Selwyn’s first artist residency

by Anonymous Author

Ngai Tahu artist, Emma Riha Kitson, has been appointed as the first of four artists in residence in Selwyn.

Installed: Artists in Residence is a series of four artist residencies in collaboration with Selwyn District Libraries and the Selwyn arts community and produced by the Council’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Selwyn service.

Council’s district arts coordinator, Becca Bouffandeau, said Selwyn is a natural place for high-calibre art events to take place and the residency will provide artists time, space and resources to work and reflect on their practice.

“The aim is for the residency to provide support to artists in the creation of their work and connect them with a community. New and unique pieces of work will be created in response to each residency brief and location,” Mrs Bouffandeau said.

“The artists will engage and interact with the public during the residency, providing an opportunity for people to learn from, and respond to, artists and their practice.

“The resident artist will produce a piece of work for exhibition, celebration and critique, as well as hosting educational presentations and workshops.”

She said Emma Kitson, a Canterbury-born, Wellington-based artist and designer is inspired by native New Zealand flora and fauna and Te Ao Maori.

“Using printmaking methods that whanau can use at home, Emma will explore the intersection of traditional Maori stories and making of bunting to celebrate special occasions.”

Her residency, Nga Toi Maori, coincides with Matariki, the Maori New Year, and will explore Matariki through printmaking. She will be at the Darfield Library from Monday, June 11 to Friday, June 15 between 11am and 5pm each day.

“The artist’s work space is open and accessible, and library visitors are encouraged to interact throughout the residency with opportunities to learn about Matariki and printmaking,” Mrs Bouffandeau said.

During her residency, Ms Kitson will produce a series of linocuts depicting each of the Matariki stars, exploring traditional Matariki stories. The prints will be converted into bunting, which will be gifted to Darfield Library.

An evening presentation will be held on Tuesday, June 12 (7pm–8pm), and will involve teaching the skills to make prints at home without a printing press, using recycled and budget materials.

Ms Kitson will also host a Whanau DIY Matariki Bunting workshop, with two sessions on Saturday, June 16 at 10am and 1.30pm.

The workshops are for all ages and skill levels, and the bunting created in the workshop will be displayed as part of Darfield Library’s Matariki celebrations. Bookings are required for these workshops. Register at selwynlibraries.co.nz.

The remaining artist residencies will be offered at Rolleston (Youth), Lincoln (Literature) and Leeston (Digital Art) libraries, in October 2018, February 2019 and April 2019 respectively.