Fine Arts student awarded the 2023 Iris Fisher Scholarship

Bena Jackson. Photo by Russell Kleyn.

Bena Jackson. Photo by Russell Kleyn.

Master of Fine Arts student Bena Jackson has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 Iris Fisher Scholarship.

Completing her Master of Fine Arts at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University's Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Bena makes sculptures and installations. Her practice considers community actions in public space and urban environments where agency, ingenuity, potential and tension intersect.

Bena says, “I am thrilled to be awarded this year's scholarship, it really is a special and exciting way to end my year at Massey. I want to pass on how grateful and excited I am about the opportunity. Thank you to the generous Lou and Iris Fisher Charitable Trust, the team at Te Tuhi and the people at Massey who've helped me along the way.”

Bena’s work was recently on display as part of Exposure 2023, the graduation exhibition for Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts.

Bena's recent exhibitions include Castle Mall (2023) at RM Gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Camera phone (2021) at play_station space in Te Whānganui-a-Tara Wellington, and Bound in secret knots (2021) with Teresa Collins at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space in Te Whānganui-a-Tara Wellington.

About the Iris Fisher Scholarship

The Iris Fisher Scholarship is a national award of $5000 to support an outstanding postgraduate student in the final year of a visual arts/fine arts course of study.

Since 2007, Te Tuhi, in partnership with the Fisher family, have supported the development of emerging Aotearoa New Zealand artists with this annual award. Past recipients of the Iris Fisher Scholarship include Susu, Xi Li, Emily Parr, Quishile Charan, Aaron Kong, Christina Pataialii, Kalisolaite ‘Uhila and Erica van Zon.

The scholarship is named after Iris Fisher, who was a founding member of the Pakuranga Arts Society and the driving force behind the creation of the Fisher Gallery, later to become Te Tuhi. Her original bequest has fostered contemporary visual arts practice and art education. It is envisaged that these funds will be put toward fees, materials, travel or a purpose which will enable the recipient to successfully complete their final year of postgraduate study.

More information about the Iris Fisher Scholarship and previous recipients is available here.

The following text has been republished with permission from Te Tuhi.
The original article was published in Massey News

More Students stories

Te Ara Toroa — Rere Ki Uta, Rere Ki Tai
The flight of the albatross — Venturing into the unknown
Design by Ngataiharuru Taepa, Kaihautu Toi Māori—Director of Māori Arts

Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa