Artists selected for regional park residency

Publish Date : 01 Apr 2019
Artists selected for regional park residency

For the first time, two artists have been selected for the 2019 Auckland Council Artist in Residence programme. Mixed media artists Jenny Gillam and Eugene Hansen will work collaboratively on artwork inspired by Whatipū.

Each year Auckland Council selects an artist in residence to live and work in an Auckland regional park. The aim is to create art influenced by the park, which is then shared with the public.

Jenny and Eugene will begin their residency in October this year. Their focus will be on surveying Whatipū’s Te Anu Ru cave and its surroundings visually and sonically. The artists say they’re interested in “mapping the unknown and documenting the unseen.”

“It’s a treat to be able to have sustained engagement with such a poetic site that brings together our pre-colonial and colonial histories with our unique natural environment,” says Jenny.

“Jenny and Eugene are ideal candidates for this residency because of their experience collaborating with the scientific community, and having ecological themes interwoven into their past work," says Councillor Alf Filipaina, Deputy Chair of Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee.

“Whatipū is classified as a Scientific Reserve for its natural features of national significance. I’m looking forward to seeing how the artists will bring the natural, historical and cultural elements to life.”

Meet your artists in residence

The regional parks residency, now in its 11th year, has hosted 14 artists on Auckland regional parks. Jenny and Eugene have worked on over 20 projects together since 2003.

“We are a couple who produce collaborative multimedia art projects, together and with others. We are interested in investigating landscape as an inextricable mix of natural phenomenon and social-political history,” says Jenny.

Jenny studied and worked at Unitec and had various part-time positions at Auckland University, Auckland Art Gallery, and Auckland Library. Her past projects focus on a wide range of media, including photography, audio, moving image and video performances.

Eugene (Ngāti Maniapoto) was born in Auckland. He is an artist, writer and curator, whose past work has included collaborative, multimedia art projects often materialised as installations, sculpture, video and sound works.

Explore Whatipū yourself

Whatipū is located at the southern end of the Waitākere Ranges. It's a wilderness landscape featuring extensive wetlands and black sand dunes that merge with the Tasman Sea. Whatipū is a Scientific Reserve managed as part of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park.

The Te Ana Ru cave near Whatipū was once used for social gatherings and a kauri dance floor is said to be buried under the sand inside the cave.

You can book a campsite at the Whatipū Lodge campground or Tunnel Point campground, and experience this part of the Waitākere Ranges for yourself.

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