Friday, March 17, 2006

The No.8 Wire - Issue 65

Gondwanaland Ministry of Culture
Artists' Information Bureau


An Electronic Alert for 1222 of Wellington's Creative People
COMMUNITY ARTS: See Item 65.78 for upcoming classes, workshops, meetings, and activities at Wellington Arts Centre
ENDNOTE: Asking Poet Robert Haas


Meditation at Lagunitas
by Robert Haas
All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.


An exhibition of fashion design at Wellington Arts Centre Gallery

Nesting birds, x-rays, mosaic tiles, power tools and Jane Austen. These things don't necessarily spring to mind when you are wearing your favourite outfit. However, they may have been the trigger that inspired the design. In this exhibition, upcoming Wellington fashion designers will give you an insight into the inspiration behind their design process.

The exhibition has been co-ordinated by Wellington's Fashion HQ and is on display in the Wellington Arts Centre Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street, from 16 - 24 March.


Seeking expressions of interest from artists who wish to exhibit in the Global Eye Exhibition
27th July to the 13th August 2006


In August 2004, the inaugural Global Eye exhibition was held at Turnbull House as part of Conservation Week. Conservation Week is a nation-wide event held annually by the Department of Conservation to highlight our environment. Global Eye featured works by eleven artists from eleven cultural backgrounds and gave the artists the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings on the environment, and how their cultural roots lend shape to their perspective.

This year we have sought a larger, higher-profile venue to involve more exhibiting artists in Global Eye and to attract a wider and larger audience. Global Eye will showcase art which looks at the environment from a multitude of cultural perspectives, explored through a variety of artistic mediums, provoking thought around what our understanding of our environment is and how our cultural influences contribute to this. In doing so we hope to lead our audience and local communities into taking action for our environment - to preserve and restore it.

Where will the exhibition take place and when?

The exhibition will take place from the 27th July to the 13th August 2006, at Pataka in the Community Gallery. Pataka is a high profile venue with x number of visitors going through its doors daily. A community education programme will be run in conjunction with the exhibition ensuring approximately x number of children will also have the chance to be exposed to your works.

The gallery will be open to the public from 10.00 am until 4.30 pm Monday - Saturday and 11.00 am - 4.30pm on Sundays.

On Sunday 13th August at 4.30 pm at Pataka, a closing reception is planned to thank the artists, to celebrate our environment and Conservation Week and to announce the winner of the exhibition. Dignitaries, invited guests, artists and their family and friends will be invited.

How to register your interest in submitting a painting

We are seeking expressions of interest from artists from the Wellington region, whose work would be 'ready to hang' for the exhibition or is a free-standing sculpture. Submissions of interest will need to be received by April 28th 2006.

The submission process is as follows.
1. If you are interested, then please email me at to register your interest. Please put the following in the 'subject' area 'Submission of interest for Global Eye Exhibition'.
You will then be sent an email stating that your interest has been acknowledged and providing you with details of what you are required to send in submission. This will include:
* a brief on your cultural background and how this has shaped your thoughts, feelings and interactions with the environment;
* the approximate size of your work (both hanging and sculptural works should be no larger than 1m”); and
* a CD or photos of at least 6 pieces of your work.

As the exhibition is to be reflective of a diversity of cultural communities, we will be seeking representation of this. We will consider all submissions of interest. Selected artists will be contacted by email by May 12th 2006. Works will need to be completed and delivered to Pataka on 24th July 2006.

Style of paintings

There are no prescriptive elements other than the stipulating the artwork is a representation of your interactions, their feelings and thoughts on the environment.

Competitive element

Throughout the exhibition the public will be asked to vote for their artwork of choice. The artist who accumulates the most votes will be offered a week's creative residency on Mana Island, which will be announced at the closing reception. The package includes accommodation, travel over to the island and food.

Mana Island is an inspiring environment and has already served as inspiration for a number of artists. It is hoped that this stay will nurture the artist's relationship with the natural environment, and that as a result, the artist will produce work reflecting this.

We hope to find new and interesting ways to connect artists with environmental issues, and are grateful for your interest in this opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you.



NZ On Air audience research has shown that New Zealanders want to see more local comedy, especially sitcoms with characters and storylines that make us laugh. The Comedy Symposium last year also sent a clear message that NZ On Air should foster comedy talent and encourage comedy ideas that reflect the real world.
As NZ On Air develops its Comedy Strategy it is joining with TVNZ in seeking development proposals for a 'broad-appeal' early evening comedy series to screen on TV2.
Concept: A live action, character-based comedy series (think Two and a Half Men) or animation series that has broad appeal.
Target Audience: Primary: 18-39 year olds; Secondary: HHS with Kids
Qualities: PGR censorship, 7:30pm/8:00pm timeslot. Unique. Clever in tone and manner (think Scrubs).The ability to continue as a returning series.
Send your ideas in - we require at least two or three pages - and a subcommittee from TVNZ and NZ On Air will choose the best for development funding.
Proposals should be submitted to Tony Holden, TVNZ, PO Box 3819, Auckland. by Friday 31st March 2006





Greetings from Bahia, Brazil!

The Instituto Sacatar, in conjunction with the UNESCO/Aschberg bursary program, provides two
Fellowships annually to our residency program on the island of Itaparica, Brazil. The bursaries

Roundtrip airfare
Room and board
USD$200.00/month stipend

Applicants must work in the visual arts (painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, etc.) or in the performing arts (theater, puppetry, dance theater, street theater, etc.) and must be citizens of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia or the Pacific Islands. If you are interested, full details are available at You should send your application to the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil; however, the final selection will be made by the UNESCO office in Paris.

To learn more about the Instituto Sacatar, please go to

Please note that there are many other well-funded opportunities available through the UNESCO/Aschberg program.


Taylor Van Horne



Tim Nees Gallery
New Gallery at 2 Blair Street, April 1

Wellington's prestigious Bartley Nees Gallery is set to transform itself into an exciting new artspace - the Tim Nees Gallery.

"The new gallery will remain committed to the promotion and development of high quality work by emerging and established artists working in New Zealand," says owner Tim Nees.

