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Cook Islands a “goldmine of inspiration”

Cook Islands a “goldmine of inspiration”

Pacific Arts Committee seeks applications to Cook Islands Artist’s Residency

Applications to the 2003 Cook Islands Artist’s Residency, offered by the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand, close on Friday 28 March.

The annual three-month residency, awarded last year to senior Pacific artist Fatu Feu’u, is open to all visual artists of Pacific Islands heritage living, working and exhibiting in New Zealand.

“Although the population is small, there is a lot of creative energy being generated in the Cook Islands,” Fatu Feu’u says. “It is a goldmine of inspiration.”

The Pacific Arts Committee administers the residency, covers the costs of the airfares and materials, and provides a $3000 a month stipend. The Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development provides accommodation, studio space and other support while the artist is in the Cook Islands.

The aims of the residency are two-fold. It provides the selected artist with an opportunity to work on a body of work in a new environment. The artist is also expected to work with local artists and students.

Marilyn Kohlhase, Chair of the Pacific Arts Committee, encourages visual artists from any genre and at any stage of their careers to apply for the Cook Islands Artist’s Residency.

“We’re delighted at the way the residency has built valuable links between New Zealand and the Cook Islands,” she says. “Fatu Feu’u has set a high standard in terms of the workshops he ran, and has raised awareness and expectations among Cook Island artists.”

Mahiriki Tangaroa, former curator at the National Museum in Rarotonga, is also enthusiastic about the residency. “The local arts community was privileged to learn from one of the Pacific’s most prominent contemporary artists. The residency raised the profile of our initiatives and encouraged all our local artists.”

During his residency, Feu’u held several workshops and worked alongside local students and artists. He also completed a body of new work, which was shown in Puaikura, a solo exhibition presented at the Cook Islands National Museum at the end of his residency in September 2002.

On his return to New Zealand, the new work was also exhibited in Wellington and Auckland.

This is the third year the Pacific Arts Committee has offered the residency. In 2001, the inaugural recipient was Auckland new media artist Veronica Vaevae.

For more information and application forms please contact Anton Carter, Arts Adviser, Pacific Islands Arts, Creative New Zealand (Tel: 04-498 0729 Email: antonc@creativenz.govt.nz).

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