become a Rosy Tin Teacaddy Facebook Fan
If you’re in Wellington don’t miss the show at BATS: 19th – 22nd May 2010
And, stay tuned for updates on a special Tarawera Anniversary gig in Rotorua! 
Wild Creations on the DOC website

Recently I gave 3 NZ artists an early Christmas present when I told them they’d won a Wild Creations residency, meaning they will spend 6 weeks in some of NZ’s best natural environments to work on their art form. During the residency the artists explore and get inspired by their natural surroundings. They are all very different so they will each have a captivating story to tell about the places they visit.

Chris Cottrell

Chris Cottrell

Artwork by Chris Cottrell using thread, printed card, sunlight and audio

'Data Cloud' by Chris Cottrell. Based on the collection of weather data, this project shows a tangible bodily relationship to data's cloudy characteristics: indeterminacy, vastness, lightness, ephemerality and obscurity.

One of the winning artists is Chris Cottrell. He’s a drawing, installation and video artist. He’ll head to Fox Glacier where he wants to check out the glacier’s movements then draw, use GPS devices, video and sound to create maps of the glacier that shows the vitality and complexity of the environment. Chris hopes to showcase his work in a travelling exhibition and artists’ book after his residency. Chris is also keen to include the work in his upcoming PhD. 

Andy Hummel and Holly Jane Ewens

Andy Hummel and Holly Jane Ewens are Rosy Tin Teacaddy

Andy Hummel and Holly Jane Ewens are the folk musical duo Rosy Tin Teacaddy. They’re going to the Rotorua Lakes region to write and record a new album about their experience, the people, and the history of Lake Tarawera. Judging by the music they’ve already produced their new album will be something special.

Hayden Fowler

Hayden Fowler, photo by Joy Lai

Hayden Fowler gets a pair of extinct Huia birds tattooed onto his back

Hayden Fowler gets a pair of extinct Huia birds tattooed onto his back for his artwork 'Call of the Wild'

Ashburton Lakes will welcome film, performance and soundwork artist, Hayden Fowler. He’s keen to create a performance piece based on the giant moa and kakapo that shows the impact of these birds being absent from mainland NZ. Hayden hopes to exhibit his work in galleries throughout New Zealand.

DOC and Creative New Zealand work together on the Wild Creations Artists in Residence programme. Each of the winning artists gets a $5,000 stipend and up to $2,000 towards travel and materials costs from Creative New Zealand. DOC gives the artists accommodation during their residency and provides other support to make their stay safe and enjoyable.

The artists will take up their residencies at different times throughout 2010 so watch this space to hear about their experiences and see what they create…