Artists represented by the gallery operate in a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, installation and video.

"The artists represented are all serious practitioners whose work will be of interest to a wide range of both public and private collectors. Many of the artists have been showing with the former gallery, but the Tim Nees Gallery will be introducing a number of new artistsnot seen before in Wellington. "says Nees.

Nees also runs the adjunct space, SOFA (Society of Fashion and Art) which will showcase top New Zealand designers.
Nees is excited about his new ventures and confident that they will add to the vibrancy of the arts and fashion scene in the capital.

"With my architecture, the art, and now fashion, all located in Blair Street, I envisage an exciting and successful future."

The Tim Nees Gallery opens on Saturday 1st April, with a floor talk by Sydney-based photographer Rebecca Shanahan launching the opening of her first New Zealand solo exhibition.

New Zealand-born Shanahan has been based in Australia since 1988 and has widely exhibited photographic, sculpture and installation work throughout Australia. Shanahan's work exhibits a quiet tension between interior and exterior, foreground and background, light and dark. She describes people and spaces with a sensibility that merges with the cinematic.

"A central aim of this work is to invoke photography's relationship with absence and transience," states Shanahan.

"It expresses stillness rather than action in circular or simultaneous rather than linear time."

For more information, please contact:
Nichola Clark
+64 4 801 9795 or +64 4 801 9880
fax +64 4 801 9196




Lucky Sod
Caroline Johnston
Opening Wednesday 15 March 6pm
Artist Talk Thursday 23 March 6pm
16 - 25 March

Lucky Sod sees local artist Caroline Johnston play with ideas relating to the contrived organisation of nature and how this is manifested in home gardens. Her floor work installation will combine a real tree trunk and root system with more synthetic materials and gardening implements. Lucky Sod's investigation of the uncanny and the suburban day-to-day relationship many New Zealanders have with nature has the feeling of being both menacing and alluring.

Caroline Johnston is a BFA graduate from Massey University, Wellington. She has recently had her work included in such exhibitions as How to be a friend: New Wellington Artists at the Hirschfeld gallery, Wellington, and Models for a new community, Canary Gallery, Auckland.

Seminar Series

Information Station, a reading corner made up of books, magazines, articles, reviews, publications, zines, and other reference material will turn engaging with words into a bilateral work. Running alongside a series of workshops and seminars at Enjoy between March 28-April 7, internet access in the reading corner will also allow visitors to browse a selection of book-marked art-related sites recommended by local and international arts professionals. With a 'staff-picks' slant minus the pressure to buy, and no 'skip the exhibition-just read the theory' mentality encouraged, Enjoy will offer a range of written discourses available to be read on location in this site-specific library.
In order to make the Information Station happen we need your help! If you are willing to lend us your books, articles, magazines, zines, reviews, catalogues, essays or other art publications we want to hear from you.
Please contact
Andrea at to arrange a time for collection or alternatively drop them off during gallery hours with your name, phone number and book list so we can return them at the end of the project.

Call for interest

As part of Enjoy's seminar and workshop series we will be hosting a number of forums and floortalks aimed at artists and arts professionals.
On Friday the 31 March a session will be run on Documentation.
Saturday the 1 April will look at Utilisation of Websites.
Friday the 7 April sees a panel discussion on Working with the Media.
All workshops will run from 2-5pm.
Please email us any questions or suggestions you may have concerning these topics. We want to know your desires and frustrations relating to the above topics so that you can gain the most from our speakers. To register your interest in attending please email Andrea at

Enjoy's five year retrospective catalogue is on sale now. Contact the gallery to find out how you can get your limited edition copy

Enjoy Public Art Gallery
Level 1, 147 Cuba Street

P: 04 384 0174



From Tree-Trunk to Table

Tree felling in an art gallery?
It's not a normal idea, but it is one that will happen this month, thanks to UK designers Alex Rich and Michael Marriott.

The renowned furniture and graphic designers will be in Auckland from March 13 at UNITEC and AUT, and in Wellington from March 25 at Massey. Their visit has been made possible by British Council.

Both are known for their DIY aesthetic, often using found or recycled items. In New Zealand they are taking this to extremes installing a 16.8m radiata pine at St Paul Street Gallery, and developing works from this piece.

Michael Marriott says "It's our first visit to New Zealand and we fell quickly to the World Wide Web and discovered that logging is one of the three biggest industries".

"We're interested in the connection between industry and design and in reaching out to a wider audience than just furniture and graphic designers, so this is a perfect theme for us".

Designers' talks, and public sessions in both Auckland and Wellington, will give an insight into Marriott and Rich's creative process. Public exhibitions are also scheduled at St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, and at Massey University, Wellington.

In both centres, students and the wider design community will get the chance to interact with the two designers, both of whom are also accomplished teachers. Heather Galbraith, Senior Curator, City Gallery, Wellington, originated this exhibition idea. She says "These two are generous collaborators and inspirational individual practitioners while still sharing a real modesty about what they do".

Anna Cameron, Arts and Creative Industries Manager at British Council says "I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when these two hit town. This project is kooky and I've had a lot of fun dealing with Michael and Alex - they are very exciting designers who will bring new perspectives on a rich and diverse New Zealand design scene".

Confirmed Dates

13-23 March, Residency, School of Design, UNITEC, Auckland
23 March, 5.30pm Exhibition opens at St Paul Street Gallery, AUT, Auckland. Public Event.
24 March, 12pm Designers Talk at St Paul Street Gallery, AUT, Auckland
26 March, 2pm, Public Talk, City Gallery, Wellington
27-31 March, Residency coordinated by Litmus, Massey University, Wellington
31 March, Public Event, Massey University Wellington

For more information contact:
British Council
Ph (04) 924 2843 / 021 244 2054



This week you can experience

Friday 17th: Spartacus R - local low-pace prebblic psychedelic rock legends
and The Night Show - a band including Danny Brady (thought creature) and others

Saturday 18th: Jens Lekman - a pop star from Sweden
and Laurence Arabia - the man who fronts Auckland's The Reduction Agents
and plays with Ryan McFun's band The Ruby Suns
you can get tickets at real groovy and slowboat for this one.

