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McCahon House Artists in Residence announced

Press Release

The McCahon House Trust is pleased to announce Martin Basher, Andy Leleisi’uao and Jim Speers as the 2010 artists in residence at the McCahon House Residency Programme in Titirangi.

New York based mixed media artist, Martin Basher, will take up residence in March 2010. Martin graduated with Masters of Fine Arts at Columbia University where he is currently an adjunct professor in studio art. His residency work will involve paint, sculptural assemblages and electronic media. His latest exhibition is a group show at the newly opened art collective 25CPW in New York which questions whether some of the socioeconomic conditions of the 60s that inspired the birth of psychedelia aren't analogous to our own current climate. John McCormick of Starkwhite Gallery in Auckland says: Martin Basher is a young rising star… this is a chance to get some quality studio time, to take ideas he has in the bag into his art making, to create new work that might get him his next big break here or overseas.

Martin plans to further develop changes he has been making in his practice – particularly the shift to using oil paint to make near photo-realistic paintings based on fat, banal throwaway imagery. A number of complimentary sculpture works will allow Martin to make major technical and conceptual leaps in his painting practice.

Painter, Andy Leleisi’uao currently based in Christchurch, takes up the residency in July 2010. Recently returned to Aotearoa from a successful solo exhibition at Kips Gallery, Chelsea, New York, Andy is looking forward to his three month residency as a time to contextualise and clarify his current practice. Love, acceptance and abandonment are the themes Andy intends to explore, creating a series of creatures and imagery to develop a signature body of work. Deborah White of Whitespace Gallery notes: …His paintings and drawings provide a narrative of his world – a world of complex relationships and a melange of different cultures. They provide a hopeful view of the future for his children and society generally, a place where people overcome enormous challenges and co habit a world tolerant of diversity and the unusual.

Sculptor, Jim Speers, will begin his three-month residency in October 2010. A lecturer At Elam School of Fine Arts, Jim will work in a project led process aiming to develop installations alongside writing and artist book projects. Black Kate, Jim’s present project will be key to his work during the McCahon residency. The project involves collecting and building on information gathered in the urban landscape. He is interested in how technologies of production affect and reveal our understanding of the world. John McCormick, Starkwhite director says: The McCahon residency will take Speers out of his comfort zone where he is seen to be a well-established artist with a high profile and a reputation for a certain kind of art practice. It will allow him time to rethink his practice, to research and conceptualise new work, and ultimately create a body of new artworks that will mark the beginning of a new phase in his career.

“The difference between good residencies and great residencies is a capacity to select the right artist at the right time – when an artist’s residency becomes a defining moment in their career.” John McCormack, co-owner/director, Starkwhite Chris McBride Manager

The McCahon House Restoration and Artists Residency

The McCahon House residency programme began in 2006 with inaugural artist Judy Millar Residencies are available to outstanding emergent or mid career professional artists. Each residency is for a three-month period. Artists receiving the residency live and work in the new purpose built French Bay house with attached studio.

The tenth artist to take up the residency, Ava Seymour, began her McCahon residency in November and will be in residence until February.

Next to the new house and studio is the restored house where Colin McCahon and his family lived in the 1950s. The house is open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm and for group bookings at other times.

The McCahon French Bay House Restoration and Residency project is the initiative of the McCahon House Trust. The Trust received significant support from the Waitakere City Council, who gifted McCahon’s old cottage to the Trust, Sky City Community Trust, ASB Community Trust and Portage Licensing Trust.


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