March 13 - Media Release - Five Sponsorships in the Wairarapa

13 March 2015 -- For Immediate Release - Five Sponsorships in the Wairarapa

New Zealand Pacific Studio (NZPS) in Mount Bruce, Wairarapa, announces the recipients of its five fellowships – artists, writers and creative people from around New Zealand and around the world who are being sponsored to work and live at its historic northern Wairarapa homestead built in 1911 and converted into an artists’ residency centre in 2001. 

“It is always exciting for the New Zealand Pacific Studio to announce these fellowships,” says Jean McCombie, NZPS Chairperson. “The year 2016 marks our 15th anniversary and we have survived and thrived for these years only with the support of the community, in the form of donations, sponsorships, members, and volunteers.”

The inaugural NZPS Masterton Fellow Gaye Sutton will work on her book titled Changing The World One Story At A Time. Gaye Sutton says, “I am currently putting together a book of stories I have told in my endeavour to change the world by (a) telling stories that explore social structures and the way they affect people’s personal lives, (b) combining these with universal myths and stories of transformation in my own life and the lives of others. After all, stories have changed our lives (as only art does) for many thousands of years. ” A Wairarapa resident, Gaye Sutton will also offer workshops with youth and facilitate a World Storytelling Day event “Bring Your Own Story – or BYO STORY” on March 20, 7pm, 22 Dixon Street, Masterton, for adults, free entry. The three-week Fellowship in March is possible through a grant from the Community Development Fund of Masterton District Council.

The 2016 NZPS-Friends of ANZAC Bridge Fellow, NZ author Philippa Werry, will work with rural schools in NZ (Mauriceville) and Australia (Brooweena), both of which are located near memorial bridges. Philippa Werry says, "I would love to get both communities involved, writing ANZAC Day messages to each other and helping and encouraging the school children to express in words, pictures or videos why their own bridge is so special.“ A Wellington resident, Werry writes fiction, non-fiction and plays for children and young adults; her latest book is Armistice Day: the New Zealand story (New Holland, 2016). Her two-week Fellowship in April is supported by Trust House and Friends of ANZAC Bridge at Kaiparoro. The 2015 Friends of ANZAC Bridge Fellow Connah Podmore exhibited Writing to History at Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Masterton. The 2014 Fellow Anna Borrie created a cloak of harakeke which was blessed and ceremonially draped over the Kaiparoro Bridge on ANZAC Day.

Sofia Perez, 2016 Lavinia Winter Fellow, a dancer-choreographer from Chicago, will create a modern dance piece. Sofia Perez says the production will be “about the process of dealing with a serious break-up from an emotionally abusive relationship. People overcome this feat in many different ways so no two experiences are the same...  It’s especially difficult when the relationship occurred during the time you were growing the most.” Perez will undertake her three-week residency in May. The Lavinia Winter Fellowship is the NZPS’ longest running fellowship, supported by the Winter family since 2009. The 2015 Lavinia Winter Fellow Emma Chalmers had a solo exhibition (Wonder Word at Bellamys Gallery, Dunedin) of the series of paintings she began during her NZPS residency. The 2014 Lavinia Winter Fellow, Annelyse Gelman, performed her poetry at King Street Live, in Masterton.

The 2016 RAK Mason Fellow, Annabel Wilson, a NZ writer, will develop her play and host a series of live rehearsed readings while in residence. Originally from Wanaka, Annabel Wilson says her play is “a story of risk, love and loss: the risks we take within our relationships and our environmental and the far-reaching consequences these can have. Sometimes these consequences can stretch across centuries.” Wilson’s play, titled Korowai, is scheduled to premiere at the Festival of Colour 2017.  Her three-week fellowship (dates, tbc) is sponsored by Derek and Chris Daniell of the Wairarapa. Madeleine Slavick, the 2015 RAK Mason Fellow, is currently exhibiting her photography at the Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland. The 2014 Fellow Tracy Farr will publish The Hope Fault, the novel she worked on during the residency (Fremantle Press, 2017).

The 2016 NZPS Emerging Artist Fellowship, a three-week residency, has been sponsored by the Wairarapa community through funds raised ($1170) at a recent film screening of “Lady in the Van” at Regent Cinema, Masterton. The Fellowship was not awarded in 2015, due to lack of funding. Applications for the 2016 Fellowship will be accepted from April 15 to May 15; information will be on the website ( The recipient will be requested to give something back to the community in the form of a workshop, lecture, performance or such.

Members of the public interested to visit New Zealand Pacific Studio are welcomed to the artists’ residency centre in Mount Bruce Wairarapa on Sunday March 20th, an Open Studio Day from 2-5pm - NZ Pacific Studio, SH2, Mt Bruce, Wairarapa, Tel 06 375 8441, located 2km north of Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre and 2km south of the Kaiparoro Bridge. It’s an opportunity to meet artists, explore the historic home and gardens, hear presentations (from 2:30) and enjoy a cuppa. In residence on that date: Betsy McKimm, an illustrator from Canada; Laurence O’Toole, a painter from Ireland; Brandy Scott, a writer from Wellington; and Gaye Sutton, a Wairarapa storyteller and the 2016 Masterton Fellow.


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Posted: Thu 07 Apr 2016