Friday, June 10, 2005

The No.8 Wire - Issue 36

Gondwanaland Ministry of Culture
Artists' Information Bureau


An Electronic Alert for 955 of Wellington's Creative People
Tail-end Octo-numerical Interview: Frankie Nicola Rouse
Endnote: Sir Phil Dadson

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 1749


Feast your eyes on the 36th Number 8 Wire…


Every Thursday at 5-7pm, from 23 June until further notice, creative enterprise proponents Arms Ltd will be holding motivating, networking and knowledge-sharing sessions in the ground floor Gallery of the Wellington Arts Centre, Abel Smith Street.

After intensive touring round the country, Mark Cubey and Michael Lockhart of ARMS return to Wellington for regular presentations of provocative weaponry designed to bring creative individuals together and help make the creative capital more than just a buzz phrase.

Anyone involved with the making, marketing, promotion or coordination of visual arts, music, literature, photography, design, performance is invited to attend. Admission by koha.

More details next week. Or just get in touch with the man behind the ARMS throne…

Mark Cubey / /
Creative Motivator
ARMS Ltd /
"Helping artists help themselves."
PO Box 9699, Wellington, Aotearoa
phone 021 2200 400



Keeping an eye on Venice and it’s artful trappings



And keeping an eye on our own back yard…

91 Aro Street provides an outlet for independent arts of any sort we can in Wellington, New Zealand. We currently have comics, tapes, CDs, books, films, paintings, photographs, sculptures, clothing, handcrafts, pictures, drawings, installations and glass work. We look to promote, distribute and encourage all kinds of independent art.

91 Aro Street is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm, and for advertised events. Don’t miss these upcoming exhibitions…

MICHELLE JENSEN exhibition 6 - 18 september
MELISSA ROYCE exhibition 23 august - 4 september
ROBYN KENEALY exhibition 9 - 21 august
LENSLESS photography group exhibition 19 - 31 july
preview: 5:00pm 18 july
KARREN DALE poetry book launch dates to be confirmed
TIM WYBORN retrospective exhibition 4 - 11 July
BEN KING exhibition 6 - 18 june



Now cast your eye on these deliciously construed good books and paintings…

Exhibition of bolted books and oil paintings by D c Boyle at Firm Cafe on the Terrace from the 8th -17th June


Double Dose

And glance with both eyes at the Jeanne Land Gallery…

14 June to 9 July: Heather Straka: Paradise Regained
12 to 30 July: Gary Waldrom: New Paintings



Wellington’s Roar! Gallery is showing a slew of new works…

Ingrid Jenner
“In the Limelight”
Geoffrey gaskell
“The curate’s egg”
Landscapes & ceramics
Work from Rimutaka prison

The artists’ reception will be held at the gallery from 5 - 7pm. Please come along. The exhibitions run from 9 - 19 June 2005. For details…

Roar! gallery
22 Vivian Street



Noah Landau: A Short Retrospective: 1998-2005
Mazzola Gallery, top of Plimmer Steps, off Lambton Quay.
Hours: Tues-Fri noon-2pm, Thurs 5-6.30pm, Sat 11am-3pm
Till July 2

Before coming to New Zealand in the early 1980s, Noah Landau was an intimate member of the post-World War II British art scene which is presently finding new currency, as witnessed by the Bridget Riley exhibition at City Gallery.

Landau is a very painterly painter, with a rich understanding of the medium. In technique he has strong affinities with French nineteenth century painting, in particular.

The works in this exhibition, completed in the Wairarapa, Wellington and Patea, display his rich use of colour, and express both his interest in the formal aspects of painting and the human condition through landscapes and portraiture.



Calling All Robots!

Is the title of my current exhibition of automata that runs until Sat, July 2nd at Idiom’s new gallery space, level 2, 147 Cuba St (above Peter McLeavey Gallery). It’s a jolly good looking show which I am very proud of and explains what I’ve been up to over the last 3 months.

You can interact with the tiki robots thereby experiencing the puppet master thrill of megalomania. After tiring yourself out you can read my poncy pontifications on the subject and become illuminated.
All works are viewed at the speed of light and subject to brief spells of fame on my website: Stay tuned.

Protect your loved ones by forwarding this email to those who stand to gain by this information: there exists a robot army, the people must be told!

Kia ora, Sam 
3 Inverlochy Place
Te Aro



Hi from James at Photospace gallery
You are invited to attend the opening of two new Photospace exhibitions:
- Belinda Brown, Vive la Difference
- Jodi Ruth Keet,  Permanence
Exhibitions open on Wednesday, 15 June, 5pm-7pm.
Both run until 8th July, see
Jodi, Belinda and I hope to see you here,

James Gilberd
Photospace studio/gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place
Wellington, New Zealand
382 9502
027 444 3899
Gallery hours: 10-4.30 Monday-Friday
11-3 Saturdays, closed public holidays



Campbell Kneale at enjoy gallery
Opening Tuesday June 14 6pm
with Performance by Birchville Cat Motel
Artist talk: Wednesday June 22 6pm
June 15 - July 1 

Campbell Kneale is a Lower Hutt resident whose cross-platform artworks have focused on the everyday mysticism of the New Zealand suburban experience and our mundane connections to 'the divine'.

Most well known for his 'drone' and 'noise' work under the name Birchville Cat Motel, Kneale has for the last decade successfully fused a combination of late '60s minimalism, lo-fi post rock, the blackest of the black metal, and earthy ethnological drone into shimmering walls of transcendent fuzz and buzz that somehow finds common ground between the humble refrigerator-hum and the universe-resonating shriek of Stockhausen's most bombastic symphonies.

HUMDRUM picks up on many of Kneale's favourite themes, translating them into a physical space. An ever-shuffling collection of glacial drones, cutlery clunks, and mysterious incantations of malfunctioning consumer electronics, recorded around the house and played back in random sequences, that combine into a magical/scientific blur of levitational hocus-pocus. HUMDRUM is the soul-splitting chant of ecstatic boredom.

Enjoy Public Art Gallery
Level one, 147 Cuba Street
P: 04 384 0174



Local artist Daniel Nagels is taking over a creative space at 13 Garrett Street, and is looking for a dozen emerging artists (between the ages of 20 and 30), to share the collective space. His plans include studios, gallery, and performance space, with each artist paying about $60/week. He’s set up a simple application process for those who are looking for work space and are interested in this bold vision. To learn more, contact Nagels on 027-466-6337 or and find out how he’s making the creative city.



Including floorplans, web links, history, and technical information for those wanting to produce or present a live event…

Wellington venues and theatres are listed and detailed here



Slaves To The Rhythm will premiere at Te Whaea: 17 June - 25 June (no show 20 June); 17, 18 June & 21 - 25 June at 8.00pm; 19 June at 4.00pm only Venue: Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington

“Slaves to the Rhythm” brings together New Zealand's most outstanding percussionists Strike and 2nd & 3rd year contemporary dance students from the New Zealand School of Dance in a performance of sheer vigour. Following the sell-out success of “If Skin Could Talk” in 2003, this year's production will pulsate with choreographic innovation and high-energy percussion.
Most dances begin with a musical score, but with Slaves to the Rhythm the choreography and the music have been created simultaneously. The members of Strike have composed original music for the three works.
Murray Hickman, one of the founding members of Strike comments, "Strike is excited to be reunited with the NZSD for this year's choreographic season. So far everything is coming together well and we're all feeling energized about the show".
Slaves to the Rhythm comprises three separate works - Energy Transfer, Dreamscape and Chambers of Emotion.
The first work, Energy Transfer, focuses on the internal and external forces that change and shape human relationships - how does the tempo of life affect the way we relate to one another?
Rachelle Hickson, a 3rd year contemporary dance student, is one of a group of three student choreographers collaborating on Energy Transfer, "In this piece the dancers become the musical 'instruments' and are orchestrated in movement by the musicians", says Rachelle.
Dreamscape is a surreal physical and musical landscape that at times can be intoxicatingly beautiful, bizarre and frightening. Salvador Dali's paintings have been a source of inspiration for this piece.
Chambers of Emotion explores the sensitive, yet vulnerable nature of the heart. It asks the question, 'Does the heart rule our emotions or do our emotions rule the heart?'
An acting student and three Entertainment Technology students from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School are also involved in the production. The Entertainment Technology students will collaborate with the dance students to design the lighting. Gillie Coxill, winner of Best Costume Design at the 2004 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, will provide even more visual impact with her specially created and exquisite costume designs.
"This is a unique learning experience for the students," says Wendy Wallace, Head of Contemporary Dance at the School. "Inviting professional artists to work alongside emerging student talent is a true reflection of the diverse training the New Zealand School of Dance has to offer. The 2005 choreographic season is a response to audience requests to enjoy again the combined efforts of Strike and the dance students."
Slaves to the Rhythm has a cast of 25 plus 3 collaborators: 19 dancers from the NZ School of Dance, 1 acting student & 3 entertainment technology students from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and 5 members of Strike Percussion.

Tickets: $20 - Adult/Waged, $15 - Concession/Student/Unwaged
389 9056 (automated line) or 380 1715



Acoustic Routes, Wellington’s leading folks music club, presents its monthly singaround this Sunday night at the new Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith St. The pickin’ and grinnin’ begins at 8pm, with a small participation/door charge of $5. Local musicians are invited to join in with a song or a tune for an informal evening sharing some music. Contact: or see:



To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Cancer Society, Wellington Division, local creative business BodyFX is creating a book with 75 baldheads painted in different designs. But they need you! All profits of the painting and the sales of the published book will go to the Cancer Society Wellington.
So…If you are bald already or want to shave your head for it …
This is the great opportunity to do something special!

How to get your head in the book…

Get sponsors (to cover donation, see below)
Come to the Shave-n-Paint venue (email us for next date/location)
Bring a lot of supporters
Fill in a registration form
Choose a design from the book or bring your own
Have your head (shaved and) painted on the spot
Have your photo taken

Sponsorship/Participant Donations:
Bring your own design or Logo….sponsorship $50
Choose one of our designs………sponsorship between $10 and $50

To learn more, contact:
Organised by BodyFX Wellington Ltd.
phone 0800 022555



Coming down the line from Paekakariki to Porirua next Monday...a posse of talented poets will hit Porirua’s Poetry Cafe. Run out of town in seven counties, they're going to root out cliches, gun down platitudes and boring stuff...when the smoke clears, only the best words will be left standing.