Who else can stitch together the spirits of Morrissey, Scott Walker, and Stephen Merritt with such panache, while ripping samples directly from Arab Strap, Television Personalities and Belle & Sebastian, all the while creating something entirely original and extraordinary? Nobody. This Swedish minstrel has been making indie waves across the globe for a couple of years now, and it's time we took note. Lekman melds the crooning sadness of yesteryear with upbeat and genius musique - pasted together to create something entirely new... be it a ukelele ballad sung in Spanish, or an electronic dance party over the Beach Boys 'Barbara Ann'...this is Jens Lekman

Following the release of his latest record 'Oh You're So Silent Jens', Jens Lekman is set to play a few select shows in NZ for the first time ever!

Saturday 18th March @ Happy, Wellington

featuring support from Lawrence Arabia (the Reduction Agents).

Sunday 19th: Jahve Köhlewaller Trio - a Danish Pianist.

And the Following Week:

Tuesday 21st: Acoustic Pioneers - See and hear Dre Lamb groove from his hip, Jesse Moss play truth music and Michaela Manley sing haunting tales in the relaunch of the pioneer coffee lounge show in yet another venue that does not sell coffee.

Wednesday 22nd: Solo Flight: Telepathic Kitty - Achilles Botes from Ghostplane
Jeremy Taylor - actually i'm not sure who this guy is, but i'm assured he's good
and Connan - without his moccasins

Thursday and Friday Ned Collette from Melbourne band City City City - 2 nights with Ned, aren't you lucky!
Thursday 23rd: with Leila Adu and her band
and Black Bart and The Cow Girl - Rosie, Eva and Xena
Friday 24th: with Luke Buda of The Phoenix Foundation promotes his new album with his other band and Laurence Arabia - the man who fronts Auckland's The Reduction Agents and plays with Ryan McFun's band The Ruby Suns.

Saturday 25th: Attack of the Killer 2 Piece: featuring LD-3, Volcana and Cherry

Sunday 26th: Thebis Mutante and the Liberace Orchestra

In the not too distant future expect to see:
Harriet and the Matches, Food, The Chandeliers, a Nick vanDijk band and Thought Creature

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


13-19 March


Lunchtimes during the 2006 New Zealand International Arts Festival, 12.30-1pm

Free 30 minute lunchtime exhibition tours to tickle your tastebuds, every weekday during the Festival (Mon 27 Feb - Fri 17 March). Enjoy the insights of City Gallery Wellington curators and educators as they offer you their unique takes on 'Patricia Piccinini-In Another Life' and 'Michael Smither-The Wonder Years'. Tours alternate daily, so pick a date, grab a mate and come down to the Gallery for a midday art feast.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12.30-1pm: 'Patricia Piccinini-In Another Life'
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12.30-1pm: 'Michael Smither-The Wonder Years'

A full programme listing the guest tour guides is available at

Friday 17 March, 1.10pm
Smoke Signal brings together the work of three Wellington artists: mixed media artist Terry Urbahn, recent Massey University graduate Murray Hewitt, and photographer Gavin Hipkins. The works in this exhibition explore the great outdoors; where mystical meanderings and 'boys' own' adventures meet with quirky, theatrical and, at times, sinister undertones. Join artists Terry Urbahn and Murray Hewitt and Michael Hirschfeld Gallery Curator Sarah Farrar for a lunchtime look at Smoke Signal on the opening day of the exhibition.

Sunday 19 March, 2pm
German art publisher Christoph Keller, the founder and former director of Revolver - Archiv für aktuelle Kunst in Frankfurt and the curator of KIOSK, is visiting New Zealand. Keller will talk on independent publishing, its mechanics, structures, economy, and about his work with the publishing house Revolver and KIOSK.
KIOSK - Modes of Multiplication is a travelling archive of independent publishing projects on contemporary art compiled since 2001. Currently comprising more than 4000 publications KIOSK is now landing in New Zealand, its first stop outside Europe. The exhibition will be on at ARTSPACE (Auckland) then travel to the Physics Room (Christchurch).
Presented in partnership with ARTSPACE International Visitors Programme. Supported by Creative New Zealand, the Goethe Institute and the Physics Room.


Saturday 25 March, 2pm
Ron Brownson, curator of the exhibition Michael Smither-The Wonder Years discusses the artist's innovative approach to realism.

Current exhibitions:


19 FEBRUARY - 11 JUNE 2006

Patricia Piccinini is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists, internationally renowned for her provocative yet deeply considered practice. City Gallery Wellington is excited to be mounting Piccinini's first solo exhibition in New Zealand. Piccinini's work examines relationships between humans, animals and machines, between the natural and the artificial and the cross-over between these categories. This exhibition at City Gallery Wellington is a challenging, often dead-pan, look at the tangle of questions that surround genetics and biodiversity, and the interface between science and fantasy. Encompassing sculpture, photographs and video, the show includes Piccinini's major new body of work Nature's Little Helpers 2005; the video work When my baby (when my baby); two sculptures (Cyclepups 2005 and Truck Babies 1999) which playfully propose a stage of infancy for machines; plus a hybrid tyre/creature Radial, 2005 and major work The Young Family 2002-2003, which was part of Piccinini's presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2003.



19 February - 5 June 2006

Michael Smither is one of New Zealand's most renowned and respected artists. His painting is often deeply personal and autobiographical, delving into the domestic landscapes and outside environments of his daily life. 'Michael Smither - The Wonder Years' - the first major exhibition of his work since 1984 - focuses on the incredibly productive period between 1962 - 1979, when the artist was living in his home town of New Plymouth. The exhibition includes Smither's well-known landscape paintings and works inspired by his domestic life and family, as well as key paintings exploring political and religious subjects. The works, with their jewel-like colours and smooth glassy surfaces, are a visual feast. They are also conceptually challenging, engaging the viewer with questions about environmentalism, ecology, faith and family relationships.


