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UC artist-in-residence to examine museum’s Pacific taonga


Nina Oberg Humphries, film still, Matavai Bay (2019). Image courtesy of the artist.

Nina Oberg Humphries has been announced as the 2020 Pacific Artist in Residence at the University of Canterbury’s Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

Christchurch born and bred, Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Islands and Pākehā descent.

Oberg Humphries earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Sculpture at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts.

Exhibiting throughout the country, Nina’s work explores her dual Pacific and Western heritage.

Using traditional Polynesian art forms such as Tivaevae, costume and dance, combined with elements of popular culture, she seeks to convey issues of gender, identity and social politics.

“As the Macmillan Brown Pacific artist in residence I’ll be researching taonga from the Pacific Collection at Canterbury Museum, conducting interviews with members of the Pacific community to find out what meaning and relevance, if any, these taonga still hold for them,” she says.

“My artwork will be a response to their reactions and answers.”

Oberg Humphries’ residency is supported by Creative New Zealand and UC’s Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies (MBC). The MBC is a world leader in interdisciplinary research on the Pacific.

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