Poetry Cafe has moved to a new venue. We're now at the fantastic
KELLY'S PLACE - just around the corner from former wonderful site, The Dizzy, (underneath the canopies in Cobham Court).

How do deep, luxurious leather couches sound? A cosy open fire? Guinness on tap?

Be at the next Porirua Poetry Cafe
Monday 13 June, 7.30pm
Kelly's Place
10 Cobham Court (underneath the canopies)

Learn all about it at



I am pleased to inform you that we have just launched the Creative Youth Xchange (  In its second year, this platform aims to showcase the best creative projects from Asia Pacific. This year, there will be a 2-week workshop where finalists are flown to Singapore to further develop their projects with mentors.  Details as below.
We have expanded the region to include New Zealand this year and we hope that there will be a high level of participation from the many creative practitioners in the land of the Middle Kingdom.  =) I would be most grateful if you could help to disseminate the information or let me know the organisations in your respective countries that we should send the information to.  Thank you for your support in advance.
Please let me know if you need any more information.
Thank you very much.
Yam Keng


Title: Creative Youth Xchange @ Gallery Hotel
Organiser: Creative Industries Singapore / Gallery Hotel Closing Date: 9 Sept 05
Submit your most creative ideas based on the theme 5 Walls: Defying Definitions and stand a chance to be flown to Singapore to realize your dreams in an exciting and intensive 2-week workshop on a three-dimensional canvas - the rooms of Gallery Hotel, mentored by leading creative individuals in this novel workshop. The final winners selected by international creative icons stand to win prizes worth more than S$20,000 (approx US$12,500). This unique 2005 edition of Creative Youth Xchange is co-presented by Creative Industries Singapore and the Gallery Hotel. More information on Creative Youth Xchange can be obtained from the website:
Theme: 5 Walls: Defying Definitions
" White space. Negative space. Empty space. Is space empty, passive and constraining? Or is space a fluid concept and a medium full of possibilities?
Bedroom. Kitchen. Study. Office space. Hotel room. Waiting room. We assign utilitarian purposes to spaces. Is the design by the creator of the space final? Or does space evolve organically with its users and inhabitants?
Walls. Floors. Ceilings. Is that all that shapes a space? How can light, colours, smells, textures and sounds be designed to evoke the emotions, memories and experiences of users?
We are seeking youths from all fields and backgrounds, anyone passionate about the theme, to go beyond exploring a space as a space. Challenge yourself to address these questions and express your ideas through realizable concepts, plans and prototypes.
Contact: Gary Ang
BAEY Yam Keng :: Director, Creative Industries Singapore :: +65-6837
9835(DID) | +65-68379493(Fax)



Yatra (Winner Hot new thing and Best Ensemble Fringe Festival 2004, Chapman Tripp nominee)
Stamping Grounds (Best Fringe show 2005)

Stories of our migrant past: we were strangers once
Aya Al-Muri, Erina Daniels, Jessie Alsop, Mohamed Osman, Tahi Mapp-Borren, Chris O'Connor, Jade Daniels, Katlyn Wong, Rashmi Pilapitiya, Vaughan Slinn

WELLINGTON                              AUCKLAND 
24TH – 27TH June                        1st – 5th July
Tararua Tramping Club             St Benedcicts Priory
4 Moncrieff Street                    St Benedicts Street
Tickets: $10/$15/$20
For more information or bookings contact

MIGRANT NATION PROJECT: A theatrical exploration of New Zealand’s migrant identity

By recalling the rich and diverse human stories of migration to New Zealand we discover that from the beginning New Zealand has a history of being a land of refuge and welcome to those in need.

Concept - A theatrical exploration of New Zealand as a nation made up of a rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds. Over the generations many of those who have come to our shores have done so under duress and in much need, and often to escape direct threats to their life or freedom. Those people have gone on to greatly repay our culture and community for the refuge they were offered. Their children and grand children now have kiwi accents and some might not even themselves have realised or considered that they are descended from ‘refugees’.

Objective - The work will investigate and illustrate the contexts and circumstances of migration to these islands in our past and present. It reflects on New Zealand as a country which values human rights, offers safe haven to those in need, and is much the richer for this fact. The roots of the pioneering ‘Kiwi’ spirit we take pride today can be traced back to our migrant ancestors and the political and cultural environments that led them to make the journey to these islands. Through reflecting on the courage, strength, adaptability and vision these people had in the past and juxtaposing them with experiences of migrants and refugees in the present, the work seeks to breakdown and diffuse negative views of newcomers to our land – particularly refugees.

In the ‘Post 9/11’ environment these questions of the ‘other’, specifically with regards to immigration, have evoked fear and suspicion which has often distorted our perspective on individuals in need. This is an opportunity to question these generalisations and bring people closer to a discussion based on commonality not difference. Theatre can be used as a social tool to express New Zealand’s identity as anything but static or ‘settled’ but rather an identity influx and growing.

The Performance - a devised theatrical collaboration that weaves together personal histories, political events, media representation and questions of national identity with the use of installation, light, music, song, puppetry, movement and dialogue.

The Programme - including director’s notes, outline of performance process and a collection of source stories for the audience to take away and reflect upon.

The Forum - at the end of the performance, the theatrical space is transformed into a forum where the audience is encouraged to ask questions, express opinions and share their own stories with the performers and with each other.

The performance in this instance acts as a provocation for a public discussion that invites people to reflect on these immediate issues of immigration and identity in relation to their own experiences and history. The work aims to present an apolitical/cross-party event that offers a human perspective on immigration and refugees rather than a partisan political perspective that can often distance the public from human rights issues.

Source of the stories - In order to relate to these wider global questions we first look to our own experience as a team of theatre makers. The cast itself is made up of New Zealand performers with various cultural backgrounds including Maori, Dutch, English, Irish, Danish, Chinese, Greek, Scottish, American, Iraqi, Somalian and Sri Lank an. The very act of collaboration towards a theatre piece is in itself an example of New Zealand’s multiculturalism in action.

The creative team will work over a five weeks rehearsal period, weaving together personal histories and memories with stories gathered from other migrant groups. From the settler beginnings New Zealand has had a tradition of looking after people in need:

- Local iwi taking in and care of bedraggled arrivals from Mother England
- Internal Maori refugees due to tribal warfare
- Irish potato famine throughout mid 19th century and beyond (Irish diaspora)
- Early settler stories - those early British immigrants many of whom were escaping class impoverishment and oppression and who arrived in New Zealand with next to nothing coming to make a better life
- Chinese settlement
- World War II refugees – Jewish, Polish, Hungarian, Eastern European
- Refugees in the later 20th century from Ukraine, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kosovo, Tampa/Afghanistan, Somalia, India – Sikhs, Chile, Algeria- Ahmed Zaoui, the Pacific - Tuvalu/Fijian Indians

Contributors - Penny Fitt, Head of Performance Design, Massey/Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School; Gordon Campbell, Freelance journalist; Miranda Harcourt, Head of Acting, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

“We were strangers once”



Modern-day art auctions (and real estate auctions for that matter) are freakish, bizarre, and not unlike the harlot’s striptease. It’s been facetiously remarked that Sotheby’s has auctioneers pretending to be gentlemen, while Christie’s is peopled with gentlemen pretending to be auctioneers. By any name, are these folks really just slave traders and snake oil salesmen in rarefied wool-skins? One Village Voice writer joins the sheep, watches as a billion dollars changes hands (US$750 million) in an attempt to uncover the wolves of today’s art market.,saltz,64442,13.html



A virtual Richard Serra museum opens in Bilbao on Wednesday within the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim here: a permanent installation of more giant bent steel sculptures. Even if you know Mr. Serra's other recent work (over the past decade, he has made more than a dozen "Torqued Ellipses," "Double Torqued Ellipses," "Torqued Spirals" and so on), you won't quite grasp the eloquence of what he has done now without seeing it.

The installation is one of the great works of the past half-century, the culmination of a remarkable fruition in Mr. Serra's career. It rejuvenates and pushes abstraction to a fresh level. And it is deeply humane, not least because it counts on individual perception, individual discovery.
This last observation may seem somewhat at odds with the complaints thrown around a couple of decades ago when Mr. Serra's "Tilted Arc" was installed in Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, then ignominiously carted off to a dump in 1989, after he had come to be regarded as an angry man devising menacing sculptures.
Testifying to the extraordinary nature of art, with its moving-target quality, Mr. Serra's recent works, which evolve right out of "Tilted Arc," elaborating on its concept of a curved, space-enclosing slab of steel, have become stupendously popular.




Have a Go! Open Mike! Every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 pm at Bluenote (ph 801-5007), cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts, Wellington All Welcome! Free Admisson! Contact Steve Booth 477-0156 or



Once shunned even by New Zealanders themselves, Wellington has emerged as the country's leading arts and entertainment city, full of good food, theatre, art and nightlife. New Zealanders now flock here for long weekends and nominate it as the city they'd most like to live in, while foreign tourists are increasingly attracted to its unusual blend of sassy, youthful energy and old-time charm.

Read more here



Visiting Artist Position for Multi-Media/Film-maker
School of English & Media Studies, Massey University
Friday 1st July 2005
Palmerston North

Do you work in Multimedia (including any mix of the following: film, music, digital art, live performance) or pure film-making?

Massey University is seeking a Visiting Artist who will:

Have sufficient time to develop his or her own work, culminating in at least one community presentation; Lead small group of students in a creative project in the Manawatu Festival of New Arts; Provide mentoring for up to six film-making students; Assist in occasional workshops for students of Creative Processes and Media Practice I; Work with extramural students at a creative contact course in early September; Work closely with staff and students within the School.

