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Art in the Environment – Wild Creations 2006

7 March 2006

Art in the Environment – Wild Creations 2006

Visual artist Monique Jansen heads for the hills this week, leaving Auckland to spend six weeks as a Wild Creations artist in residence at Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Wild Creations, an innovative arts collaboration between the Department of Conservation and Creative New Zealand, was established in 2002. The collaboration aims to foster links between conservation and artists by encouraging them to create work inspired by New Zealand’s unique places, people, stories and natural environments.

Each year, three artists are selected to take up a six week residency in DOC conservancies around the country. Creative New Zealand offers a stipend of $5,000 and up to $1,000 for travel and materials for each artist while DOC organise accommodation and logistical support for the artists.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive, Elizabeth Kerr says, “We have been consistently impressed by the calibre and originality of the work produced by the Wild Creations partnership and look forward to re-discovering our New Zealand landscape through the eyes of this year’s artists.”

Stasi Turnbull, programme coordinator for DOC says the residencies are a great way to bring together the arts and conservation communities in New Zealand. “Wild Creations residencies provide artists with a unique experience – the chance to focus exclusively on their art in some of the most inspiring environments in New Zealand.”

Monique was one of the successful applicants for the 2006 programme, and will be using her time in Aoraki/Mt Cook to explore the relationship between her arts practice and this unique environment.

"I have so many ideas about what work I might make while on residency,” Monique says, “but it's hard to know exactly what to expect and I want to remain open to new possibilities inspired by Aoraki and the region.”

Other Wild Creations recipients this year are digital media artist Naomi Lamb from Lyttleton, who takes up residency in Karamea on the West Coast in April, and Auckland photographer Darren Glass, who heads to Tongariro National Park, Taupo in November. More than 60 artists applied for the three 2006 residencies.

Monique will spend time with DOC staff while on her Wild Creations residency, as well as concentrating on art.

Monique says, “I am very much looking forward to working with the Aoraki/Mt Cook conservation team to learn more about what they do and get a better understanding of the issues that face that region. Taking time out to think and look and work and dream is a delight that can't be underestimated. I am so very grateful to DOC and Creative New Zealand for the opportunity."


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