12 April 2022

New Creative Residents at Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre

With much anticipation and excitement, the Olivia Spencer Bower residency is returning to Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre. A longstanding residency prior to the 2010/11 earthquakes, this partnership will once again see The Arts Centre annually host an emerging artist specialising in the fields of painting and sculpture. Amanda Newall won this esteemed award and will be based onsite from May until December this year, working on a new exhibition, Blue Ted. The Oliver Spencer Bower residencies began in 1987 and are renowned as an invaluable and prestigious award for Aotearoa visual artists. The Olivia Spencer Bower award is supported annually by Perpetual Guardian.

In addition, The Arts Centre’s own creative residency programme will welcome Zena Elliott, Asher Raawiri Newbery and Rose Kirkup from the 16 May to 7 August 2022.

Following the success of last year’s Arts Four Creative Residency Programme, applicants were able to apply under the artform categories and cultural areas of visual art, literature, music, dance, craft/object, theatre, Pacific arts, and toi Māori.

Arts Centre Director, Philip Aldridge said “We were overwhelmed by the quality of applications this year, as our residency programme becomes more well-known. Our team of expert local assessors have selected three exciting artists who are working at the forefront of visual arts and theatre in Aotearoa.”

The creative residencies are a valuable opportunity for local artists. Rose Kirkup, one of this year’s creative residents says “Living and working in the iconic Arts Centre is a dream come true! Being able to live, work and be supported in a creative space is a privilege. It will allow me to make work I have put off due to the pandemic. Living and working with other artists like Zena, Amanda and Asher, add to this immersion. Co-existing with those who just get it, understanding the importance of our creative voice is one of life’s true gifts.”

The residency is a fantastic opportunity for artists to focus on developing their skills and talents, and each resident will produce a public programme as part of their residency.

“We can’t wait to have them with us, are thrilled to see what they create and look forward to sharing their mahi with our communities.” said Philip Aldridge.


Artists in Residence

Zena Elliott

Zena Elliott (Ngāti Awa, Te Whanau ā Apanui, Te Arawa, Ngai Te Rangi) is a Kirikiriroa/Hamilton-based multi-disciplinary artist positioned within contemporary painting and sculpture. Zena’s practice stimulates discussion about gender fluidity, visibility, and cultural identity. She is interested in incorporating innovative methods and materials derived from indigenous knowledge and contemporary culture. While in residence, Zena will be working towards a new body of work exploring the notion of Carving against the grain. She will be investigating the potential of her carving and painting practice, through unconventional methods and mediums.

Asher Raawiri Newbery

Asher Raawiri Newbery (Nāi Tūhoe, Nāti Manunui) is a contemporary Māori artist based in Ōhinehou/Lyttelton. In his painting practice he uses expressive colour, texture and mark-making to explore Māori cosmological narratives and investigate Māori understandings of time and space. Throughout his residency, Asher intends to build a body of painted art works investigating specific themes relating to the Matariki/Puaka period.

Rose Kirkup

Raised in Orongomai/Upper Hutt, Rose is a TRANSMAD artist who activates audiences' hearts through performance with shows like Big J Stylez by Jacob Dombroski, produced by Everybody Cool Lives Here and directed by Rose. Rose is thrilled to be back in Ōtautahi collaborating with locals on their new work Period Drama, a bogan pride piece exploring rock, car culture, menstrual cycle, and period costume. 

Amanda Newall (Olivia Spencer Bower artist in residence)

Amanda Newall is an Aotearoa born artist and educator previously working at The Manukau School of Visual Arts, NZ, The Royal Academy of Art Stockholm, SE and Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK. Her art practice is informed by her education in sculpture at Ilam School of Fine Arts 1996, her Masters in Intermedia from Elam School of Fine Arts, and her PhD at The University of the Arts London Costume in Art Education and Institution. Amanda’s post-disciplinary practice includes costume, performance, sculpture and moving image, norm critical practice, post-colonialism, and relational aesthetics, and she has exhibited extensively in Aotearoa and around the world.

During her stay with us Amanda will be working on Blue Ted which will be exhibited in the Humour and Satire Biennial, Gabrovo, Bulgaria, a solo exhibition of costumes in Stockholm, collaboratively making costumes/garments with UK artist David Mab, Swedish duo Bigert & Bergstrom, and German American Artist Olav Westphalen, working on The Hoover Diaries (part two). She intends to engage with creatives through costumed interviews, as well as experimenting with her drawing practice and creating interactive sculptural works from her three 1950 Austin A70 cars.