Applications and/or requests for further information should be addressed to:
Carol Seelye
School of English & Media Studies
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North
Telephone: (06) 356 9099 Ext 2730



A wee review of the Vito Acconci retrospective in Liverpool offers a few good one-liners. Acconci was in Wellington last September for an address to the Wellington Sculpture Trust at Te Papa, and he did keep his pants on (see

Alfred Hickling
Writing for the Guardian
Saturday May 7, 2005

Vito Acconci is the art world's biggest wanker. This is not a judgment but a statement of fact. A poet, performance artist and latterly an architect, Acconci is notorious for his 1972 performance piece, Seedbed, in which he sat in a gallery and masturbated for eight hours a day.
Acconci first made his mark amongst New York's avant-garde literary circles in the 1960s, before shifting his attention to the new phenomenon of body art and forming a unique creative relationship with his penis. "It has a life of its own, far enough away from me to talk to it," he theorised. In one piece, he dressed it up in dolls clothes; in another he wedged it between his thighs and pretended to be a woman. You really begin to wish he'd just put it away.

FACT's retrospective suffers from the perennial difficulty of representing happenings 40 years after they happened. This rather dull archive of typescripts, blueprints and backs of envelopes has been compiled and installed by Acconci and his studio, which gets 10 out of 10 for authenticity. But the problem with body art is frequently the bodies involved. The photographs of the artist and his circle engaged in their epic acts of onanism rather begin to resemble the unsavoury hippies who illustrated Dr Alex Comfort's Joy of Sex.
This exhibition simply feels tired and tawdry. Nor can Acconci claim to have been the first artist to play with himself in public. Vienna's Otto Meuhl scooped that accolade with his Penis Action almost a decade earlier.
It gives FACT's gallery the sordid feel of a porn cinema. Acconci broke some boundaries - mainly those of taste - but who honestly wants to look at some ponderous old films of a flaccid, hairy man fumbling with his groin?



Salsadrome and Tango Bar this Friday June 10th. Tonight!

If you have recovered from Clave Latina and don't want to stop the party, and are keen to get down to more hot latin grooves, get ready for Salsadrome and Tango Bar tonight. Featuring our own Latin DJs:
DJ Zebrita, DJ Fiesta and DJ Caliente! (out of Clave Latina)
Tango lesson 7:30, Salsa/Merengue Lesson 8:30, DJs from 9pm till late.... still only $8
Salsadrome Studio 1
Tango Bar Studio 2
Friday 10th June.
36 - 42 Vivian St at Wellington Performing Arts Centre.
And don’t miss
Salsa Ball at the St James (with pre ball Tango Argentino Milonga)
Saturday 18th June St James Theatre Jimmy Bar, Courtenay Place.
We don't get the venue often so come along and check out the "Mid Winter Salsa Ball" for some great latin sounds and styles at this fantastic venue.
6pm-6:15pm Tango Lesson (So bring along any friends you want to introduce Tango to)
6:15pm-8:30pm  Tango Milonga
8:30-9pm Salsa/Merengue Lesson (Bring along your friends who want to try salsa)
9pm-10pm Salsa from DJ Zebrita!
10pm Salsa performance from our special guests "The Wanganui kids!"
Followed by two sets of cumbia, merengue and salsa from Clave Latina! The band features from Mexico...Carlos Navarrete on guitar and vocals with Adán Tijerina on Congas…with a mid set salsa performance from some of the Team Salsa crew! (just back from Los Angeles)
11:30pm - 1:30am scorching salsa from Dj Brendan and Dj Roberto....
 All adds up to a great night of Latin Styles Music and Dance!
$10 door cover charge.



"Little Things"  Group Exhibition: 9th to 19th June at Farsite Gallery in Petone
Gallery Hours Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. W/ends 10am - 4pm.

Hutt Valley Community Arts and the Farsite Gallery is situated at 2A Petone Ave, Petone, in the big old cream building, on the first floor. [off Jackson St  - east of new  Gear St roundabout in front of Pak N Sav]

Learn more by contacting
Hutt Valley Community Arts Inc. Ph. 568 3488 Fax 568 6553 Email



Calling new New Zealand writers

The publishers of a collection of new New Zealand writers are looking for submissions. The book aims to attract attention to the new literature emerging here, and the editor says she is looking for writing that is 'fresh, smart and daring. It is less nostalgic than past New Zealand writing, more urban, it takes risks, and comes from a more diverse range of voices.' Short fiction, prose-poetry, poetry and creative non-fiction including the lyric essay will be considered; the word limit is 3000 words for a single piece, but multiple shorter pieces that work together to showcase a writer's work will be considered. Send submissions with a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a short blurb about your writing history and any publication record to: The Editor, 10 Devon St, Kelburn, Wellington, by July 1.


The Storylines Festival comes to Wellington: a free day for all the family. No need to book - just turn up. Doors open 9.45am. A riot of language, books, reading, music and theatre fun for children of all ages. A fantastic opportunity to ...
…check-out the action at the Illustrators Gallery
…listen to wonderful stories read by Joy Cowley and many others.
…see theatre excerpts from The Lion in the Meadow by Margaret Mahy
…have fun with interactive performance with PERFORM, an Australian musical theatre group
…take part in the 'Where is Margaret Mahy?' competition
…listen to stories in the Hans Christian Andersen Grottee to recognise 200 years of  fairy tales
…take part in drawing and illustrating competitions
wander through the Walk and Wonder area of non-fiction
…and have the chance to meet with more than 40 of New Zealand's best-loved children's writers and illustrators including: Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Brian Falkner, Tessa Duder, Fifi Colston, Kate de Goldi as well as newer writers and illustrators such as Freya Blackwood.
Wellington Storylines Free Family Festival
Saturday 11 June 10am to 3pm
St James Lobby and Theatre


Mozart’s Don Giovanni Wooing Wellington

The New Zealand Opera presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni: a brazen seducer dices with divine retribution (Sung in Italian with English surtitles).

The charming but unscrupulous Don Giovanni has seduced so many women, he needs a helper to keep a record of them all. One hundred in France, ninety-one in Turkey, and in Spain more than a thousaand - but in seeking yet another conquest, Donna Anna, he finally faces punishment. As his enemies plot to bring him down, a terrifying revenge is also being planned from beyond the grave.
Don Giovanni is a compelling combination of comic and dramatic traditions reflected in a score by Mozart that spans the musical spectrum. Taking the central role in The New Zealand Opera's 2005 production is Paul Whelan, flanked by an array of fine New Zealand singers, including Conal Coad, Richard Green, Rodney Macann, Marie-Adele McArthur and Patricia Wright.
Don't miss Don Giovanni, the most musically brilliant ghost story of the year. With the Opera Chorus accompanied by the Wellington Sinfonia

Saturday 25, 29 June and 1 July, 7.30pm 3 July, 2.00pm (Matinee)

Ticket prices: $49.50 - $156.50. New mid-range ticket price of $69.50.
(Groups and concessions also apply - ask about NBR NZ Opera's new group incentives and student rush prices.) *Service fees may apply
For more information
Book through
The NZ Opera 04 499 8343  or from Ticketek box offices, phone 04 384 3840



Museum of toilets a good place to go
By Anindita Ramaswamy, of Deutsche Presse Agentur

If you lived in ancient India, you would have to observe a strict code of toilet etiquette that determined how often or where you could relieve yourself, depending on whether you were single, married, a student or a saint.

You can find this and other toilet trivia at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, an oddity in a country where an estimated 700 million people defecate in the open.

The museum traces the history of toilets back 5000 years and aims to educate people about the health and social aspects of sanitation. It has models from 60 countries of chamber pots, ornately-carved commodes, delicately-painted floral urinals, water closets, and the seats of kings and commoners.
From the primitive “hole in the ground” to the state-of-theart waterless microwave toilet of the United States navy, from potty poems to bawdy bathroom humour, the Sulabh museum gives an interesting insight into something we take for granted every day.

In 1994, Indian social reformer Bindeshwar Pathak opened the museum, apparently the only one of its kind in the world. Since 1970, Pathak¹s Sulabh International Social Service Organisation has revolutionised India¹s toilet culture by starting the first public toilets that are used by more than 10 million people every day, and rehabilitating scavengers ‹a lower caste group forced to clean and carry excreta.

India banned scavenging in 1993 but even today 800,000 men and women carry buckets of human waste on their heads. Most public space in India is unfortunately also toilet space. It’s quite normal to find men urinating against walls, or people squatting every morning outside slums near railway tracks or in fields.

Pathak says 110 million Indian homes do not have toilets. According to the Indian census, 77% of homes in rural and 30% homes in urban areas don¹t have toilets (but they do have television). Yet India gave the world its first toilets and drainage systems, dating 5000 years back to the Indus Valley civilisation. In 2500BC in places such as Dolavira, Lothal and Mohenjodaro, houses had toilets connected to drains and water chutes that emptied into an elaborate underground maze of sewers.

“The Indus Valley had a sophisticated toilet culture. You can judge the quality of a toilet depending on its disposal system,” said curator Bageshwar Jha.

The Manusmriti and Vishnupuran, ancient Hindu scriptures, had toilet etiquette codes for married people, such as: “While observing silence and facing north in the day and south in the night, one could defecate.”

There were different rules for bachelors, ascetics and students, with the celibate observing them twice more strictly than married people. The code said people should go to the toilet only during the day, reduce their usage by half at night, and by another half while travelling. There were instructions on how far from a temple or source of water you could squat.

Mr Jha said people may grimace at the sight of Indians relieving themselves in public, but France¹s King Louis XIII actually had a commode built under his throne. The museum has a replica of the “Rumble Throne,” which apparently prompted the court jester to remark how strange it was for the king to eat in private but defecate in public. Mr Jha stops at a pile of giant leather-bound works of Shakespeare. Lift the first cover to find a hidden commode.

“Such book toilets were popular among the wealthy French, and symbolised their rivalry with the British. Toilets became very ornamental because people wanted to disguise the purpose they were used for,” he said.

The Romans made relieving themselves a public affair, Mr Jha said. The Antonius Bath built in 200 BC had 1600 holes for defecation, neatly arranged in semicircles with water flowing underneath. Yet, it took thousands of years for the civilized world to get an efficient and hygienic waste disposal system.

“In medieval Europe, people threw buckets of waste out of their windows at night. That¹s why women started wearing stilettos,” Mr Jha explained.

In 1641, pigs were let loose on the streets of Europe to eat human waste, but by 1688 the police commissioner of Paris made toilet construction in houses mandatory. By 1771, Europe had its first pay-and-use toilets. The museum explains the evolution of the water closet, first credited to Sir John Harington in 1596.