Alexander Bisley
Communications Co-ordinator (/Project Co-ordinator)
City Gallery Wellington
Civic Square
PO Box 2199
New Zealand

Tel. 64 4 801 3959
Fax. 64 4 801 3096



Special addition - An extra session with Robert Fisk

Due to popular demand the New Zealand International Arts Festival is pleased to announce an additional session with celebrated and controversial reporter on the Middle East Robert Fisk, as part of the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week.

The 50 minute session will be held on Friday 17 March, 5pm at Wellington's Embassy Theatre and chaired by Radio New Zealand journalist Sean Plunket.

Tickets will be available from 9am Tuesday 14 March at Ticketek or online Tickets cost $18 for members of the public or $16 for Friends / Concession Pass holders.



I would like to let you know about some very special events we have just confirmed for March. First up, we are very proud to announce that internationally reknowned journalist Robert Fisk will be presenting one screening only of his three part documentary From Beirut to Bosnia. This screening will be on Sunday March 19th at 2pm and tickets are on sale, and selling very fast, now.
Secondly, I would like to let you know about Glycerine, a programme of locally made short films that will run monthly at the Paramount from March 22nd. This one hour programme gives local film makers an opportunity to screen their films to an audience and talk about them. The sessions will be at 6.30 and 7.30pm, and tickets are on sale now.
On March 29th, in conjuctions with the Climate Change Conference being held in Wellington, we will be hosting a night of films about environmental issues relating to climate change. There will also be a talk by British cilmate change expert David Vaughn. The films to be screened are: Emission Impossible, The Big Chill (I'm guessing not the '80s ensemble film that everyone has the soundtrack from) and Day the Ocean Boiled. The programme begins at 6.30pm and tickets are on sale now from the Paramount.
I look forward to seeing you at the Paramount.

See for schedule and details



"New Zealand Summer Holiday"
OPENING NIGHT - 5pm to 8pm Friday 31 March

Gallery open 11am to 5pm on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April
Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St.



...two new exhibitions:

Siren Maclaine - The Sensualist Project

Sue Denholm - Bin there, done that

The exhibitions run until 8th April. See

The Americana Post 9/11 exhibition (see finishes at 3pm Saturday 11th March.

James Gilberd
Photospace studio/gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place
Wellington, New Zealand
(postal address: as above)
ph/fax: 64-4-382 9502
cell: 027 444 3899
Gallery hours: 10-4.30 Monday-Friday
11-3 Saturdays, closed public holidays



From the Ghost Nation to the Shaky Isles - LAURIE DUGGAN

Australian poet Laurie Duggan will appear at City Gallery Wellington at 12.10 pm on Monday 27 March in a one-off Writers on Mondays event presented by the International Institute of Modern Letters, in association with City Gallery.

Born in Melbourne but lately based in Brisbane, Laurie Duggan is a leading Australian poet whose Selected Poems was recently published in Great Britain by Shearsman books ( He has read in New Zealand once previously, as a guest at the 1992 Writers and Readers Week--a visit which prompted his much celebrated sequence of poems 'Judder Bars'. An undisputed highlight of that festival, Duggan's poem '(Do) The Modernism' had the literary audience dancing in the aisles:

Well you heard all about the New Romance now I'm gonna show you all a different dance it shakes up the metre like light from a prism and the name of the dance is the Modernism...

As well as being one of the hippest and liveliest of contemporary poets, Duggan is also a consummate technician, producing epigrams, odes and a classic meditation on Australian regional history, the epic poem The Ash Range, which was published by Picador in 1987 and was republished in the UK last year.

Duggan has also written extensively on the visual arts and his cultural history Ghost Nation: Imagined Space and Australian Visual Culture appeared from University of Queensland Press in 2001. He contributed an essay about Peter Black's photography to City Gallery Wellington's 2003 publication Peter Black; Real Fiction.

Laurie Duggan will be introduced by poet, general cultural roustabout and City Gallery Wellington curator Gregory O'Brien. He appears thanks to Griffith University

Open to the public and free of charge!

For further information contact
Chris Price, International Institute of Modern Letters
Tracey Monastra, City Gallery Wellington
04 801 4241)



Dear Friends of Brazil,

It is a great pleasure to invite you to our 2006 Season of Movies at the Embassy, which will have its first session on 29th March, 2006, at 6pm (refreshments from 5:30).

The first film we will be showing is "Madame Satã", directed by Karim Aïnouz, starring Lázaro Ramos (The Man Who Copied, "Carandiru"). This movie has been previously shown in New Zealand for a short period of time. Since it is an outstanding and awards winning production, we thought it deserved to be included on our program...

By the way, since we are talking about the program, please note that we have decided to print a booklet with information on the movies and dates for the whole 2006 season. The electronic version of the program is attached to this message. Please, have a look! If you would also like to receive its printed version, please email us with your postal address.

The movies (in DVD format) are shown here at the Embassy (10 Brandon Street - Deloitte House, Level 9, Wellington), on our 52'' TV screen. They are in Portuguese with English subtitles.

Since we do not boast a special room (auditorium-like) for viewing, and since the space is very limited (35 seats only) this free DVD screening will have to follow the rule of "first come, first served". This means that if you are interested, you need to call and reserve your seat. Access to the Embassy will be restricted to those whose name appear on the reservation list.

For reservations, please call (04) 473 3516 and ask to speak with Lígia Verdi or Leandro Cavalcanti.



The 2006 Date Palm Film Festival will be held in September in Wellington and either or both of Auckland & Christchurch, this will depend on funding and support. The Date Palm Film Festival deputed in Wellington in 2003 at the Paramount Theatre. The Festival aims to bring to New Zealand some of the best films available from Morocco to Iran, both feature and documentary.

David Parmenter and myself recently attended film festivals in Dubai and Tehran, viewing films for the 2006 Festival. We are very excited about the films we have short-listed.

Wellington dates are 6-13 September 2006, Paramount.

Films from the Date Palm region currently showing

"From Beirut to Bosnia " featuring Robert Fisk on the Middle East, if you haven't already got a ticket for his film screening on Sunday you'd better get down to the Paramount ASAP.

