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Peoples Poet Inspires An Assembly Of Printmakers In Tāhuna Queenstown

The ‘people’s poet’ Hone Tuwhare inspires four acclaimed printmakers to create a visual connection with the written word. Kyla Cresswell, Catherine Macdonald, Prue MacDougall and Nan Mulder present small holes in the silence, an exhibition that showcases their individual explorations of environments, atmosphere and language at Te Atamira, arts and cultural centre, in Queenstown, opening on Saturday 3 February 2024.

The artists all nationally renowned and widely versed in intaglio printmaking, and geographically spread throughout New Zealand and the world, respond to Hone Tuwhare poem Rain. Each reflects on the poetic motif, small holes in the silence and presents a personal narrative that explores that natural world and the relationship with humans.

Catherine Macdonald explains how the poem has resonated with her;

“We have been given the use of kōwhao iti ana i te marino - small holes in the silence, a line from Hone Tuwhare’s poem Ua - Rain. It is a poem that resonates with us all, in the poem Tuwhare speaks to Rain as an equal, a friend, a lover and acknowledges that if he was gone the rain would continue. A commonality with our work is our strong connection to place be it Murihiku, Tāmaki Makaurau, Piopiotahi or Whanganui. With these works we are telling the natural world that it is seen - that it has been heard.”

The exhibition will incorporate etching, drypoint, mezzotint, drawing, artist books, intaglio photopolymer and silverpoint. Individually their works are distinctive, collectively they combine to form a study on using drawing, mark making and process to create their images.

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Te Atamira Director, Olivia Egerton acknowledges the dedication of these four artists to bringing contemporary perspectives to the timeless art of printmaking;

“ …small holes in the silence is an exceptional showcase and celebration of the fine art of printmaking, it is a visual feast for the eye. These artists are dedicated to the process; a meditation itself from the marks, tones and lines made into various matrices. Almost wholly handprinted, a conceptual dimension is added as they respond to Tuwhare’s poem alongside the themes of their current practice…”

Concurrent with the exhibition there will be a number of events including an opening floor talk with the artists. Internationally renowned Nan Mulder will present a demonstration on the process mezzotint and discuss her practice. Catherine Macdonald will deliver a book binding workshop and will host a discussion session with local writers on artist/ writer collaborations. Prue MacDougall will take a workshop on adding a print to a locally sourced stone keepsake. Kyla Cresswell will give an intaglio drypoint workshop using recycled resources.

The artists gratefully acknowledge Rob Tuwhare and the Hone Tuwhare Estate for permission to use text from the poem ‘Rain' by Hone Tuwhare.

small holes in the silence Exhibition

February 3 - April 14, 2024, Opening Saturday 3 February, 3pm

Te Atamira, 12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Tāhuna Queenstown, New Zealand

For more information on exhibition, workshops and events, visit:


About Te Atamira |
Te Atamira is a multi-purpose arts and cultural space that opened in the heart of the Whakatipu region in 2022. Our vision is to be a platform for creativity to flourish for everyone, every day. We have a curated programme and 22 fit-for-purpose spaces including dance, performance, visual art, music studios, a pottery workshop, a podcast recording studio, a curated art gallery, a project space, a classroom workshop and a youth space.

About the Artists

Nan Mulder

Nan Mulder, originally from the Netherlands, brings a wealth of experience to the arts domain. Nan was educated in the Netherlands, Poland and Scotland, in Fine Arts and Literature. Having served as a Printmaking Lecturer in Ireland and Scotland, she has been invited as a guest lecturer to various institutions. Beyond her academic roles, Nan has been involved in curating, judging, and participating in numerous global exhibitions. Nan has been widely recognised with awards for her artworks and has also achieved recognition through publication in books and magazines. Nan's dedication to the craft of mezzotint, earned her the title of 'International Mezzotint Ambassador' at Russia's International Mezzotint Festival in 2017.Nan Mulder has strong ties within the New Zealand printmaking community. A member of the Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) since 2008, she frequently contributes to exhibitions here.

Prue MacDougall

New Zealand artist Prue MacDougall studied Printmaking at Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction in 1985. In 1990, Prue achieved a Diploma of Teaching at Auckland College of Education and became Head of Department of Art at Selwyn College for a decade. Prue's artistic exploration has spanned the globe, studying masterpieces in European, British, and American institutions. She pursued postgraduate studies at international art schools. Exhibiting widely in New Zealand galleries, her work features in collections at home and abroad, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

At the heart of Prue's artistic practice lies a metaphorical stage, where she skilfully crafts whimsical tableau to mirror her personal life encounters and the nuances of human relationships. Inspired by Goya, Rego, and Piranesi, she's drawn to their use of chiaroscuro and theatrics evoking emotional response.

Kyla Cresswell

Kyla Cresswell was born in Wellington and grew up in Invercargill. She majored in Printmaking at the Otago School of Art, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1996. Overseas in the early 2000's, Kyla continued to study printmaking in Japan, the UK and Canada at print workshops and with individuals. In 2006 - 2010, Kyla established and directed Solander: works on paper in Wellington, a gallery predominantly dedicated to printmaking and drawing.

Kyla has exhibited widely in New Zealand and overseas. Kyla’s work is held in the Department of Conservation Collection and the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Collection, as well as private collections in Canada, Australia, Japan and the UK. Founding Little Prints Printmaking in the past few years, has enabled Kyla to facilitate printmaking workshops and spread her enthusiasm for print. In May of 2023 she taught at Printopia, the New Zealand Festival of Printmaking, Auckland.

Kyla was awarded the Southland Young Contemporary of the Year in 1996 and the William Hodges Fellowship in 2022.

Catherine Macdonald

Born in Whanganui, Catherine Macdonald studied Fine Arts at Wanganui Regional Polytechnic, graduating in 1997 with a BFA majoring in Printmaking. Her practice incorporates printmaking, drawing, writing, book arts, letterpress and furniture making. Recent residencies include The Art Vault, Mildura, Australia 2017 and the 2020 Caselberg Trust In-Print Resident, Dunedin. In 2001 she help to establish the Whanganui Artists Open Studios event as a co-ordinator from 2001-2004, and Trust Chairperson from 2004-2007.

In 2003 Catherine was commissioned to design and hand print the cover for Real Life Bird Song published by Wai-te-Ata Press, V.U.W. In 2014 she produced the cover for a poetry book by Airini Beautrais Dear Neil Roberts, published by VUP. Her work is featured in Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa -a paper record, published by Vapour Momenta Books. She exhibits throughout New Zealand and her work is held in the public collections of the Sarjeant Gallery in New Zealand, State Library of Victoria, the Print Council of Australia and private collections in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

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