An improved model, incorporating a stink trap, was devised by watchmaker Alexander Cumming in 1775. These were connected to cesspits, but the stench was unbearable. Thomas Crapper, royal plumber to King Edward VII, is believed to have revolutionised the water closet. The ³stink² solution was found in the 1840s with the creation of a modern sewer system in Hamburg that ensured pipes were regularly flushed with river water.
Toilet paper was invented in the United States, in 1857, by Joseph Cayetty.
Before that people used anything from linen, thread waste and leaves to stones and pages from books. Other toilet marvels came from the US. In 1966, a Chicago hairdresser created the buttock-stimulator seat, which gave you a massage and relieved constipation.
In 1993, the Incinolet electric toilet was developed by the US Navy for submarines. Operated on electricity, it is water-free and at the press of a button reduces waste to ash.
“The toilet is a problem of civilised man because you can’t just go anywhere,” said Mr Jha. “We must make the experience a pleasant one. In Amsterdam, a talking toilet welcomes you when you sit.”



After four and a half years, artist-run space Enjoy Public Art Gallery has moved across the road and down Cuba street to a brand new location. Rent increases and a lack of amenities such as running water had made the old location untenable, leading the Enjoy Trust to decide it was time for an upgrade.

The new Enjoy is located at level one of 147 Cuba street, just across the corridor from Peter McLeavey gallery. Idiom Studio, a Wellington dealer gallery, will shortly be opening upstairs in the space vacated by Bartley Nees. This new cluster of art spaces is hoped to bring a diverse, cross-pollination of visitors, while still allowing each to retain their own unique identity.

The new Enjoy has a long history as an exhibiting space. It was first opened as Bett-Duncan Gallery in 1968, a gallery renowned for first exhibiting work by the likes of Phillip Clairmont and Toss Woolaston. It underwent several changes of name and directorship becoming variously Elva Bett Gallery and Louise Beale Gallery, until it closed in 1991. More recent history has seen the space used as the offices for a Wellington architecture company.

Although the regular lay-out and architectural symmetry give the space a more traditional gallery feel, there is still much scope for exhibiting installation artists to respond to the site.

'Enjoy's aim is to facilitate work which reflects an awareness and responsiveness to site and the politics of being a non-profit, non-commercial space' says Enjoy Writer/Publicist Jessica Reid. 'The move will benefit artists by providing new challenges and superior facilities.
The larger floorspace and improved accoustics will also suit the number of sound installations and music performances Enjoy hosts.'

A good example of such shows is the upcoming installation HUMDRUM by Wellington artist Campbell Kneale (See 36.09 above). Best known for his 'drone' and 'noise' work under the name Birchville Cat Motel , Kneale has for the last decade successfully fused a combination of late '60s minimalism, lo-fi post rock and drone into shimmering walls of transcendent fuzz.

HUMDRUM picks up on many of Kneale's favourite themes, translating them into a physical space. Described by the artist as 'An ever-shuffling collection of glacial drones, cutlery clunks, and mysterious incantations of malfunctioning consumer electronics' recorded around the house and played back in random, ever-shuffling sequences.
HUMDRUM opens on Tuesday June14 at 6pm with a rare live performance by Birchville Cat Motel .

For more information go to:

Enjoy Public Art Gallery
Level one, 147 Cuba Street



Wanted: Assistant Curator of Art
Te Manawa Museums Trust, Palmerston North Applications Contact person: Paul Smith
Application due date: 2005/06/17
Web Address:

Te Manawa Museum consists of three integrated entities, an Art Gallery, a Museum and a Science Centre, providing an innovative and stimulating environment in which to work. We are seeking a dynamic, talented and experienced Assistant Curator to assist the Art Gallery Manager / Concept Leader in curatorial project planning and management, and Collection development activities. You will work closely with the Gallery Manager / Concept Leader to assist with the management of a significant collection of modern and contemporary New Zealand art; coordination, installation and de-installation of exhibitions and contribute to research on items in the Gallery's collection.

You will also extend the breadth of your skill set and experience as you work alongside staff in the fields of science, education, Taonga Maori and social history of the region. This is a unique opportunity, enhanced by the excitement and challenge of a significant development phase over the next three years, to re-invent the Te Manawa visitor experience and improve our large complex. You will need to have tertiary level qualifications in art / art history, with an extensive knowledge of developments in New Zealand and international modern and contemporary art in a wider social and cultural context.

To seek a Job Description and Application Form contact Paul Smith Te Manawa Museum
06 3555 000
Applications close Friday 17th June 200



Attention inmates! move to the centre! raise your arms! now dig! End your imprisonment and get thee to Happy…

Fri 10  10pm
original pop
Sat 11 10pm
Wed 15 and Thurs 16 8pm
feat. Gerard Crewdsen, Jonny Marks, Alphabethead and Misha Marks
Fri 17  10pm
Sat 18 10pm
Thurs 23
Fri 24
Sat 25
(see 36.35 below) 

Mon 27

corner Vivian and Tory Streets
PO Box 9069
New Zealand
+64 4 384 1965



The World Blues Revue: 12 June 2005 at 8pm, Opera House
After much discussion with the Blues community it has been decided to organise a return visit by the great Blues Legend CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE and introducing to NZ for the first time, The First Lady of Soul BETTYE LA VETTE and bring back the star of the 2004 Blues Revue CHRIS CAIN. Add to this the return of the 4 D’s Rhythm section DANNY CARON – guitar, DEWAYNE PATE – bass, DAVE MATHEWS – keyboards, DESZON CLAIBORNE – drums and the hard blowin’ RENARD HORNS this will be another show not to be missed.



Just as well for art lovers that Michelangelo wasn't born in Auckland. If he had been, the chances are David would have ended up as fill for harbour reclamation and our knowledge of his sculptural prowess would be dependent on ageing newspaper clippings.

Which is how future generations of Aucklanders will have to learn about Terry Stringer's landmark Mountain Fountain sculpture in Aotea Square.
That's if landscape designer Ted Smythe and council officials have their way.


(la musique est libre at merveilleuse)

The Alliance Francaise and the French Embassy present the 9th annual

Fete de la Musique - Free Festival of Music
June 26th
9pm to 3am
at Happy, Latino's, Beau Monde and Chow Cabaret

The Alliance Francaise is proud to present the 9th annual Fete de la Musique festival of music.

After the huge success of the festival in 2004, where an estimated 1000 people enjoyed the best of Wellington music, this year's festival is again located at four inner city venues and features some of Wellington's most inspired and inspiring musical groups.

Fete de la Musique is a free event sponsored by the Alliance Francaise (the French cultural exchange centre in New Zealand) and the French Embassy. It has been designed to emulate the massive Fete de la Musique festivals that are held in Paris, Berlin and across the world. These events attract crowds in the hundreds of thousands. The Wellington event makes the varied and exciting Wellington music scene accessible to the public for one massive night of festival atmosphere.

"We are really excited about this year's Fete de la Musique," says Alliance Francaise Director Jean Francois Fievet. "After 2004's success in presenting such a huge and exciting festival, this year can only build on the last."

Happy, Latino's Tapas Bar, Beau Monde and the new venue, Chow Cabaret, are the event's hosts. These are all located on Tory Street within a minute's walk of each other. Ten groups will perform in these four venues from 9pm till close at 3am.





For seven years it has been an Auckland landmark, but a Ponsonby sculpture is at the centre of a spat after becoming a Hallensteins T-shirt design.

The clothing chain began producing T-shirts with an image of the three TIP sculptures in Western Park.

But it has infuriated artist John Radford, who claims his copyright has been infringed.

Read More Here



ROBERT Connolly has proof the Australian film industry is in crisis. "I was in the video shop," says the Sydney writer-director of The Bank and Three Dollars . "And I overheard this guy say to his wife, 'Oh, maybe we should rent this.' His wife looked at him and said, 'No way, it's Australian'."

It's a terrible but common attitude to Australian cinema. Last year record numbers of Australians stayed away from Australian films. In January, the Australian Film Commission released figures showing that in 2004 the local share of box office takings was just 1.3 per cent. A record low.

Read More Here



Cannes winners direct to the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals

Four of the top award-winning films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival will have their first screenings outside of Europe at this year’s Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals.

“The nationwide Festivals regularly target prize-winning films from Cannes (and other international festivals for that matter). This year’s screening of four Cannes winners equates with our previous best,” says Bill Gosden, Film Festival Director.

The ultimate prize at Cannes is the Palme d’Or, which was scooped last year by Michael Moore’s attention-grabbing Fahrenheit 9/11. This year’s winner, The Child, a feature film by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, will also screen at the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals.

The Child, a riveting, at times alarmingly suspenseful moral tale of a feckless young hustler whose cavalier attitude to fatherhood takes him in to very deep waters indeed, has been described by Mr Gosden as “electrifyingly of-the- moment.”

Opening the Auckland and Wellington Festivals is Michael Haneke’s Hidden which won him Cannes’ Best Director award. Haneke’s film, which stars French actors Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, is described as “a tough, provocative and utterly gripping, psychological thriller, that is poised to be the year’s most hotly debated film.” Michael Haneke’s unnerving pictures of contemporary malaise (notably the controversial The Piano Teacher) have featured in earlier Festivals.

The feature debut by American video performance artist Miranda July shared the Camera d’Or, Cannes’ prize for Best Film by a new director. Me, You and Everyone We Know is a funny, poignant and quirky tale which burrows into suburbia to illustrate a classic conundrum: kids who want to be grown-ups, and grown-ups who long for the irresponsibility of youth.

Wang Xiaoshuai’s Cannes’ Jury Prize winner brings a prime example of the new frankness of Chinese cinema to the Festival screen. Shanghai Dreams is a family drama dealing with the lasting fall-out from the policies of the 60s, which relocated Chinese families from the cities to the countryside.

This is the second year Telecom has sponsored the Festivals, helping the programmers to make the world of film accessible to even more New Zealanders through increased marketing resources and the development of a study guide for secondary school students. More than 200,000 tickets were sold to last year’s Festivals.

Quality AND quantity make up this year’s programme which draws from a pool of over 150 features, documentaries, animated and short films, hand picked by the Festivals’ programmers over the last year from all over the world.

The entire programme will be announced in Auckland on 14 June and Wellington 16 June.