"Paradise Now" at Rialto straight from the Oscars

"Turtles can Fly" at the Lighthouse

In the meantime if you want to help out please contact us, we are also in desperate need to find an auditor who can audit our accounts so we can continue applying for much needed funding.

Thank you to those who have written in with suggestions and information on new films being released, we welcome your feedback.

Nadra Zarifeh
Festival Director
Date Palm Film Festival
Cultural Awareness Trust
PO Box 11-494


Lee Weng Choy
Art critic and artistic co-director of The Substation arts centre in Singapore and Art History's inaugural Clark Collection Critic/Curator-in-Residence

Coincidence and Relation: Art Criticism and Heartbreak
How does one make sense of the art of our time? The rise of contemporary art from the Asia-Pacific has been characterized by an unbalanced proportion between the production of spectacles and events in contrast with the development of critical discourses and reflection. While there is already a substantial and diverse body of writing on contemporary art from the region, this work remains largely uncollated, insufficiently analysed and poorly disseminated. So how would one anthologize this writing? Such a project raises all sorts of questions about the selection and canonization of artists and art writers. For instance, what exactly are the relations between contemporaries? How can one compare an artwork or text from New Zealand with those from Singapore? What problems attend the fact that much of the writing from the region is by locals commenting on their respective 'backyards'? And what are the implications for such writing of the kind of criticism Weng Choy advocates, that aims to speak to art as personally, passionately and honestly as possible, with the insistence: 'I happen to live here now'?
Join Weng Choy to discuss these important issues and to hear what he has to say about his own practice as an art writer in the Asia-Pacific region. This workshop is open to staff and postgraduate students of tertiary institutions and to art writers, curators and other arts professionals.

2pm - 5pm Friday 24 March
Wood Seminar Room, Level 5, Old Kirk Building, Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
Please contact Tina Barton (04 463 5804, or
Pippa Wisheart (04 463 5800, to confirm your attendance, by Wednesday 22 March 2006. Places are limited.



Salsadrome & Tango Bar this Friday 17 March 2006 Salsadrome is back for it;s second showing of 2006. We'd all love to see you back there keeping latin sounds going strong in the capital.

Friday March 17th with DJ Fiesta (Jackie).

Tango lesson at 7:30pm with Roberto and Joanna, Salsa lesson at 8:30 with Jackie and Oliver....scorching hot latin sounds by our DJs from 9pm Sudio numero uno. Tango Bar open from 8:30. DJing in the Tango Room we've got Jazzy Jeff from 10pm and before that from 8:30-10pm a tango aficianado from way back DJ Azúcar

Goes till late. Still only $8.

Wellington performing Arts Centre.
36-42 Vivian St

Comming up don't miss :

Clave Latina
Next gig Friday March 24 at Latinos. With special guest performance from

Fresh from two great gigs for Frankie Stevens' Summer Hummer events in Upper Hutt and Wairarapa a brand new extended and exciting line up:

Features Roberto Rodriguez on vocals/Tres and increased brass section featuring Matt Hitti of the USA and New Zealand's own Vaughn Roberts.

If you've been around the Wellington performing arts centre on a Monday or Thursday night and heard the full band practice, you'll know the next gig is going to be something special, don't miss it!.

This new line up packs an even greater punch!

The Salsadrome crew.



WCC sing with great energy and vitality as they perform vocal music from around the world. Their performances mix traditional approaches and modern arrangements and included in their repertoire are songs of praise and protest from South Africa, village songs from Bulgaria and Georgia, Hebrew melodies and folk music from the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. The choir performs a cappella or accompanied by instrumentalists including African percussion and enjoys enhancing the music with movement and dance. Direct communication with people's musical sensitivity and the celebration of diversity are key features of the community choir, aiming at times to break down formal barriers between performers and audience through the use of shared actions and participatory songs.

For more information regarding the choir's repertoire, fees and availability please contact the musical director, Julian Raphael.

Telephone: 021 0767570
Post: PO Box 17-316, Wellington





m u i
by katlyn wong
produced by behind the nightlight
Where delusions collide in an intimate & vivid theatrical experience...

"Katlyn's devised work challenges cross cultural cliché and easy
exotification, effortlessly bilingual, potently charismatic- the real 21
Century Chinese Women we need to see on stage." Tze Ming Mok - writer editor
for Landfall

BATS Theatre season, 6 - 13 April
Time 9pm
Waged $16 Conc. $12 Group bookings 10+ $12
Bookings 04 802 4175

m u i - will be in Cantonese supported with subtitles and English.
Katlyn creates multiple characters and speaks in all the voices, all
accents, flawlessly -because it is her first language, her own voice. Katlyn
's emotional integrity as a performer, engages with an audience in a unique
culturally enlightening insight into the background of this Chinese New

Katlyn explores the themes of time, delusions, dreams and family by devising
firstly in Cantonese. This contemporary work delves into the mainstream
culture that has created the junk/s- upon which Chinese women are
stereotyped. The benefit of developing her first solo full-length work is
for her own development as an artist and the extension of her performance
style creating a wider range than the clichéd roles that exist in the
mainstream at the moment.

Lighting by Martyn Roberts
Martyn has been prolifically creating light for such diverse productions as
The Cherry Orchard and Copenhagen at Circa Theatre, Albert Speer at BATS to
dance works when Love comes calling and White for Raewyn Hill. He created
the light design for the stage spectacular Maui - one man against the Gods
for Tanemauta Gray. Nominated 10 times at the prestigious Chapman Tripp
Awards for his work, Martyn has built a reputation for innovative and
exciting design. His latest design is for Dr Buller's Birds for the 2006
Festival of the Arts. AV and visuals by Bret Skinner
Producer and media Alana Spragg- behind the nightlight
Contact Cell : 021 576775 hm 04 383 6774 email


(for those who would rather have a nice lie down...)
Wednesday 29th March
7.30pm, Katipo Cafe
76 Willis St (next to New World Metro)
with Happy Hour @ the bar!
Tickets $10 for Bookings call LORRAINE ph: 385 6085
or e-mail



