Theatre artist wins parks residency

Publish Date : 23 Mar 2016
Theatre artist Kate Parker at work
Theatre artist Kate Parker at work

Theatre artist Kate Parker has been selected as the 2016 Auckland Regional Parks Artist in Residence. Kate will move into a cliff-top bungalow overlooking Anawhata beach in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, for eight weeks from mid-October. 

Kate is renowned for her creativity in the theatre sphere as an actor, designer and maker, and as a director. She will bring that experience and skill to her residency project – creating 3D paper worlds inspired by the park surrounding her. 

Snapshots of time

These sculptural pieces will feature characters and creatures in snapshots of time. To extend the life and accessibility of this work, Kate intends to animate and film her paper creations. The paper sculptures will be exhibited at the Arataki Visitor Centre. Arataki will also host an artist’s talk by Kate, where she will explain her process and practice and offer a paper sculpture workshop.

Sandra Coney, Chair of Waitākere Ranges Local Board and a residency selection panel member, says Kate’s impressive career and handcrafted work convinced the panel to choose their first theatrical artist in residence.

“In the past, Kate has mostly collaborated with others to manifest her ideas. At Anawhata she will have the freedom and space to create her own work ‘fed’ by park living."

“The beauty of the artist in residence programme is that the artist is completely surrounded by, and immersed in, nature and has endless opportunity to explore and create. The settings are a world apart from the artist’s everyday life and the residencies often stimulate a phase of prolific art making.”

Kate has had a stellar career creating an eclectic range of works often crafted by her own hand. Her work has variously been described as “mesmerising”, “enthralling”, “inventive” and “exquisite”.

Raised and educated in Northland, Kate extended her dramatic training, graduating from the John Bolton School in Melbourne.

Award-winning practitioner 

She was a co-founder and an artistic director of Red Leap Theatre from 2008 to 2015. Red Leap Theatre created the acclaimed and award-winning theatrical adaption of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and the company garnered impressive reviews for The Butcher’s Daughter, Paper Sky, and SEA. The theatre’s latest production, Dust Pilgrim, is currently touring New Zealand.

Recognition of Kate’s contribution to New Zealand theatre came in 2010 with a New Generation Arts Laureate from the Arts Foundation of NZ.

'Westie at heart'

Having lived for 10 years in Woodlands Park, Titirangi, and Green Bay Kate considers herself as a ‘westie’ at heart and says she’s very excited by this new opportunity.

Find out more

To see outcomes from previous park artists, including a video about last year’s Artist in Residence, photographic artist Conor Clarke, visit Auckland Council's Artists in Residence page.

Auckland Council Artists in Residence page 

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