Te Whare Hēra and French Artists

The French Embassy in New Zealand has partnered with Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist Residency to develop a special initiative to bring French artists to New Zealand. This initiative enables the participation of French artists in the residency programme during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist Residency is a non-commercial initiative run by Massey University’s Whiti o Rehua School of Art and Wellington City Council. This exciting artist in residence programme brings contemporary international artists to live, create, and exhibit in Wellington city. Artists are granted an impressive live/work studio suite and apartment situated within the prestigious Clyde Quay Wharf Development in downtown Wellington City. Residencies run for a four to six month period.

Previous artists in residence with Te Whare Hēra include Christian Thompson (2014), Sasha Huber (2015), Martín Sastre (2015) and Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro (2016).

The inaugural French artists in residence were Etienne de France followed by duo Chloé Maillet & Louise Hervé in 2016. Soraya Rhofir was the 2017 artist and Chloé Quenum is our French artist in residence for 2018.

Te Whare Hēra and French Artists is a joint initiative of the French Embassy in New Zealand, Massey University, and Wellington City Council.

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  • Overview and goals

    Visual arts have been thriving in France in the recent years with a new generation of internationally recognised artists and curators actively seeking new international connections. A revamped and vibrant ecosystem with new galleries and museums is emerging, spurred by recent investments from local governments and private foundations alike. The objectives of the Te Whare Hēra residency programme are to offer a hospitable, generative platform for the production of high quality, innovative, creative work by international artists in Wellington, the creative capital of New Zealand, and to foster connections and opportunities for ongoing exchange and collaboration. The programme seeks to share innovative, high caliber contemporary art with Wellingtonians and visitors to the city through a series of monthly artist-led public talks and events, and open studios, and to connect visiting artists with professionals in the gallery, museum and publishing worlds to enable the best opportunities for the resident artist’s work to be experienced by various audiences.

    This residency brings an outstanding French contemporary artist to live and work for a period of four to six months at the beginning of each calendar year, between January and July. This residency is conceived as an opportunity to develop new work that may or may not be informed by the specific context of New Zealand. The residency provides a platform for immersion and interaction with the visual arts community in this country and enable the development of new relationships and collaborations between France and New Zealand’s artistic and curatorial scene.

    Te Whare Hēra and French Artists support mid-career contemporary French or France-based artists with a recognised innovative artistic practice and portfolio, especially if their practices are informed by cross-cultural contexts, attention to social and political issues, and dialogue between customary and contemporary practices or transdisciplinary explorations. Artists working with ephemeral media, including performance, photography, sound, printed matter, drawing in the expanded field and video are encouraged to apply.​

  • Conditions and terms of reference

    • Return economy airfares from France.
    • Accommodation during the residency period, up to five months.
    • An honorarium of $1,000 NZD a month.
    • Exclusive use of the adjoining working studio and gallery.
    • Technical and logistical support from key staff members within Whiti o Rehua, which includes access to wet darkrooms, a digital print facility, lighting studios and green screen facilities, wood and metal working workshop as agreed.
    • Material and production costs up to $3,000 NZD, and freight costs of $500 NZD.
    • Opportunities to present creative work in the studio and gallery spaces at the residency site and an exhibition upon completion of the residency.
    • Facilitation and publication of events associated to the project; studio-visits, artist-talks, exhibitions, lectures, workshops etc.

    The costs associated with lectures, openings and residency publicity are covered by Te Whare Hēra.

    Resident artists are granted exclusive use of an impressive apartment and adjoined studio and gallery suite within the Clyde Quay Wharf development. The apartment has one double bedroom and a sofa-bed in the lounge area. To date the residency has been undertaken by individual artists, those bringing their spouses, and up to two small children in their care. It would be challenging for larger families to be comfortable in the apartment.