Festival dates:
Auckland July 8-24, Wellington July 15 - 31, Dunedin July 22 - August 7, Christchurch July 29 - August 14, Palmerston North August 4 – 21, Hamilton August 11 - 28, Napier August 17 - September 4, Tauranga August 25 - September 7, New Plymouth September 1 -14, Nelson September 8 – 21, Masterton October 12 – 26, Queenstown October 27 - November 9TBC, Levin November 3 – 16, Gisborne November 10 – 23, Whangarei November 17 - 30.
And this year for the first time the Film Festival will visit Greymouth September 30 – October 2

The 2005 website awaits your visit.





A look back at one curator's influence on the new community-based process (from the Summer 1995 issue of High Performance magazine)

One of the major players in the new discussion around public art is curator and author Mary Jane Jacob. As consulting program director for Sculpture Chicago, Jacob in 1992-93 conceived and directed the landmark exhibition "Culture in Action: New Public Art in Chicago," a two-year process of artists working in direct partnership with community members, which attempted to expand the role of audience from spectator to participant.

Each artist created innovative artworks, programs and events around the city dealing with such urban issues as minority youth leadership and gang violence, HIV/AIDS caregiving, public housing, multicultural demographics and neighborhoods, achievements by women, labor and management relations, and ecology- issues of direct concern to the collaborating communities.

These partnerships produced results as diverse as a storefront hydroponic garden, a new line of candy and an ecological field station.

"'Culture in Action' shook up Chicago," said Carol Becker, dean of faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. "It challenged conventional notions of public sculpture and brought art to the communities instead of making them come to it." Writer and educator Patricia C. Phillips cited the project for raising "significant questions and issues that have re-energized a dialog on public art."

Read More here



It has been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but at the heart of David Mamet’s play Boston Marriage lies the acquisition and ownership of a large and expensive emerald necklace.

Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming ladies of fashion who have long lived on the fringes of upper-class society. Anna has recently had the good fortune of becoming the mistress of a wealthy man. With him come an extraordinary emerald necklace and a generous allowance, guaranteeing her future comfort. Claire wishes to enlist Anna’s help for an assignation with a new flame. However their plotting to arrange Claire’s tryst embroils them neck deep in trouble when the young object of her affections sparks off a crisis of hilarious proportions.

“Mamet’s characters are at each others throats with a wit akin to characters out of Wilde and a vengeance not unlike those from Pinter.” The Boston Globe

David Mamet, one of America’s most revered and provocative dramatists, continues exploring new territory with this wickedly funny comedy of errors set in a Victorian drawing room. Better known for gangster films such as The Untouchables and The Spanish Prisoner, and stage plays Oleanna and Glengarry Glen Ross. Mamet first dabbled in this drawing room mode with the screenplay of Terrence Rattigan’s play The Winslow Boy, which found much acclaim worldwide.

Director Jude Gibson is delighting in Mamet’s crosspollination of his signature “dazzling dialogue” with the more restrained Victorian comedy of manners. She says, “The wit and charm of the language, partnered with such delightful characters, is delicious. Typically at the core of Mamet’s work is an unanswerable question. In this instance the question is ‘What is Love’?”

She is working with actresses Heather Bolton, Tandi Wright and Dena Kennedy, and designers Tolis Papazoglou (Maui), John Senczuk (Wednesday to Come) and Paul O’Brien (Romeo & Juliet), to evoke the style, elegance, glamour and intrigue inherent in this wickedly entertaining play.

Actor-director Jude Gibson began her theatre life in Auckland where she first worked for Theatre Corporate, Mercury Theatre, Tantrum Theatre and the Auckland Theatre Company. Jude ventured to Wellington to work for the first time in 1989 where she appeared in a Downstage production of Private Lives. Moving to Wellington in 1999, Jude has worked consistently at Circa Theatre, where she has performed in numerous productions, most recently Milo’s Wake. Jude has also performed at Downstage, more frequently in the last 4 years, on productions that have included The Vagina Monologues, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Up For Grabs. She directed Fiona Samuel’s The Wedding Party in 2001. Jude took up the prestigious Shakespeare Globe International Artistic Fellowship in 2002, spending a month’s intensive study at the Globe Theatre in London.

Australia-based Heather Bolton flies over the ditch especially to play Anna. Originally from NZ, Heather has developed a high profile overseas, working most notably with the Melbourne Theatre & Bell Shakespeare companies during her 10+ years in Oz. Probably best known as the lead in Gaylene Preston's feature film Mr Wrong, she was last at Downstage in Good Works in 1995.

Heather is joined by Tandi Wright as Claire, & Dena Kennedy as Catherine the Scottish maid. Tandi, a well-known face on NZ television, has had core-cast roles on Shortland St, Willy Nilly & Street Legal. She was last onstage in Wellington in Rutherford at Circa in 2000. Dena's most recent stagework is Dave Armstrong's new touring play King & Country which premiered in Wanaka last month. Dena has been seen on TV series’ Insiders Guide to Happiness & Facelift. She’s was onstage in Cloud 9 at Circa and in Bare at Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North last year. Both Tandi & Dena have appeared recently on Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby for TV1.

Boston Marriage by David Mamet
3 – 23 July
Mon & Tue 6.30pm, Wed – Sat 8.00pm
Matinee: Saturday 23 July 4.00pm, Preshow Talk: Monday 4 July 5.45pm
Special Gala Opening: Sunday 3 July 6.00pm
(No Show Tuesday 5 July)



The Lion in Winter
Written by James Goldman and directed by Iona Anderson

“What shall we hang, the holly or each other?”

Long before the term "dysfunctional" was commonly applied to families, James Goldman gave the world a glimpse of this age-old phenomenon by creating for the stage the members of England's original Plantagenet family: King Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons. Although best known for this play, The Lion in Winter, and the screenplay for the resultant movie, Goldman was a prolific writer who based many of his novels, plays, and screenplays on history, a subject he dearly loved.

The Lion in Winter starts when Henry II of England releases Eleanor of Aquitaine, his wife of some 30 years, from house arrest to join him and their three remaining sons at Chinon castle for Christmas - not for a loving family reunion but to choose his heir. Eleanor prefers Richard (who becomes Richard the Lionheart); Henry prefers John, the youngest; while no-one apparently cares one jot for Geoffrey, the middle son and most cunning of them all.

Confusing matters is the presence of Alais, Henry's adored mistress, and her brother Philip, King of France, who is demanding her marriage to Richard or the return of the valuable land which is her dowry. The play takes place over two days as all six, with Alais as the pawn, engage in a chess battle of wit and machination to establish supremacy.

The Lion in Winter is the winner of many major theatre awards and, as one reviewer comments, “it’s written with a delicious, mordant wit', full of humour that bristles and burns”.

29 June - 9 July (curtain at 8pm; 3rd July at 4pm and 5th & 6th July at 6.30pm)

Tickets: $18/15
Bookings: Ph. (04) 3850 532


Sunday 12 June, 2pm

An inspiring and innovative concert featuring Victoria University’s School of Music students (including Lexus Song Quest winner Madeleine Pierard and runner-up Allison Cormack) performing 20th century British compositions in celebration of the exhibition, ‘Bridget Riley: Paintings and Preparatory Work 1961-2004’.

Allison Cormack (runner-up of the Lexus Song Quest 2005)
‘A song of Autumn’ by Edward Elgar.

Sophia Acheson and Francesca Hunt
‘Lament’ for two violas by Frank Bridge.

Rosel Labone
‘The Heart's Desire’ by John Ireland and ‘Love's Philosophy’ by Roger Quilter.

Laurel Hungerford
‘April’ on piano from John Ireland’s Two Pieces

Francesca Hunt
‘Elegy’ for solo viola by Benjamin Britten

Madeleine Pierard (winner of the Lexus Song Quest 2005)
Performing three songs from ‘On this Island’ by Benjamin Britten: ‘Let the florid music praise’, ‘Nocturne’, and ‘As it is plenty’.

gateseven (Wellington’s premiere contemporary music ensemble)
‘Orange and Yellow’ by Paul Newland on clarinet, electric guitar, viola, cello; ‘See Our Lake’ by Laurence Crane on alto flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello and vibraphone; and ‘White & Light’ by Harrison Birtwistle on clarinet, clarinet, soprano, cello on bass.

Admission charges apply for the exhibition: $7 Adult, $5 concession, $14 three-visit ticket, $20 family ticket (2 adults, 2 children)


Tuesday 14 June, 10:30am

Mums, Dads and little bundles of joy are invited to join a tour of ‘Bridget Riley: Paintings and Preparatory Work 1961-2004’, in a family-friendly environment. Please book with Robyn Walker, email or phone 04 801 3987.

Admission charges apply for the exhibition: $7 Adult, $5 concession, $14 three-visit ticket, $20 family ticket (2 adults, 2 children)



BATS has no shows on this week or next due to a much deserved maintenance week when we will lavish some TLC on our busy theatre space. But in the meantime there are great shows to be seen in Wellington, with 'Wednesday To Come' by Renee on at Downstage, Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' on at Circa, and 'The Mercy Seat' by Neil La Bute at Circa Studio.

Our next shows are the Young and Hungry Festival of plays - three newly commissioned New Zealand plays - which open on Friday 17th June and run until Saturday 2nd July (no shows Sundays/Mondays). They are:
6.30pm : 'The Many Faces of Kelly J Loco' by Stephen Bain, directed by Paul McLaughlin
8pm : 'Exchange' by Lauren Jackson, directed by Kerryn Palmer
9.30pm : 'Collective Agreement' by Whiti Hereaka, directed by Larry Rew

The first two nights' performances are already sold out for all three plays, so don't leave it too late to book. Tickets are $15 waged or $12 unwaged - or you can buy a season pass and see all three plays for $36 waged or $24 unwaged. Just hit reply to this email to book or call the BATS booking line:
(04) 802 4175. Please let us know the play you would like to see, the night you'd like to come, how many tickets and your name and contact phone number. Further details about these plays follow below...

Young and Hungry Festival of New Works
Bats Theatre
1 Kent Terrace
June 17th ­ July 2nd 2005
Bookings Ph 802 4175
Ticket prices $12 /$15 or season pass for all 3 plays $24/36

Since 1994 the Young and Hungry Festival of New Works has been getting together the hottest young theatre talent to bring Wellington an annual festival of new plays. Young actors, designers and technicians get to stretch their creative legs under the guidance of professional directors, writers and mentors.

