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Robots to Raranga for Artists


Thursday 24 January 2013
Press Release: Intercreate Trust

For immediate release

Monday was robotics and Tuesday was weaving for national and international artists at the SCANZ 2013: 3rd nature residency at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki in Nga Motu New Plymouth.

“This event is all about combining art, technology, science and indigenous understanding” said main event organiser Ian Clothier. “Taranaki is a perfect place to bring these together. We have high levels of expertise culturally, creatively and with technology.”

Andrew Hornblow of Opunake led the robotics workshop while Jo Tito and Mako Jones conducted the raranga (weaving) session, which involved gathering harakeke (flax) and making a small woven piece. Andrew Hornblow’s session proved so popular that interested artists have had to schedule an hour each at a return visit on Friday. An important part of the weaving session was to hear about Māori understandings of harakeke.

The event is co-organised with Te Matahiapo Indigenous Research Centre who provide services in regard to cultural and indigenous knowledge. The event commenced with two days of visits to Parihaka and concludes with a symposium which is held at Owae marae on the first day.

On Wednesday local artist Fiona Clark visited with Margaret Smith, as representatives of The Friends of the Waitara River organisation. Local scientist and community group organiser Elise Smith, Mike Ure, and Anne Scott visited the group on Thursday, to talk about various activities including their penguin project which records information about the little Blue Penguin on the shores of New Plymouth.

Smith and Scott will also present at the symposium that occurs on the final weekend of the artist residency. Speakers from around the world and New Zealand will discuss working together to resolve environmental issues.

Registrations are now open for the symposium (for further information go to

Project partners include Creative New Zealand, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, Te Matahiapo, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Puke Ariki.

Further information
Main site:
Photo from electronics and robotic workshop
Photos from the harakeke/raranga workshop
Hui-symposium abstracts:
Registration information and conference outline:


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