Noisy Shadows, a play written by Branwen Millar (Wellingtonian of the Year, 2001) and directed by Rachel Lenart (Bouncing With Billie, Theatre Militia's Symposium), makes its New Zealand debut at BATS Theatre from 21st - 25th of March. Millar and Lenart are joined by collaborators from all over the Wellington theatre community including key players from Theatre Militia, a recent Toi Whakaari graduate, Victoria University theatre graduates, sound designer Emile De La Rey and two theatrically trained Posties.
Noisy Shadows is an existential, evocative piece of writing that explores our relationship with the media and the comparatively frivolous inner despair of the individual amidst global chaos. Carlie (Sarah Hampton) searches for the event that will change her life, while Jen (Tania Nolan) provoked by an obsession with current events, tries to reconcile her desolate world views when a personal tragedy forces her to reassess all she thought she knew. Robbie (Simon Smith) provides insight, depth and support and Curtis (Nathan Buller) finds change easier than he expected. Director Rachel Lenart says, "The play evolves with a fluidity and grace that is compelling. Millar's text is intelligent, thought provoking and informative without ever becoming didactic. Her work resonates deeply with truth, delicacy and humanity."
Millar composed Noisy Shadows while on a student exchange at the University of Santa Barbara last year. The play was performed in California to sell out seasons and critical acclaim. Beating ninety scripts from the Californian region, the play was awarded the Dorothy E Corwin Award for Best New Play, the first time this award had been presented to a non-American. This show has since been developed and adapted to suit and entice a New Zealand audience.
Noisy Shadows fuses both naturalistic and absurd performance styles with surreal, stylised design. Expect beautiful, truthful performances, stunning visuals, spectacular sounds and plenty of peanuts
On Tania Nolan in The Play About the Baby - "Tania Nolan gives a beautifully nuanced performance... both seductive and motherly." - Lynn Freeman, Capital Times
On Simon Smith in Despatch - "...the enigmatic villain, chillingly portrayed by Simon Smith..." - Lynn Freeman, Capital Times
On Theatre Militia - " Producer Aimee Froud and director Rachel Lenart ensure the show prances on a solid foundation of research, intelligence and insightful humour. Their team is fully-aligned." - John Smythe, National Business Review
On Noisy Shadows - "Amazing! Vibrant, original and theatrically inventive. This is the voice of a new generation of playwrights."- Santa Barbara News-Press, California

What: Noisy Shadows by Branwen Millar
When: 21-25 March 2006, 8pm
Where: BATS Theatre
1 Kent Terrace
Cost: $16/ $12
Phone: (04) 8024175 to book





Co-ordinator to promote and market the print, hire and copyright catalogues of Promethean Editions, including the works of Christos Hatzis, Gareth Farr and John Psathas, and to assist the Group Managing Director with day-to-day administration of the Group. This is a part time position: 15-20 hours per week.

We are looking for applicants who have:
* A Bachelors degree (B.A. or B.Mus.) or higher in classical music-related studies (composition, performance or musicology);
* A sound knowledge and understanding of the principles of music notation;
* An appreciation for contemporary classical music and composers;
* Excellent oral and written communication skills;
* The ability to organise work effectively, identify key work priorities and work under pressure in order to meet print and project deadlines;
* A working knowledge of computers, preferably Mac OS, and experience with the Internet;
* An attention to and an eye for detail; and
* A high level of initiative and determination to push personal boundaries to achieve new goals.

A detailed job description is available from Ross Hendy:

Please send your CV and a covering letter by 29 March 2006 to: Ross Hendy, PO Box 10-143, Wellington, New Zealand or .

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed in early April.



The AMP Scholarship Programme was established in 1998 and since that time over 50 Scholarships have been awarded to ordinary New Zealanders who are achieving extraordinary things.
Previous recipients range from glass artists and scientists to ballet dancers and actors. However, the one thing each of these individuals has in common is a determination to turn their dreams into reality.
The AMP Scholarship Programme rewards those with courage, passion, determination and commitment - those who aspire to live life to the full. They must not only have the ability, but also the ambition to achieve their chosen goal no matter what obstacles may be in their path.
Up to 12 AMP Scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded each year and up to two AMP Premium Scholarships of up to $25,000 are awarded over two years. Premium Scholarship winners are selected from the AMP Scholarship recipients.*
Applications are now open for the AMP Scholarship Programme 2006. So, what are you waiting for?



David Morrah is currently looking for cast and crew for his short film Checking Inn, a 12 minute comedy set in Wellington. Unfortunately, he is unable to offer money, however full catering will be provided. Shooting is set to occur Queen's Birthday Weekend (Saturday 3 June-Monday 5 June) and the weekend after (Saturday 11-Sunday 12 June). Roles needed include:

* DOP, camera operator, camera assistant, gaffer, art director, wardrobe, production manager, sound editor, composer

Cast required:

* Steven Lucky, mid 30s to early 40s, arrogant motel manager

* Albert, mid 30s to early 40s, friendly salesman with a heart of gold

* Philip, early 30s to late 30s, dodgy salesman

People interested should contact David on 027 316 7469 / 475-3719 or email him at



South Project focuses on Latin America.
Symposium, exhibitions and workshops scheduled for October 2006

The South Project will be hosting its third Gathering in Santiago, Chile, from the 3-6 October 2006. Following on from the success of the Wellington Gathering, which focused on the Pacific, the South Project has turned its attention to Latin America, before heading to South Africa in 2007. The Gathering will feature a symposium titled Culture and Politics in Times of the South, as well as two exhibitions, performances and workshops.

The South Project is now receiving expressions of interest for participation in the Gathering. All submissions must be received by the 28 April 2006. Submissions will be accepted for potential presentations, performances and workshops in response to the themes of the Gathering.

DAY ONE: The first day examines the shift that has occurred in the twenty-first century, as old battles have been won and new sites of struggle emerge. Generations in exile have returned home, but is home now itself a form of exile from a real sense of place? What now? Is economic growth now the main priority of the south?

DAY TWO: The second day explores ways of reconnecting the world, particularly through forms of artistic practice that operate outside the gallery structure. Many artists have found dialogue between active audience and aesthetics to be an important framework for public engagement. What are the alternative forms of creative practice that enable art to make a difference in the broader society?