This year’s Young and Hungry Festival of New Works at Bats Theatre premieres new plays by Stephen Bain, Whiti Hereaka and Lauren Jackson.

“With 54 participants, 5 mentors, 3 directors, 3 writers and 1 animator the
2005 Festival is shaping up to be the greatest Young and Hungry ever. The line up for this year includes a completely animated character, German speaking teenagers and a mafia style shoot out.” says Young and Hungry Producer Angela Meyer.

The Many Faces of Kelly J Loko
By Stephan Bain
Directed By Paul McLaughlin
Laptops, i-pods, chat rooms and text messaging - welcome to the world of Kelly J Loko. Watch as young Kelly discovers that people aren¹t always what they seem to be in the age of the Œinvisible friend¹ and ŒBig Brother¹. Can Kelly learn to establish herself in the physical world as well as she can in the virtual? Or will she get lost in cyber space forever?
Director Paul McLaughlin takes on the challenge of this innovative new play written by Stephen Bain. A self-confessed technophobe, Paul is keen to get up with the play in Kelly J.

By Lauren Jackson
Directed By Kerryn Palmer
Break out your lederhousen and moisten your strudel ­ cos here comes the class of 1994. Five Kiwi kids are about to experience the trip of a lifetime when they take on Germany. How will they cope with the culture shock and the numerous stereotypes? Is there more to New Zealand than pavlova, All Blacks and buzzy bees? An OE is as Kiwi as BBQs and gumboots, both writer Lauren Jackson and Director Kerryn Palmer have experienced this rite of passage.

Collective Agreement
By Whiti Hereaka
Directed By Larry Rew
How do you survive bad pay, snotty superiors and the monotony of retail hell? ­ rob the customers, of course!
Step 1: Nod and Smile (the customer is always right!).
Step 2: Maintain the illusion of the perfect employee, always on time, always tidy and always polite.
Step 3: Rip off the buggers and frame someone else.
Larry Rew a member of the Director¹s Guild of Great Britain and former retail assistant Whiti Hereaka have joined in a Collective Agreement to expose what¹s really going on at our department stores.

BATS Theatre
1 Kent Terrace
Wellington, Aotearoa
bookings 802 4175
office 802 4176
fax 802 4010



The on-going “Get Your War On” site continues to amuse, provoke, and archive the follies of early 21st century superpowerdom. Have a scan of the latest instalment, and click back to any of the previous comic editions. Comics construction made almost entirely of Microsoft clip-art images and graphics…



Wellington Welcomes World of WearableArt
Excessive Accessories Street Parade

Get involved with Wellington City Council’s colourful and imaginative street parade that will welcome the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards to town and celebrate the creativity in this city.  We are looking for community artists and designers to register their interest in creating a work of art to be part of the parade.

The parade will be held at lunchtime on the opening day of the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards on Friday 23 September. The city will be buzzing with excitement and many visitors and media will also be in town. This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals and groups to be selected to create huge, amazing works that form the major part of the parade.

Excessive Accessories
This theme is about enhancing and exaggerating accessories in wild and wonderful ways and turning them into pieces of art. Everyday we use bags, suitcases and hats, and we ornament our body with jewellery, hats and scarves – this theme is a chance to recreate these ideas but in a much larger, colourful and wacky way!

100 designs will be selected to be made and Council will make a $75 contribution towards the resources needed for the work. For more information and a design submission form, please email Design submission entries close on Friday 17 June.

Get creative and help make some WOW in Wellington!!



Main Trunk Lines - an exhibition celebrating New Zealand poetry
22 July to 30 October 2005 at the National Library Gallery

A major exhibition of New Zealand poetry from the past 150 years opens at the National Library Gallery on 22 July.

Drawing extensively on the book and manuscript collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Main Trunk Lines: New Zealand poetry samples some of the country's best-known poems alongside the more peripheral, experimental and surprising

Exhibits range from Eileen Duggan's teapot to a cartoon about James K Baxter by Chris Knox. Also included are book-designs, voice recordings, Anna Livesey's series of commissioned poems on a set of beer coasters, and two poems written by James K Baxter on the wallpaper of Michael Illingworth's house.

From the widely accepted to the radical - Thomas Bracken's 'God Defend New Zealand' to Cilla McQueen's 'Dogwobble' - Main Trunk Lines offers visitors a bearing on the broad imaginative map of New Zealand poetry.

Collaborations between visual artists and poets have long been a feature of New Zealand cultural life. Photographs by Alan Knowles, Robert Cross and others will provide a composite group-portrait of the poets behind the lines. Works by Waiheke-based Denis O'Connor incorporate poems by Allen Curnow, Janet Frame and others. Further artists in the exhibition include Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, John Reynolds, Saskia Leek, John Pule, Fiona Pardington, Virginia King, John Baxter, Toss Woollaston and Michael Illingworth. The short poem-films of Richard von Sturmer are also included.

The 'main trunk lines' in the title are the lines of poetry that run through the books and art works in the exhibition - the lines that have shaped and influenced the imaginative life of New Zealand. Featuring the most significant poems and publications of the past 150 years, the exhibition looks at poetry today, how it got here and where it's going in the future.

A well-stocked reading room will be a feature of the exhibition, allowing visitors to sit back and savour a huge range of current poetry titles. A diverse programme of related events will also be offered during the course of the exhibition.

Main Trunk Lines is curated by Jenny Bornholdt (current Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate) and Gregory O'Brien.

For further information and high-resolution images, please contact:
Susan Bartel, Public Relations Manager, National Library Gallery
Phone: 04 474 3119 or 027 223 5159



Young Voices Fill the New Wellington Arts Centre: Local music educator Sharon Thorburn invites Wellington’s young creative people to participate in a major new musical initiative

The sound of young voices expressing themselves in harmony is now ringing through the halls of Wellington’s new arts centre. Student singers from years 3 to 8 are invited to become part of “Little Big Voice,” a growing choral effort to nurture the music skills of local young people. Weekly choir rehearsals are now underway, and the growing ensemble welcomes new voices from all parts of the Capital City. The innovative programme, developed by Thorburn, provides an inclusive approach to music performance and a repertoire of New Zealand and international songs.

A second initiative, “Lights, Camera, Action!” is being developed by Thorburn to foster composition, scripting, rehearsal, and stage talents in local young people. Her multi-disciplinary workshops are designed to build performance confidence, identity and creativity through music, drama and dance. Both opportunities are based at the new Wellington Arts Centre in Abel Smith Street.

Sharon Thorburn is an award winning composer and music educator with international primary and secondary school experience. Her Wellington-based choirs and a cappella groups have won national competitions at secondary school level and represented New Zealand internationally at primary and intermediate level. She has a passion for promoting the original voice of our young people, who discover their identity and creative potential through music.

Thorburn is one of many creative people hiring the spaces at the new facility at 61-63 Abel Smith Street. The Wellington Arts Centre offers meeting rooms, art workshops, an exhibition gallery, and project administration room for use by people and organisations involved in local creative developments. The new centre opened its doors in April, and a grand opening is set for late July.

To learn more about “Little Big Voice” or “Lights, Camera, Action!” contact organiser Sharon Thorburn at or by phoning 04 9340585.



The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). All 37 Plays in 97 Minutes at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre…now to 19 June

Get set for a roller coaster ride of comedy, hold on to your seats and prepare to be taken on a frenzied romp through all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes.  Three madcap men in tights weave their way through all of Shakespeare's comedies, histories and tragedies.  Hamlet is performed forwards, backwards and sideways.  Titus Andronicus serves tasty treats and Othello does the rap.  The show stars Oliver Driver, Jeremy Elwood and Keith Adams.  Originally written and performed by the legendary RSC (Reduced Shakespeare Company) in California, this swashbuckling bard buster as been performed to sell out crowds in New York, UK, Asia and Australia. Receiving rave reviews wherever it goes, it is currently entering its tenth hilarious year and is now London's longest running West End Comedy Hit. No performance is the same and audiences return again and again. Seats begin at $30, and will pay back in rib-splitting dividends. Book tickets now through Ticketek: 384-3840 or And get thee to Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre.



The New Cool
Now through August 2005
The Dowse Art Museum

The New Cool are dancing to their own version of the commercial beat and reshaping the way we think about business.

The New Cool showcases the stories of 12 young New Zealand companies, celebrating creative business outside the 9 to 5. Defying the 'slacker' reputation of youth culture, companies (including Dawn Raid Entertainment, Huffer Clothing, Loop Aot(ear)roa Recordings, Disruptiv, Illicit, Sidhe Interactive, and Insidious Fix), have successfully transformed their creative passions into business dollars.

These inspirational stories are all about big ideas and very small beginnings, the hard years, the timely successes, the concept of 'co-opitition' that comes from working with and for your mates, and the simple satisfaction of waking up each day and loving what
you do.

The New Cool is a highly interactive multi-media event that will be on show at The Dowse from late May - August 30, 2005.

Free Seminars: A series of free seminars will also run alongside the exhibition giving visitors the opportunity to meet the directors of some the The New Cool companies and learn how to develop a positive entrepreneurial attitude.
(04) 570 6500




City Gallery Wellington
Presented by Simpson Grierson
10 July – 30 October 2005

City Gallery Wellington is proud to announce ‘Small World, Big Town: Contemporary Art from Te Papa’, an exhibition in partnership with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

This partnership will give audiences an opportunity to see an exciting and diverse range of contemporary New Zealand art. ‘Small World, Big Town’ has been jointly curated City Gallery Wellington and Te Papa, and includes work by 28 New Zealand artists, drawn from the Te Papa visual art collections.

‘Small World, Big Town’ takes as its theme a shift in artists’ thinking in recent decades, from concerns about national identity and nationhood to the ideas and impacts of globalisation, a would-be regionalism and the importance of individual experience.

The works selected for ‘Small World, Big Town’ focus both on the local and the immediate, as well as our growing sense of belonging to a global community. Now, as the world appears to shrink in scale, artists get their bearings from all over the globe. ‘Small World, Big Town’ offers audiences an affectionate look at ourselves as a big town on the periphery of an increasingly smaller world; remote, yet globally connected.

