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Visual artists awarded international residencies


To: Arts Reporters/ Art Critics

Date: 15 October 2001

No of pages: 3

Visual artists awarded international residencies

Three international artist residencies, offered by Creative New Zealand as part of its international residencies programme, have been awarded to New Zealand visual artists. Michael Stevenson will take up a residency in Berlin, Lisa Crowley in New York and Stella Brennan in Sydney.

Michael Stevenson, who grew up in Taranaki but is currently living overseas, will take up the one-year residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin in January 2002. Auckland artist Lisa Crowley will take up the four-month New York residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in January 2002. And Auckland artist Stella Brennan will take up the three-month residency at Artspace, a major contemporary art gallery in Woolloomooloo in Sydney, in December 2001.

Murray Shaw, Chair of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, says the Board offers a range of international artist residencies because they provide significant benefits to New Zealand artists.

“These residencies are partnerships with prestigious institutions,” Mr Shaw says. “They expand opportunities for New Zealand artists to work in a new, critical context and present their work to an international audience.”

The residencies also provide valuable networking opportunities with international artists, writers, museums, curators and collectors. For Peter Robinson, who undertook the one-year Künstlerhaus Bethanien residency in 2000, the residency was an “extremely valuable experience and crucial in the development of my work”.

“I connected with a broad range of international art professionals,” he says. “Also of great value were the contacts I made with other artists and the dialogue I had with them.”

Robinson, who was one of two artists selected to represent New Zealand at this year’s 49th Venice Biennale of Art, took part in several group exhibitions while he was in Berlin. He also had his first European gallery exhibition at Berlin’s Kapinos Galerie in September 2000.

The Arts Board has invested $125,000 in these three international residencies. This includes the artists’ airfares, stipends and studio fees. The institutions – or host organisations - provide administrative, curatorial, exhibition and publication support. At the Künstlerhaus Bethanien and Artspace, the artist’s work is exhibited. Artspace produces a publication to accompany the exhibition while the Künstlerhaus Bethanien provides text about the exhibition in its publication, Be. The New York residency organises open studio shows and critiques of the artist’s work.


Michael Stevenson, Künstlerhaus Bethanien residency, from January 2002:
Michael Stevenson, who grew up in Taranaki, has been exhibiting in New Zealand since 1988 although residing outside the country since 1994. From 1994 - 2000, he lived in Melbourne and exhibited nationally and internationally. His collaborative work, Slave Pianos, was part of Toi Toi Toi, a major exhibition of contemporary New Zealand art in 1999 at the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany. In the past year, he has been living and working in Berlin.

In 2000, Stevenson was the artist-in-residence at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth where Genealogy, a collaborative project with Steven Brower, was presented. He is currently working on several projects, which will be presented in New Zealand in 2002. This includes Call Me Immendorff, a site-specific work to be presented in Auckland to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the German painter’s visit to New Zealand. This work was presented at the Kapinos Galerie in Berlin, 2000.

Stevenson’s work will also be included in the 2002 Biennale of Sydney.

Lisa Crowley, International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, from January 2002:
For Auckland artist Lisa Crowley, 2001 has been a productive year. Her solo show, Freefall, was exhibited at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in 2000 and then included in Auckland’s first triennial, Bright Paradise, in early 2001. Her latest work, The Passenger, is a series of photos, and was part of group shows at the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington, the Bishop Suter Gallery in Nelson, and the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne. The Passenger was the result of a Creative New Zealand grant to create new work.

In New York, Crowley wants to document various city spaces and also the epic wilderness of America’s national parks. In light of the recent attacks on the United States, Crowley acknowledges their impact on people’s perceptions of public space in New York but doesn’t think it will adversely affect her project.

“I’m interested in responding to situations rather than sticking to an agenda. In many ways, it’s a case of waiting until I get there to see where the project goes,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to the new and challenging dialogues the residency will offer.”

Stella Brennan, Artspace, Sydney, from December 2001:
Auckland artist Stella Brennan combines installation with work as an art writer and curator. A recent recipient of a Creative New Zealand grant to produce a new body of work, she’s had solo shows in Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland. In the past year, her work has been part of group exhibitions at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Sister Spaces in San Francisco.

Her installations of packing materials and light dramatise the transient glamour of the new. A compulsive collector of the polystyrene husks of stereos and televisions, Brennan says: “I’m like the little kid who gets all the great presents but spends her birthday playing with the cardboard box they came in.”
Brennan is currently working on myopic videos that explore the open pores of her polystyrene and glomesh stars. “I’m really looking forward to working in Sydney and producing an exhibition and publication for a new audience. Some of the artists I really admire are in Sydney, and I hope to build on the contacts I’ve already developed in Australia.”

At Artspace, Brennan says she will create an environment from her favourite detritus, bound together with duct tape and mohair – “a kind of Merzbau 2001.”


For further information and contact details:
Undine Marshfield
Media and Communications Adviser
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0725, 025-965 925

Iona McNaughton
Communications Writer
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0715

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