Archives For Wild Creations

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:
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…