Te Whare Hēra and French Artists

The French Embassy in New Zealand is partnering with Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist Residency to develop a special initiative to bring French artists to New Zealand. The initiative will enable the participation of a French artist to the residency programme in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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 new initiative is designed to bring contemporary international artists to live, work and exhibit in Wellington city. Artists are granted an impressive live/work studio suite situated within the prestigious Clyde Quay Wharf Development in downtown Wellington City. Residencies run for a five-month period.

The deadline for expressions of interest for the 2018 “Te Whare Hēra and French Artists” residency is Monday 14 November 2016.

Prior artists in residence include Christian Thompson (late 2014), Sasha Huber (2015) and Martín Sastre (2016). The inaugural French artists in residence were Etienne de France (2016) and Chloé Maillet & Louise Hervé (2016). Soraya Rhofir will be the 2017 French artist.

French artists at Te Whare Hēra 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 will bring an outstanding French contemporary artist to live and work for a period of five 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 will provide 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.

    The French Embassy and Te Whare Hēra are open to submissions from 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, 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 also particularly encouraged to apply. Artists should be fluent in English.

    In case of France-based artists who are not French nationals, they must demonstrate that they have been living and working in France for at least the past 10 years, and have a track record of successful collaboration with French art centres and curators. They should also be able to fluently interact in French.

  • 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 $2,000 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.

  • How to submit an expression of interest

    The deadline for the 2018 residency application is Monday 14 November 2016.

    - Please use the following template for submission.

    - Name of applicant and full contact information.

    - Current resume 2 pages max.

    - Short biography (250 words max.) and portfolio (10 images, video samples, websites. If sending over 3MB 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 in 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 late December. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by Te Whare Hēra in January 2017 at the latest.


    Cultural Office
    Embassy of France to New Zealand
    Email your request to:

    T: +64 4 802 77 79



  • 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, and curator for New Zealand’s 2015 Venice Biennale pavilion), Sarah Farrar (Senior Curator Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa), 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 Nga Toi 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 this programme. Members include staff from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, members from Wellington City Council, and an external specialist advisor.