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Tiffany Singh awarded Artist In Residence

08 August 2011
Tiffany Singh awarded Artist In Residence

Creative New Zealand media release

New Zealand installation artist Tiffany Singh will transform an abandoned site into a community hub filled with native plants, sustainable food, and religious symbols as an artist-in-residence in Samoa.

Tiffany has been awarded the Creative New Zealand and the National University of Samoa Artist in Residence for 2011 and will be working on the project with local artists from August to November.

The residency, a partnership established between Creative New Zealand and the university in 2006, offers New Zealand resident Pacific artists the opportunity to develop their potential, skills and practice.

“Overseas residencies are an important part of our role as an arts development organisation” says Chair of Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Committee Pele Walker. “This residency provides a compelling opportunity for Pasifika artists, like Tiffany, to develop and explore collaborations with local artists in a distinctly Pacific environment”.

Of Samoan, Indian and Māori ancestry Auckland-based Tiffany is known for inviting the public into her installations. Her audiences have exchanged wax religious idols for personal items, dropped hanging spices to the floor, made offerings to effigies and taken home wind chimes.

“It’s about things happening without controlling the outcome,” explains Tiffany. “What I do might be great, but what others do with it is far more interesting to me”.
Once in Apia, Tiffany will encourage local people to join in on the creation of her project. She hopes the site will become a useful space and potentially go on to be used as a community meeting place, outdoor theatre or church.

Western and Eastern religious symbols feature strongly in Tiffany’s work. She has been influenced by her travels and religious studies in the East, including meditation in the Himalayas. However Samoa has special significance, “My grandmother was from Apia. I never met her so I’m grateful to have this chance to explore my Samoan heritage. I believe it will strengthen and broaden my cultural connection as well as my practice,” says Tiffany.

Tiffany will take a short time out of her residency to exhibit at the 2011 Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan. More than 40 international artists have been invited, but Tiffany is the only one from New Zealand. She believes the work that has been selected, Newton and The Piece Bomb, fits well with the exhibition’s theme of changing Asian societies, and traditional and modern values.

This annual Creative New Zealand and the National University of Samoa Artist-in-Residence provides up to $15,000 for an artist’s stipend, accommodation and travel costs. Established by the Pacific Arts Committee of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, Jim Vivieaere, Nathaniel Lees and Fiona Collins are among previous recipients.


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