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Hipkins awarded New York visual arts residency

Friday 28 October, 2005

Gavin Hipkins awarded New York visual arts residency

Leading New Zealand photographer Gavin Hipkins, whose work will feature in a group exhibition opening in Rochester, New York in January 2006, will take up a four-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City after the exhibition opening, with funding support from Creative New Zealand.

During the residency, Hipkins will work on his major project, The Sanctuary, photographing leisure sites in and around New York, and using time in the studio to research, edit material, plan for future shows and work on digital material for exhibitions scheduled for 2006.

"The residency is extremely timely," says Hipkins, a lecturer at Massey University in Wellington. "At this stage of my career, critical feedback within an international arena is vital and through the residency programme, I'm very much looking forward to meeting with critics, curators, artists and gallerists.

"Following on from the exhibition opening in Rochester, the residency is also an ideal opportunity to be based in an international art centre, profile my work and expand my North American contacts."

Creative New Zealand covers the artist's airfares, stipend and studio fees while the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) provides administrative, curatorial, exhibition and publication support, along with open studio shows and critiques of the artist's work. Previous recipients of this Creative New Zealand residency are Ronnie van Hout (2000), Lisa Crowley (2002) and Christopher Braddock (2004).

Alastair Carruthers, Chair of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, says the residency will enhance Hipkins' growing international career and open doors to new and important markets.

"Gavin is focussed on building his career and is keen to make the most of the professional development opportunities available to him both through the programme and being based in New York," Mr Carruthers says.

Fellow photographer and 2002 recipient of the ISCP residency, Lisa Crowley, says that Hipkins has been a key player in the development of contemporary photography in New Zealand.

"There's already considerable international interest in his work," she says. "The opportunity to connect with relevant art professionals in New York will be of immense benefit to Gavin in his desire to take his work to a wider audience."

Sculptor Christopher Braddock, the 2004 recipient and a member of the selection committee for the 2006 residency, describes the ISCP as "the best studio programme" in New York City.

"It exposed me to a lot of interesting American art practice and gave me valuable ongoing contacts," he says. "Gavin is well-equipped to make the most of the art and networking opportunities it offers."

Gavin Hipkins: a snapshot

Gavin Hipkins is one of New Zealand's leading contemporary artists. He graduated from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 1993 and has exhibited steadily since then. From 2000-2002, he studied at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, gaining a Master of Fine Arts. He is a lecturer in photography and fine arts at Massey University in Wellington.

The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, Hipkins has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally. Highlights include:

* participation in the 25th Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil, 2002
* finalist in the inaugural Walters Prize, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tàmaki, 2002
* participation in Flight Patterns, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, United States, 2000
* participation in Guarene Arte 2000, Turin, Italy
* Supreme Award for contemporary art in the Art Waikato National Art Competition, 2000
* participation in the 11th Biennale of Sydney, Australia, 1998

In his most recent body of work, featured in The Village at Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland and Hamish McKay Gallery in Wellington earlier this year, Hipkins used a commercial billboard format and produced a suite of large digital canvases. The theme of this exhibition plays with the nostalgic associations we have of heritage parks, transport museums and model Màori villages. As with all of Hipkins' work, something darker lurks beneath the surface of these seemingly tranquil leisure sites.

Hipkins' work will feature in Picturing Eden, a group exhibition opening at the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York in January 2006. The exhibition includes an accompanying book and a multi-year international tour.


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