DAY THREE: The final day gathers alternatives together to consider ways that art can operate autonomously outside the market, independently of the rich prizes offered by the north. This is an opportunity to touch on the nature of south-south collaboration and to question the subsequent relationship of north and south. Where to? How can the south provide alternative forms of recognition to the fame of Paris, London and New York ?

Make the Common Precious - curated by Kevin Murray, Director, Craft Victoria.
Make the Common Precious is an exhibition of 'poor craft' featuring contemporary craft /object art by indigenous and non-indigenous makers across Australia. 'Poor craft' is a movement for the revitalisation of making through the use of found materials. It relates to the poetry of Pablo Neruda and movements such as arte povera and poor theatre.

Looking Sideways (working title) - curated by Zara Stanhope (Aus) and Danae Mossman (NZ).
Response and experience based artists from Australia and New Zealand focusing on notions of traffic - ideas, active audience, in situ interventions and site specific works with a local strong research component.

The South Project
@ Craft Victoria
31 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000
Victoria Australia
tel. +61 3 9650 7775
fax +61 3 9650 5688



Check out SUBMISSIONS now to submit your work to the Arts Channel, currently broadcasting on SKY Channel 59
Arts Channel are seeking film, short film, documentaries, performance and concert recordings and mixed media now.

To find out more about what the Arts Channel are up to, including their recent boost in local programming simply sign on and you will be kept up to date with Monthly E-newsletter Highlights and Special Deals.



NZ On Air Innovation Initiative 2006

NZ On Air is seeking ideas from the production community for approximately 8 hours of innovative programming for broadcast on a national free-to-air network. Both TVNZ and TV3 are keen to support this initiative. A total of $700,000 has been set aside for INNOVATION in the 2005/2006 financial year.

NZ On Air and the broadcasters would like to see exciting, challenging and entertaining ideas presented in innovative and original ways. Proposals are invited from experienced practitioners, or new entrants may choose to take this opportunity to present their idea(s), or team up with an experienced producer. Proposals may be genre specific or mix and match or cross traditional genres. They may show old ideas in a way that enables an audience to see them as startlingly different or they may show new ideas in a tried and true format. The key question must be what is going to attract, satisfy and surprise a broad audience. Some criteria to keep in mind are:

* Originality of concept and treatment
* Innovative delivery of structure
* Exciting new use of technology
* Providing a new experience for a main stream audience
* Risk taking in the treatment of the subject
* Showing us, as New Zealanders, ourselves in a new light.

When screened (and archived) the programmes produced under this initiative will provide a fresh insight into New Zealand's current identity and culture.

Broadcasters are keen to encourage Programmes that can screen in a prime time, or edge of prime time slot. And Producers will need to satisfy NZ On Air and the relevant broadcasters that they can deliver on their proposal.

Proposals will be considered at the NZ On Air Board Meeting in June 2006. Submissions should be sent to NZ On Air and the relevant free-to-air broadcaster clearly marked INNOVATION 2006 before the deadline of Thursday 18 May 2006. Completed NZ On Air and Network application forms must be included. Send one copy of your proposal to the broadcaster and one to NZ On Air.

Proposals that identify funding from other sources will be considered so long as it can be demonstrated that the 'New Zealand nature' of the project is not compromised. Enquiries and proposals to:

Tony Holden, TVNZ, PO Box 3819, Auckland. OR Kelly Martin, TV3, Private Bag 92624, Symonds Street, Auckland. AND The Television Manager, c/- Teresa Tito, NZ On Air, Level 2, 54-56 Cambridge Tce., PO Box 9744, Wellington.

Last year NZ On Air received twenty seven proposals for its INNOVATION INITIATIVE. The proposals were considered by NZ On Air and the relevant broadcasters, TVNZ, TV3 and Prime Each broadcaster supported a proposal and after careful consideration NZ On Air decided to fund The Pretender, a mockumentary series based on the 2005 election for broadcast during the six weeks leading up to the election on TV3. The series proved highly successful and NZ On Air now takes pleasure in inviting proposals for INNOVATION 2006.



Community connects us; it is what we all have in common. Shared spaces, experiences, resources, and relationships are what form a community. A vibrant and engaging community fuels reflection and exploration of ourselves as individuals within a society / culture.

We value ROAR! gallery as a community of people who can share ideas, grow together and respond to each other. It is a space for the discussion of what's important to our specific community and as a vehicle for change and reflection.

Pablos Studio and Roar! Gallery together form a community, which is an organic and developing entity. They inform each others purpose and practice and have a responsibility to each other. This community only exists because of the people who come together as individuals to make up the sum total of its parts.

We promote Outsider Art, which, by its definition is outside society and therefore community in some way. In this show we are interested in exploring the alternative communities which may be built up because of or in spite of this situation. Loose artistic communities, sewing circles, quilt making groups, friends, churches, are all examples of communities which we may build up ourselves in order to support artistic practice and the integration of that into everyday life. We are also interested in looking at the effects or inspiration which may result from a community being non-inclusive to certain elements. Art-making being in some ways such a solitary activity, how much does it operate in isolation and how can it be seen to be part of a community? What effects do art-making have on the community around us? How could art-making effect the communities we live in, and does it play any role in us building alternative communities to promote our practice?

We are open to interpretation of the theme, collaborations, group works, work where the ways in which what you make connects with someone else's work, pass it on drawings...............or works which look at community as a subject to be explored.

We are looking for work which engages with the idea of community either in making, process or subject.

This show will run on a proposals basis, which should be sent to the gallery by 20th March. You are welcome to ring to discuss ideas.

Please feel free to contact the gallery manager, Sian Torrington for any further information on 04-3857602 or

The Fine Print...

This is a group show and will operate by each artist paying $35.00 to be part of the show. ROAR! Gallery charges 30% commission on any work sold.

