We’re thrilled to announce Daegan Wells as Enjoy’s 2020 Summer Resident. Currently based in Southland, Daegan will spend six weeks in Pōneke from 3 February–14 March 2020. While here, he’ll stay at the Rita Angus Cottage in Thorndon, working out of the cottage’s Fernbank Studio.
Daegan’s research proposal was selected unanimously by Enjoy’s director and Board of Trustees, and takes an explorative approach to re-examine our understandings of relationships between craft, resources and everyday life. Drawing upon familial, regional and national histories, the residency project will examine the political economy of wool production, as well as textile traditions in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This research has two very different points of departure: the memory of a woven bushcoat the artist wore as a child, made by his grandmother on her loom from hand-spun wool, and a 2017 campaign launched by Winston Peters calling for wool carpets (replaced by synthetic imports) to be put back onto the floors of government departments and statehouses.
From here, the project will engage with government spaces in Wellington city to further explore the decline of wool production on regional Aotearoa–Southland in particular–following the withdrawal of government subsidies to the sector and the increase of international imports and synthetic alternatives since the mid-1980s.
Daegan Wells graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University in 2015. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower residency award, Ōtautahi Christchurch. Through his archival and sculptural practice, Wells uses storytelling as a way of illuminating key political, environmental, social and cultural events from recent history. Recent projects include Start with a Vase (group, curated by Sebastian Clarke), Hastings City Art Gallery, Heretaunga Hastings, 2019; Catch (group, curated by Becky Richards), Tinning Street Presents, Naarm Melbourne, 2019; Hut for a Sensuous Gold Miner (with Sophie Bannan), MEANWHILE, Pōneke Wellington, 2018; A Gathering Distrust, Ilam Campus Gallery, Ōtautahi, 2018; Private Lodgings, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Ōtepoti Dunedin, 2016.
Daegan will return to Pōneke in mid-2020 to present a solo exhibition at Enjoy based on his research and making during the residency.
Following last year’s residency with Sorawit Songsataya, we’re delighted to be partnering once more with the Thorndon Trust, caretakers of the Rita Angus Cottage, on the delivery of our residency programme.
About the Enjoy Summer Residency programme
Enjoy’s Summer Residency Programme has been running since 2000 when the gallery was first established and has featured artists, curators and writers. Recent summer residents have included: Sorawit Songsataya (2019), Ella Sutherland (2018), Riff Raff (Daphne Simons and Li-Ming Hu) (2017), Johanna Mechen (2016), Ema Tavola (2015), Kirsten Dryburgh and Xin Cheng (2014) and Mata Aho Collective (2013).
About the Rita Angus Cottage and Thorndon Trust
Located in Thorndon, the Rita Angus Cottage (owned by the Thorndon Trust) has considerable historical significance and was home to Angus from 1955–1970. The house and its garden feature in her work from this period, a physical reminder of the influence that these things had upon her.
The Thorndon Trust, registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, exists to protect and promote Thorndon’s history, primarily through ownership of the Rita Angus Cottage and associated sponsorship of an artist in residence; through ownership of Cooper’s Cottage and through related activities.