The works included in the exhibition range from iconic pieces by well-known artists, such as Peter Robinson’s ‘My marae, my Methven’, the centre piece of the 1995 international touring exhibition ‘Cultural Safety’, to recent acquisitions by emerging artists such as Peter Stichbury and Mladen Bizumic.

‘Small World, Big Town’ will present an exciting array of artworks, from Ani O’Neill’s six-metre long weaving made of florist’s ribbon and thread, to moving image work by Yuk King Tan, paintings by Michael Harrison and Bill Hammond, photographs by Fiona Pardington and Yvonne Todd, sculpture by Michael Parekowhai and Richard Reddaway and page works by cartoonist Dylan Horrocks.

A significant element of ‘Small World, Big Town’ will be the first New Zealand showing of Michael Stevenson’s ‘This is the Trekka’, made possible by its recent acquisition for Te Papa’s collections. ‘This is the Trekka’ was New Zealand’s presentation at the 50th Venice Biennale of International Art 2003.

City Gallery Wellington director Paula Savage says: “We are thrilled to have worked with Te Papa on this exhibition. I know the curators at City Gallery Wellington have really enjoyed working with a collection of such high calibre, and we are very much looking forward to presenting the results of our combined work to the public. We are sure that visitors will find ‘Small World, Big Town’ a fresh and engaging look at the fantastic work produced by New Zealand artists over the past 20 years.”

Seddon Bennington, Chief Executive, Te Papa, says: "Te Papa is extremely pleased to be working with City Gallery Wellington to develop an exhibition of works from our collections for the people of Wellington and visitors to the region. ‘Small World, Big Town’ complements the many works on display at Te Papa, and builds on our long term strategy to increase access to the treasures in our collections through our loans programme with New Zealand's public galleries and museums."

The artists featured in ‘Small World, Big Town’ are:

Mladen Bizumic; Derrick Cherrie; Margaret Dawson; Bill Hammond; Michael Harrison; Gavin Hipkins; Saskia Leek; Lauren Lysaght; Andrew McLeod; Anne Noble; Ani O’Neill; Fiona Pardington; Michael Parekowhai; John Pule; Richard Reddaway; Peter Robinson; Ava Seymour; Marie Shannon; Michael Shepherd; Michael Stevenson; Peter Stichbury; Yuk King Tan; Yvonne Todd; Ronnie van Hout; John Walsh; Ruth Watson; Boyd Webb; Brendan Wilkinson.


Wellington’s favourite cavalcade of terpsichorean happenings returns with a flourish, followed by a pas de chat, rounded out by a lobster quadrille…


The biennial Prize in Modern Letters is designed to acknowledge and advance the work of emerging writers in New Zealand. The value of the Prize is NZ$60,000.
The Prize in Modern Letters was established by Glenn Schaeffer, founding patron of the IIML. As well as highlighting the achievement and potential of a major new writer, the Prize will significantly enhance awareness of New Zealand literature in the USA and internationally.
The inaugural Prize in Modern Letters was won by novelist Catherine Chidgey in 2002, and in 2004, the prize was awarded to poet Glenn Colquhoun.
The Prize in Modern Letters is awarded every two years. The following deadlines relate to the 2006 award. Nominations close 29 July 2005. Shortlist announced October 14, Winner announced March 2006.



Battles of the Heart 31 May - 4 June - War through the eyes of extraordinary everyday people, performed by second year actors at St Andrew's Church Hall, 30 The Terrace. The show is produced in association with Gaylene Preston Productions and includes monologues from the film War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us and Alison Parr's book Silent Casualties, as well as scenes from Allen O'Leary's play Fond Love and Kisses.

Slaves to the Rhythm - Choreographic Season 17 - 25 June - Slaves to the Rhythm brings together New Zealand's most outstanding percussionists STRIKE and 2nd & 3rd year contemporary dance students from the New Zealand School of Dance. Find yourself at the mercy of the driving rhythm.

The Chekhov Season 9 - 13 September - The second year class of actors is split into two groups - each group will perform a different show each night - one group will perform Chekhov's The Seagull (a comedy with three female parts, six male parts, a landscape, much talk about literature, and five tons of love) while the other performs Anne Bogart's Small Lives Big Dreams (a play about memory that examines how characters in Chekhov's plays are haunted by the past while attempting to look forward).


Coming up this week on Frontseat
Sunday Evening (10:30pm) on TV1

Ramai Hayward! Merata Mita! Cliff Curtis! The stars of Maori film turned out in Wairoa at Queen’s Birthday Weekend for the inaugural Maori Film Festival. Wairoa’s slogan is “The way New Zealand used to be”, and Jeremy Hansen finds more than one meaning that can be drawn from that.
Photographer Deborah Smith invited Marti Friedlander to exhibit with her at John Leech Gallery during the Auckland Photography Festival. Deborah chose the work, and the resulting exhibition “She Said” looks at the way both photographers have captured childhood in their lenses.
Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City church becomes an art gallery next week to celebrate its centenary and raise funds for restoration. A host of respected sculptors have created works “suitable for a domestic environment”, many of which also carry a spiritual theme. Frontseat previews the exhibition.



Musical Babies and Tots at Wellington's New Arts Centre

Wellington's musical little ones have a special place, every Friday morning, at the new Wellington Arts Centre. The popular Musical Babies and Musical Tots programmes began on May 12, and offers weekly sessions for parents and children who want to explore music, dance, movement, and creative play.

Music educator Sarah Conroy will be running the classes, and she can be contacted now about enrolment and participation. The classes offered at the new Wellington Arts Centre, 61-63 Abel Smith Street, are as follows:

Thursdays at 10:00-10:30 am
Musical Tots: a fun music and movement class for children aged 18 months to 4 years.

Thursdays at 10:45-11:15 am
Musical Babies: a fun class of singing and finger play for babies aged 12 to 18 months.

Thursdays at 11:30-12:00 am
Musical Babies: enjoy a fun and close time with your baby in a class designed to start your child off on their musical journey. For babies aged 6 to 12 months.

Fees for term two are $58.50 for nine sessions or $52.00 for PTL holders. Musical Babies and Tots classes begin on Thursday 12 May 2005 and run until Thursday 7 July 2005. To register your place for next term, please contact Sarah Conroy on 976 2754 or by email to Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is essential.



Wellington Storytellers’ Cafe at the New Arts Centre

The Storytellers’ Café is the home of storytelling in the Capital. From 7:30 – 9 pm on the first Tuesday of every month except January, the café is open to everyone.  Come along to the next session at the new arts centre, 61-63 Abel Smith Street. All you need to do is bring your ears!  Each month a different teller takes the stage, and there is always room for offerings from the audience.  Cost is $5, tea, coffee and nibbles are provided.

Contact: 021-687-627



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Wellington, New Zealand


The Octo-numerical Query.
A batch of questions is presented.
A creative person answers.

What cities/towns have you lived in (or spent more than a few months in), beginning with your place of birth.
I was born in Coventry, England but have lived in Wellington most of life.
What are the earliest stories you remember hearing?
The earliest stories I remember hearing are from my father who use to tell me that if I ate the pips in my water melon I would grow water melons out of my ears and that I should eat my bread crusts because it will put hairs on my chest. Ironically I am girl and I still can not see why he though this would encourage me to eat my crusts.
What music was present and still memorable from your youth/adolescence?
Embarrassingly I was brought up during the MC Hammer, Tiffany and Kylie Monogue era. I am not sure if I want to remember this stage in my life.
For you as a creative person, who are three influential artists or thinkers?
I am really influenced by what I see around me. Particularly, other individuals/artists that have interesting and original ideas. You can really learn a lot by associating yourself with others.
What is your dream of happiness?
Who are your favourite or most admired figures from history?
There are so many important people in history where do you start….?
Name three films that you consider profound, moving, or extraordinary.
In the Name of the Father
Shawshank Redemption
The Green Mile
All of which are a bit morbid I know, however they are really moving.
What was your first real job? second? third?
An usher at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.
Spent many years working in retail while studying.
Also worked for a Wellington based Design company while studying doing various odd jobs.
If you had to eat the same meal every day, what would it be?
Egg’s Benedict with Salmon – Yum Yum Yum.
Name a few books that you couldn't put down, would read again, haunt you still.
The Harry Potter Series – J K Rowling
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
Solomon’s Song (The sequel to The Potato Family) – Bryce Courtney
Jessica – Bryce Courtney
What have you done, seen, experienced, or produced that was a disappointment to you?
I can’t really think of anything!!!
What was the most recent live performance you attended, and where was it presented?
The Beat Girls at the Botanical Gardens in Wellington during the Summer Festival. That was heaps of fun.
In one sentence, can you define art?
What word of advice would you offer an aspiring artist in your field?
Stick with it and stay true to yourself and what you want to achieve with your work.
Where would you like to live, but have yet to?
I really like it here in Wellington the Creative Capital. Although I would like to retire in Martinbough (so I can be close to the Vineyards - Yum Yum Yum).
What would you like to do, but have yet to?
Travel the world. There are many places I would like to visit such as Greece, Italy and France to name a few.
Briefly describe a project you are planning for the future.
I am currently working on several projects at the moment but generally these projects fall into two categories. Firstly, Art-based photographic works combining photography with other media and secondly, research-based photography exploring creativity and the creative process photographically.
What one question would you add to this Query?
None. This was fun.


Frankie Nicola Rouse – MDes, BDes (1st Class Hons) Photography, Cert VCD
Frankie Rouse studied Photography and Design at Massey University in Wellington where she developed a particular interest in combining still photography with sound. Her undergraduate research sparked an everlasting interest in the study of creativity and the creative process. For examples of this work:

This interest then stemmed further into her Masters degree which she has recently completed. In addition to this Frankie has been experimenting with combining photographic images with other art-based media.
Memoir (See attached images) is the most recent example of this work.  This series of work depicts early colonisation in the form of pages from a fictional travel journal. Historical family photographs and travel documents from the late 1800’s are ‘fused’ with found objects to create a personal impression of a memoir of time, but with a contemporary twist.