    The residency suite is situated in the buildings’ most northern seaward location, an inspirational setting overlooking Wellington’s beautiful harbour. The development has large, light filled spaces; outstanding views, attractive public space, and is situated within easy walking distance of the centre of Wellington city, art galleries, museums, shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and theatres.

    During each residency there are artist-led public events every four - six weeks; these may take the form of a studio-visit, artist-talk, workshop or exhibition visit. There is also an exhibition of work at the end of each residency period, either within the studio/display space, or offsite through facilitated introductions to curators and directors of well-matched institutions and programmes.

    NB. Health and travel insurance is at the expense of the laureate, as is securing the appropriate visa for their stay in New Zealand. During his/her stay, the guest is expected to be fully involved with the residency programme.

  • Te Whare Hera Visual Arts Residency – 2020 call for applications

    Applications for the Te Whare Hēra – Wellington International Artist Residency for 2020 are now open. The deadline for expressions of interest is Tuesday 30 April 2019.

    How to submit an expression of interest

    Please complete this application form (Word doc) and include the following documents:

    • Name of applicant and full contact information.
    • Current resumé 2 pages max.
    • Short biography (250 words max.) and portfolio (10 images, video samples, websites. If sending over 3 MB of data, please use a file transfer system or web links).
    • A brief statement (500 words max.) of what you might like to work on while participating to this residency and what you would like to achieve during this time with regards to your practice. 

    Selection will be made by Te Whare Hēra committee in early June. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by Te Whare Hēra.

    Email your application to cooperation.wellington-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr.

    For further information or to apply contact:

    Cultural Office
    Embassy of France to New Zealand
    +64 4 802 7780

  • The Wellington and New Zealand context

    New Zealand has a very rich and diverse art scene, with an ecology of spaces and programmes from artist-run project spaces through major metropolitan galleries to national museums. Wellington is home to a wealth of leading New Zealand artists, writers and curators including Massey University faculty Anne Noble, Wayne Barrar, Ann Shelton, Heather Galbraith, Sally J. Morgan, Kingsley Baird, Martin Patrick, and curators such as Robert Leonard (Chief Curator at City Gallery Wellington), Sarah Farrar (Senior Curator Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa), and Christina Barton (Director of the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University).

    Whiti o Rehua School of Art faculty enjoy highly productive working relationships with peers in organisations around the country such as Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision (the national film archive).

    Wellington is home to an incredibly lively mix of music, literature, theatre, cinema and visual arts. Being the capital city of New Zealand it also hosts national archives, the national library and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Being a city of modest scale means access to key specialists and resources is much easier to enable than in larger cities. Everything is at your fingertips, or a short bike ride or walk away.

    Te Whare Hēra is a perfect place to develop a new body of work, to connect with communities of interest and talented specialists. New Zealand is a bi-cultural country where Māori culture and language is central to our society. The country has a strong culture of democracy and critical discussion of social issues, was the first country in the world to offer women the vote, and is very proud to remain nuclear free. New Zealand is home to a very ethnically diverse population, one which reflects our place in the Pacific and our proximity to Asia, while recognising our links to Europe, where many 19th century settlers journeyed from.

  • About Massey University’s Whiti o Rehua School of Art

    The School of Art is a leading contemporary art school, part of the College of Creative Arts, which is the foremost art and design school in New Zealand. Whiti o Rehua School of Art has a focus on contemporary fine arts, photography, visual and material culture, and matauranga Maori.

  • Contacts for the programme

    Residency Coordinator, Associate Professor Ann Shelton is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading photographic artists. Ann’s internationally recognised large-scale, hyper real photographic works operate at the nexus of conceptual and documentary modes, investigating the social, political and historical contexts that inform readings of the landscape and its content.

    A committee oversees the Te Whare Hēra programme. Members include staff from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, members from Wellington City Council, and an external specialist advisor.

