29 April 2021

Arts Four Ōtautahi: Artists in Residence at The Arts Centre

Eight Aotearoa New Zealand artists have been selected for round one and two of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora’s Arts Four Creative Residency programme.

With funding support from Creative New Zealand and the Stout Trust, proudly managed by Perpetual Guardian, The Arts Centre will welcome Ana Iti, Claudia Jardine, Jo Burzynska and Julie Hill to the Creative Residence for twelve weeks from May to July 2021, and AJ Fitzwater, Maria Gill, Matilda Fraser, and Nathan Joe from August until October 2021.

The Arts Centre Arts Four Creative Residency programme aims to foster creative, intellectual, and professional growth for creative practitioners; provide a place for the development of new projects; and create opportunities for the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch and visitors to engage with new ideas and experiences.

Arts Centre director Philip Aldridge says it has been tremendous to secure funding to deliver this programme, and to have such high calibre national and local artists apply.

“We are delighted to welcome these very talented artists to The Arts Centre and provide them with a space for their creative endeavours. We are excited to support them and see the works of their residency unfold”.

For the residents it is an ideal platform to express and further develop their talents.

Jo Burzynska, one of the creative residents said “The residency programme provides incredibly valuable support that will allow me to focus not only on a new project, but also to develop new creative methods and techniques. The extended period nurtures the kind of uninterrupted creative mental space and opportunity to go into a detail that can be a challenge when making art around the demands of daily life. I'm also really looking forward to the creative energy generated by this diverse group of residents.”

Each resident artist will produce a public programme as part of their residency.

Artists in Residence
Ana Iti (Te Rarawa)

Iti is a Pōneke/Wellington-based visual artist with a MFA from Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, Wellington. She has undertaken a number of residencies and exhibitions in Aotearoa and Australia, and her works are held in collections including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.  Iti plans to develop and share a new body of work, taking artist Ralph Hotere’s relationship with text and printing in as a point of departure, producing and experimental video and a limited edition of letterpress prints.

Claudia Jardine

Poet and songwriter with over 10 years of performance experience and publication history, Jardine has a MA in Classics from Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka. Her special areas of interest include classical reception, feminism, and family relationships. During the residency Jardine aims to complete her first full collection of poetry, which explores the themes of textile manufacture in the ancient world and the history of the women in her own family.

Jo Burzynska

Burzynska is based in Te Whakaraupō/Lyttleton and has a PhD specialising in multisensory art. Her internationally exhibited artworks, regularly combine sonic, edible, aromatic and tactile elements. A widely published writer, she contributes on sound to international publications and is one of New Zealand’s leading wine critics. The residency will allow her to explore a new method of creative enquiry, sensuous psychogeography; an urban walking practice guided by the non-visual senses. Seeking to answer the question: What might we find when we stop looking?, the discoveries will be reflected in multisensory works made over the residency for exhibition at The Arts Centre.

Julie Hill

Hill is an accomplished playwright, essayist and documentary maker based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. She produces segments for Three's The Project and writes for The Spinoff among other publications. She will be using the residency to produce a six-part sound installation/podcast series that is inspired by missing family and friends because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how easy it is to lose touch, even with people you love.

AJ Fitzwater

A speculative fiction author based in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, Fitzwater writes for the love of the cultural conversation. Two-time Sir Julius Vogel Award winner and graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop, they have had many short stories published and been long-listed for the Otherwise Award (formerly the Tiptree). In 2020 Fitzwater released the historical fantasy novella No Man’s Land from Paper Road Press, and the collection of lesbian capybara pirate tales The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper from Queen of Swords Press. During their residency Fitzwater plans to write a queer speculative mosaic novel set in Aotearoa New Zealand, narrative linked by the themes of joy and found family.

Maria Gill

Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland-based children’s book writer and educator, Gill has published numerous titles about historical heroes including Ice Breaker! An Epic Antarctic Adventure (2020), Kate Sheppard: Leading the way for Women (2018), 2016 Book of the Year winner Anzac Heroes, and New Zealand Hall of Fame (2011). In 2021, she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing (Honours).  She plans to use this time to research and write a children’s novel on Ōtautahi/Christchurch educated scientist Sir Ernest Rutherford, whose laboratory was based at The Arts Centre (then Canterbury College).

Matilda Fraser

Fraser is a Pōneke/Wellington-based visual artist and art writer who has exhibited widely in Aotearoa including at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre (Pōneke/Wellington), Gus Fisher Gallery (Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland) and Blue Oyster Art Project Space (Ōtepoti/Dunedin). During the residency she will be developing a series of weavings that connects certain objects within the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū textiles collection with the architectural history of The Arts Centre itself.

Nathan Joe

Joe is based in Ōtautahi/Christchurch and is an award-winning playwright, performance poet, theatre-maker and theatre critic. He was the 2020 NZ Poetry Slam Champion and the 2020 Christchurch Slam Champion, and has performed and spoken at events such as the Auckland Writers Festival, WORD Christchurch, Tedx Auckland and the Auckland Pride Gala. Joe intends to spend his residency writing a long-form poetic essay Gentrification & Other Wet Dreams, an ongoing exploration of identity alongside wider questions of citizenship. It will question what it means to return to a home that was never yours.


A history of Creative Residencies at The Arts Centre

Prior to the closing of the residencies, due to damage of The Arts Centre’s building during the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, The Arts Centre had a thriving and well-regarded Creative Residencies programme that had been running for more than 10 years.

Pre-quake residents included a broad range of local, regional, national and international artists such as Michel Tuffery (visual arts), Raewyn Hill (dance), Michael Brennand-Wood from the United Kingdom (visual arts), Mahinarangi Tocker (music), Lauren Lysart (visual arts), Zoe Roland (film), Tim Main (object art), Charlotte Yates (music), Amy X Neuburg from the United States of America (music) and Areta Wilkinson (visual arts/jewellery).


Now situated above Lumiere Cinema on Rolleston Avenue, the reconceptualised residence that opened in early 2019 contains four bedroom and bathroom suites. It comes with shared kitchen and living areas which provide a unique opportunity for artists to meet and develop relationships with other creatives.