Phil Dadson, Intermedia Artist extraordinaire, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his Services to Art in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. A narrative tour of the creative genius by Stephen Gibbs follows…
Beginning with a few choice quotes quotes....
“I well remember being in a mouth-organ band in Primary School. That early experience of ensemble playing and foot tapping secretly inside your shoe was quite formative.”
“In a sense, our music dealt with concepts of expression that are inherently human. I have always been fascinated by parallels between musical phenomenon and the social realm.”
Phil, from scratch…
Watching him perform is like watching a master martial artist - all grace, precision, strength and concentration.
Every movement is controlled and fluid. The rhythm which permeates each moment is engaging - energetic and vital. The attention to detail: the set, instruments, lighting - reflects the meticulous vision of a true craftsman. And the deceptive ease with which he moves through a performance constructed as audible architecture is the mark of a true artist.
Renowned for his creative collaborations in the percussion ensemble From Scratch, Phil Dadson has almost single-handedly carved out a niche for himself in the New Zealand Arts scene. Exhibition and performance projects in recent years have included Vocal Acrobats - an aural alchemy in paraphonic (overtone or harmonic) vocal music, Conundrum
Quartet - an audio-video sculptural installation, Polar Projects - a series of video/sound, photo and graphic works based on his experiences as an artist in Antarctica, Maya - a ‘Counter-Millennial’ fanfare with the Auckland Philharmonia, and Conference of the Drums - a large, seven-pole interactive sound sculpture set on a private farm. His work is a hybridisation - a cross-genre combination of areas normally defined by the terms ‘music’, ‘dance’, ‘film’ and’ video’, ‘sculpture’ and ‘graphics’. Phil’s creative output occupies an entirely different dimension - a realm of Art he calls ‘Intermedia’.
“Intermedia describes a synergistic, transmedia mode of working, a way to combine media in new ways, particularly time-based media such as sound arts and moving images. Intermedia exploits notions of counterpoint, complementarity and the dialectic and is not to be confused with multi-media or mixed-media.”
Phil Dadson has been working as an intermedia artist for well over 30 years. In 2003 he was awarded an Arts Laureate from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. In making the award the Foundation noted that Phil had seldom been given the credit his artistry deserved as his work had often fallen between the boundaries of single artistic disciplines. Even now, outside of physical performance events, it is difficult to fully appreciate his work. As a performer Phil has most recently been evolving his solo voice. As a composer he is on the Board of The Centre for NZ Music Trust (SOUNZ). As an intermedia artist, galleries and museums in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin have recently exhibited a number of his works involving installation of video, audio and sculptural elements.
“Sound content in visual art shows is a relatively recent phenomenon and exhibiting such work is not without its problems,” Phil points out. “Sound travels, and when a number of works involving sound are exhibited alongside one another there can be difficulties in assigning each its appropriate acoustic space. How to arrange or combine exhibits so that they complement each other can be problematic.” Art Museums are traditionally object-based and are rarely acoustically designed. Perhaps we need some dedicated intermedia galleries where such works can be adequately displayed and appreciated?
Phil was born and schooled in Napier, Hawke’s Bay. He recalls his childhood fondly. "I well remember being in a
mouth-organ band in Primary School. That early experience of ensemble playing and foot tapping secretly inside your shoe was quite formative. Performance was always a part of my life. I used to put on puppet shows for all the neighbourhood kids, and my father was very involved in the Napier Frivolity Minstrels. He was quite a raconteur and joke-teller. As I grew older I played with the Hawke’s Bay Swing Club and began to really enjoy the vitality of jazz and improvisation.”
Art played a large part too, and following high school, a stint at a timber yard and the Customs Department in Napier, Phil started on a fine Arts degree at Elam in Auckland. “I broke off half way through. My father died in a car crash just as I was really getting to know him, and I couldn’t settle back into it. I went overseas and ended up in London.”
In the mid-1960’s London was a place where all sorts of new directions in Art and Music were being explored. Phil enrolled in an experimental music course being run by Cornelius Cardew. The course evolved by 1969 into the now famous London Scratch Orchestra - defined then as an assembly of enthusiasts who gathered for purposes of music making, edification and pleasure. “To quote a Confucian definition of music favoured by Cardew then, we were exploring ‘the heart’s response to the external world. Scratch Orchestra was an experimental performance-orientated music group dedicated to expanding the definition of music to include whatever means were appropriate".
Barriers between visual and sonic elements in Art were dissolved, and here Phil was able to bring together his equal interests in art, music and improvisation.
When Phil returned to New Zealand he decided to develop asimilar idea here and instigated a NZ Scratch Orchestra in Auckland in the early 1970s, where for some events, up to fifty or more people would gather for large, open-ended improvisations. For more focused and process-orientated compositions however, Phil realised that he would need to work with a smaller, more tightly knit group. It was from these beginnings that the first From Scratch group formed. Since then the innovative performing group has been through several incarnations involving many musicians who have had a major influence on other areas of New Zealand music, film and culture: for example, Don McGlashan of The Front Lawn and the Muttonbirds (and also a NZ Arts Foundation Laureate), acclaimed author and journalist Geoff Chapple, Wayne Laird of Atoll Records fame and composers Peter Scholes and Neville Hall.
For many Kiwis, From Scratch is most memorable for their racks of PVC pipe being played with rubber 'jandals'.
The sonic sources were actually far broader and included metal bells, pipes and gongs, cymbals, rototom drums, chime rattle-jackets, spun drones,tuned-tongue bamboos and vocalisations. “I’ve always been attracted by low-tech sound sources,” Phil explains. “In the process of devising and editing sounds for the video installations, I invariably develop sound content with whatever’s available and appropriate, such as the invented instruments. I enjoy exploring the potential for giving different voicings to a sound, but in essence I like to retain a physical connection to the original sound source.
“The instruments of From Scratch have a unique sculptural character with each ‘station’ involving a complementary
range of sonic materials and timbres - metal, wood, skin, PVC, stone etc... “Particular instruments may have parallels with instruments of other cultures, but they were given an industrial twist - PVC instead of bamboo, and so on. Parallels could also be drawn between the rhythmic language we were evolving with the music of some traditional cultures, although this was not a conscious thing at the time. The layering of rhythmic cells into polyphonic and polyrhythmic textures for example, occurs in many Asian, African and Pacific cultures producing a rhythmic style known as hocketing in the West.
“In a sense, our music dealt with concepts of expression that are inherently human. I have always been fascinated by parallels between musical phenomenon and the social realm.”
There is certainly an egalitarian character to From Scratch where the equality and the inter-dependence between players observed in a performance is awe inspiring. It represents the epitome of musical experience: the performance whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The music tends towards minimalism - a meditative experience of complex layering in which small changes are constantly making themselves heard, rising and weaving through the aural texture like currents in a stream.
“I was introduced to minimalism through New York writer and art critic Lucy Lippard. Listening to works by Steve Reich and Philip Glass was amazing - quite daunting! I wrote to Steve Reich and sent him some of our work and his response was very generous. He sent me his comments and a whole pile of records! To be honest it was a little intimidating. I thought ‘If I listen to this I’m not going to be able to do anything!’ I had to just put them aside for a couple of years before I could take it in.”
Despite the driving rhythms and high energy output of From Scratch, there is also something austere and focused about the performances. It comes as no surprise then that Phil has for years had a strong interest in comparative religions, in particular Sufi philosophy. A fascinating example of the layered complexity of Phil’s artistry came in 2003 with Vocal Acrobats, his AK(03) Auckland Festival collaboration with Koichi Makigami from Japan and Mark van Tongeren from the Netherlands. The three artists from three corners of the world have each developed their skills in paraphonics - the ability to produce vocal overtones. Each singer can produce multiple tones simultaneously - a fundamental bass tone with one or more fluting harmonic tones above.
"I first learned about the technique from Richard von Sturmer, who learned it from a musician who had worked with film and theatre director Peter Brooks on the film about Gurdjieff called In Search of the Miraculous. I experimented and found a way to produce these vocal overtones specifically for Songs for Unsung Heroes, a piece I devised for From Scratch. Outside of that particular context however, there seemed to be a sense of taboo for me about performing it publicly. Something almost sacred, what Jack Body calls ‘the secret sound’.
“Later, after the film Genghis Blues brought the Tuvan style of throat singing to the general public, I felt a lot more comfortable with performing and developing a personal style. The secular attitude that the Tuvans brought to their music seemed to legitimise an entertainment-linked and intercultural approach.”

A poem from Koichi Makigami puts it beautifully:
to sing a song that is from no country
and at times to lead the voice to the very brink of danger
to play a music that is not too easily reassuring....
to bring forth a song that is full of the joy of living
as an existence which brings surprise....
and from the small vocal-box let a vast paradise be born.

While Phil really enjoys improvisational elements in performance he doesn’t shy away from formal scoring, the ‘marks on paper’ side of music.
“The From Scratch compositions tend to be tightly structured and based around numbers and cyclic rhythmic / melodic patterns. All details were carefully defined, some in a shorthand easily understood by the group.”
Applying a more conventional mode of notation, Phil also wrote Maya - a millennium fanfare for the Auckland Philharmonia. “Actually, it was a ‘Counter-Millennial’ fanfare,” Phil admits with a grin, “as a reaction against this blinkered Western view of world history. There are so many different calendars still in operation around the world - it seemed to me that the Gregorian calendar is a fairly arbitrary imposition on other cultures!”
Rather than being anarchistic however, Phil’s musical work displays a wonderful playfulness. Self designed and created instruments such as the Long String Zitherum, NunDrum and GloopDrum have a Dr Seuss quality to them. Equally, in his video imagery, Phil likes to play with perception often using a WUD (World Upside Down) approach. In his Polar Projects series particularly, this lends a surreal, ambiguous, and almost spiritual quality to the images. The viewer is confronted with images which they can experience and feel but cannot immediately understand. In the same way, his use of sound elements challenge our preconceptions of music and musical instruments. His works and installations are full of visual and aural puns, word games and associations that provoke audiences to see and hear things anew - an approach which some would say, is a definition of Art.
As one reviewer has put it: ‘It has been said that Phil Dadson is as much an explorer as an artist. Or perhaps he reminds us that an artist is - in part - an adventurer eagerly searching out new space and using whatever available tools to translate each discovery.....By removing the clutter of everyday life, Dadson reminds us of the energy that connects us all.’
More information about Phil and his projects can be found on his own website
Other information, recordings and videos can be found through SOUNZ: The Centre for New Zealand Music