  • Previous French Artists in Residence

    Etienne de France (2016)
    The Green Vessel

    Etienne de France was the inaugral French Artist in Residence. His ongoing project The Green Vessel blurs together locations in France, Colombia and New Zealand staging a water-contamination scandal uncovered by scientists in the remote forests of a cold country. The film interweaves poetic fiction with precise events, drawing from such stories as the illegal spreading of pesticides around the French military base of La Courtine and the immense impact made on New Zealand’s natural environment by dairy farming.

    Etienne de France began developing The Green Vessel during a residency at the International Centre of Art and Landscape, Vassivière Island, France in early 2015, and continued it while in Bogotá, Columbia with FLORA Ars+Natura and then in Wellington New Zealand with Te Whare Hēra.

    Subsequently the first part of The Green Vessel series has been shown in the group exhibition Forget the architecture: 25 years of architecture at the International Centre of Art and Landscape at Vassivière Island, France (2017).

    Etienne de France) is a visual artist currently based in Paris, France. He received a B.A in Art History and Archaeology in Paris (2002-2005), and a B.A in Visual Arts at the Iceland Art Academy of Reykjavik (2005-2008). His notable projects include Tales of a Sea Cow (2012), a film and series of works about the rediscovery of a marine mammal in Greenland and Icelandtraincity (2011), a collaborative research project with architecture students into the possibility of a utopian modular city moving on train tracks.

    For more information on Etienne de France see http://www.etiennedefrance.com/

    Chloé Maillet & Louise Hervé (2016)
    Initialise the Model

    The expression ‘initialise the model’ came from the artists’ tour of Wellington’s meteorological services building. Forecasters at the MetService building in the botanical gardens use a computer generated model to predict the weather, but the model must be 'initialised regularly' using actual observations. Louise Herve and Chloe Maillet’s performance Initialise the Model collects together research and ideas about the weather - always a nice way to start a conversation - translocation, birds, economics and aesthetics.

    For Initialise the Model a small audience travelled by ferry to Matiu/Soames Island. Matiu/Somes Island is a fascinating place shaped by intricate historical layers. After decades of isolation as a quarantine island, this island of secrets was returned to the tangata whenua and opened to the public. Within the island’’ historic Caretakers Cottage Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet delivered a ‘didactic performance’- a live dialogue between the two artists inspired by history, science, archaeology and everyday life, blending site responsive research and poetic narratives into a multi-layered artwork.

    Louise Hervé and Chloe Maillet began working together in Paris in 2000. Their artistic partnership merges their different academic backgrounds; Hervé studied Art and Art History, graduating with a B.A. in 2003 and a M.A. in 2005, while Maillet went on to achieve a PhD in Anthropological History in 2010.

    Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet are represented by Marcelle Alix Gallery, Paris. For more information see: http://www.marcellealix.com/artistes/oeuvres/823/louise-herve-chloe-maillet

    Soraya Rhofir (2017)
    Rough Rough

    During her Wellington residency, Rhofir initially focused on visual culture in New Zealand through the lens of ‘Kiwiana’ - the objects, souvenirs, and popular icons which represent, shape, and communicate an idea of “New Zealand identity” nationally and internationally. Soraya undertook a series of research trips of New Zealand’s “Big things”. These roadside attractions in the form of oversized objects - a Giant Carrot in Ohakune, Taihape’s Gumboot, and Gore’s Brown Trout – are a frequent sight in rural New Zealand.

    For her exhibition Rough Rough, Soraya Rhofir expanded into new mediums - 3D inflatable works, carved foam sculpture and printed textile banners. Reinterpreting elements of New Zealand everyday culture mixed with a cosmic perspective, she describes the works as "...an ensemble, a palette constructed as a collage, each piece opens to a dimension of 'rough' : its vulnerability, its flexibility, its lightness...the pieces are nomadic, openings to another event horizon made of fabric, foam and wire."

    Soraya Rhofir was short-listed for the 2010 Prix Ricard art prize for artists under 40 in Paris, and for the international short list at Present-Future Artissima Turin International Art Fair in 2014.