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NZ to send artist to Great War battlefields

8 June 2006

NZ to send artist to Great War battlefields

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark announced today a New Zealand artist is to be offered an artist-in-residence position at the In Flanders Fields Museum, in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium, in the first half of 2007.

“The In Flanders Fields Museum is one of Europe’s leading museums focusing on the First World War. It has chosen for the first time to offer its artist-in-residence position to a New Zealand artist,” Helen Clark said.

“The Artist In Residence programme has been running since 1999 and its objective is to give a contemporary artistic a chance to reflect on war and peace in a place which hosted some of the bloodiest battles in history.

“The residency will be timed to precede events which are planned to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the Battles of Messines and Passchendaele and will take place from June to November 2007.

“This is of particular relevance to New Zealand with the participation of the New Zealand Division both at Messines in June 1917 and during the Third Battle of Ypres at Passchendaele in September and October 1917. Passchendaele, on 12 October, 1917, was New Zealand’s greatest military disaster, with 845 New Zealanders dying in a few hours of fighting and many others badly wounded.”

Helen Clark said that the residency is supported by the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels, New Zealand businesses in Belgium, and Creative New Zealand.

The In Flanders Fields Museum will contribute around $50,000 towards the costs associated with the artist’s stay in Belgium, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported by New Zealand businesses in Belgium, will contribute the cost of the artist’s airfare.

New Zealand artists who are interested in applying for the residency can find out more details at the Creative New Zealand website www.creativenz.govt.nz. The deadline for applications is 1 September.


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