Wild Creations is a fusion of conservation and creativity supporting artists to be inspired by experiencing the places, people, and stories of New Zealand’s unique environment and cultural heritage. They may work in any artform or area of arts practice supported by Creative New Zealand.
Wild Creations builds on an artist-in-residence programme of the same name offered from 2002 to 2012. A re-invigorated Wild Creations, broader in scope, was offered in 2017 as a pilot and with some refinements it will be continued for another two years. Applications open today.
Cath Cardiff, Creative New Zealand Senior Manager – Arts Development Services, says the pilot programme attracted a lot of interest with a number of high quality applications received.
“The three successful applicants submitted innovative proposals. They have made or are making high-quality artwork inspired by their experiences that will be enjoyed by many.”
DOC Director, National Operations, Hilary Aikman said Wild Creations helps to connect more Kiwis to our natural environment and cultural heritage. “The work of these talented artists is giving DOC great opportunities to connect more New Zealanders to conservation stories through art.”
The initiative offers a minimum of two artists the opportunity to experience DOC environments and / or programmes between December 2018 and June 2019, as inspiration for new art work.
2017 Wild Creations artists & projects
Michel Tuffery MNZM
Internationally renowned artist Michel Tuffery spent several weeks split between the Royal Albatross Centre, Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula and Rakiura (Stewart Island) observing the field work of DOC officers. His well-developed program focussed on pelagic sea birds (including penguins, albatross, mollymawks, shearwaters and southern dotterels). More widely Tuffery engaged with academics and field specialists, volunteers, cultural leaders and the community, who were all invested in conservation and the health of our unique environment and species. Having just arrived back to Rakiura, Tuffery will process all his documentation and work towards a body of work under the guise of his field research program entitled Pelagic Birds beyond Fanua.
Blending old and new technologies Shelley Simpson will create a multi-sensorial exhibition exploring our complex relationship with the land, particularly in relation to extractive mining.
She has spent time at five sites at Port Pegasus on Stewart Island, where a tin mine was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to inspire artwork to be presented as a 360 degree virtual reality video and audio experience, as a web-based virtual experience and through cyanotype images – an early photographic technique contemporaneous with the operation of the Stewart Island tin mine.
In Whanganui, they have the saying, “Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au”, meaning “I am the river, and the river is me”. The Whanganui River was granted the rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person in March, 2017. It is the first river in New Zealand – and the world – to be recognised in this way. But what does it actually mean, and how does it change the way the Department of Conservation (government) and local iwi work together to care for, and restore the river? Jonathan’s project will explore the implications of the Whanganui River's new legal status. It will take the form of an interactive, long-form feature article and a short video documentary (10-20 minutes) to be hosted on an appropriate New Zealand news or magazine website, as well as being provided to NZ On Screen. Jonathan will follow the journey of the Whanganui River from its source on Mount Tongariro to its mouth in the town. Along the way, he will interview iwi leaders, Department of Conservation staff, people who live along the river, and residents of Whanganui, seeking to understand the river's new legal status and what it means in a cultural and conservation context. The project will be approached as a piece of non-fiction writing, but Jonathan’s intention is to also weave in the history and mythology of the river to produce a visually beautiful and poetic journey along the awa.