Your work needs to be finished and submitted to the gallery by: Wed 10th May

The exhibition opening will be on: Thursday 18th May

The exhibition will run from 17th May till 4th June

Your work if not sold will need to be collected from the gallery by: All work will be taken down on Sunday 4th June and then you can come through on the Wednesday 7th to pick up.



Using your proven curatorial experience and skills you will work with the Senior Curator as part of the Wellington City Gallery's Curatorial team. You will develop programmes which make contemporary art works and exhibitions accessible to a wide audience. As well you will provide and co-ordinate curatorial, interpretation and extension services relating to exhibitions and events at the Gallery.

You'll develop and curate exhibitions and publications; co-ordinate support materials and programmes - such as film and video programmes and gallery tours, to ensure that exhibitions reach the widest possible audiences.

Local and national liaison with artists, museums, galleries, educational and community agencies will ensure you keep up with research activities and developments in contemporary art.

We would welcome applications from candidates with key areas of expertise in two or more of the following: contemporary New Zealand art, 20th century and contemporary Maori art, architecture and design.

For a copy of the job description please contact:
Amy Schulz, Gallery Administrator, City Gallery Wellington, P O Box 2199, Wellington.
Telephone: 04 801 3021



A Curate-Your-Own Museum Web Site
By Linda Hales
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 11

The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is about to take its Web site where no museum has gone before.
Where that is isn't absolutely clear, but it merits getting excited about. The so-called "online national design museum" promises to open the museum and its vast collection to visitors anywhere in the world. What's more, if development can keep up with vision, the site will turn museumgoers into participants in a bold cultural experiment.

Read more







By Charles Storch
Chicago Tribune
March 16, 2006

Executive directors of non-profits apparently are a disgruntled lot. Frustrated with their boards for being disengaged or unsupportive and irritated with foundations for their changing priorities, 9 percent of them bolt their jobs every year and 75 percent say they will be gone within five years.

Those are some of the findings of a new report by the CompassPoint research group and the Washington, D.C.-based Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. Based on a survey of 1,932 respondents from Chicago and seven other big U.S. cities, this report, "Daring to Lead," is a follow-up to a survey of the same name published in 2001.

"For anyone who believes that committed and talented executive directors are critical to the success of non-profit organizations, this report offers sobering news," the study states.

It notes that executive directors find many aspects of their careers rewarding -- indeed, most who think of leaving their jobs want to remain in the non-profit sector. Not all departures are voluntary: One in three execs get booted by their boards.

Exacerbating the high-turnover problem is the lack of succession planning at these charities, the report states.

In the survey, executive directors complained of being overworked and underpaid. But they chiefly blamed their sense of burnout on boards and funders.

The survey found that only about a third of leaders thought their boards either challenged them to be more effective, were engaged (particularly in fundraising) or had a good understanding of the executive director's or non-profit field.

"I have to reach out and pretend I want their expertise," said one executive about directors. Another, also quoted anonymously, said: "I find that boards want to do all the wrong things. I don't want them to set policy; they're business people."

Read more,1,7994226.story?coll=chi-leisuretempo-hed



Creativity cult fails to deliver goods
Innovation is about changing why, not how, argues Jacqueline Rowarth

Here is an heretical thought: The focus on creativity and innovation to create wealth is misguided. It has not produced the expected results in economic development over the past decade.

When Edison said "genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration" he was not suggesting he was working hard at being creative or innovative instead he was spending his time and energies trying to understand what he was working on and the problems that were being created.

Jonathan Ive, who reinvented Apple and revolutionised music consumption with the creation of the iPod, agrees.

He says to innovate you have to go back to the materials from which a product is made, and examine the ideas and assumptions that shaped it. You have to ask what it is for, how people use it, and whether you can make the experience nicer. And then you have to pour enormous resources into seeing that through to production.

Ive is truly creative: he changes the way people think. He does this by understanding the domain in which his organisation is operating, articulating the structure and mechanisms operating in that domain, and supporting the search for radical and effective change as a part of everyday business.

Read more



Winner of Adam Portraiture Award announced
The 2006 Adam Portraiture Award, run by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and worth $12,000, was presented last night to 26-year-old Wellington artist Freeman White for his "Portrait of Hans".

The winning portrait was selected from 205 entries by James Holloway, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Mr Holloway says Freeman White's winning painting stood out as a beautifully conceived and painted portrait.

"I really liked the way the artist used paint, both to describe form and in the pleasure he had manipulating it on the canvas," Mr Holloway said.

Mr White's entry is among the smaller entries in the competition, being 25.5cm square. Mr Holloway says it may be small but it shouts quality.

The subject of "Portrait of Hans" is also known to theatre audiences as playwright Ryan McFadyen, who has recently been working as a cabaret artist.

137 of the paintings submitted are on display at Shed 11 in Wellington until April 18. New Zealand Portrait Gallery Director Avenal McKinnon says a selection will travel to Auckland for an exhibition at Lopdell House in Titirangi, beginning in May.

She says negotiations to show the exhibition in South Island locations are underway.

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery operates as a Trust. Its aims include maintaining a multimedia gallery for the portrayal of the people of New Zealand; to provide opportunities to increase public interest in New Zealand's identity through portraiture; and to encourage artists working in any medium to portray the people of New Zealand.



Footnote Dance to feature Raewyn Hill
For the first time, Footnote Dance will present a body of dance work from a single New Zealand choreographer - Raewyn Hill - in Christchurch (6 April), Dunedin (12 April) and Wellington (5 May).

Raewyn Hill is widely recognised as one of New Zealand's most innovative contemporary dance choreographers. Over the past five years, she has developed intriguing short dance pieces that have featured as part of Footnote's repertoire. This year, however, a single programme has been developed dedicated to Hill's work and created especially for Footnote dancers.

The Footnote Forte Season features the return of a Footnote favourite by Hill: "In time of flight" from 2003, performed to music by Nic McGowan. Described by Hill as a pure movement piece with no meaning and no message, "In time of flight" was inspired by Pablo Neruda's poem "To Sadness/II".

Hill's newly commissioned work for Footnote, "Here lies within", builds on her previous explorations of the obsession with physical perfection that surrounds us all in the twenty-first century, manifested through magazines, reality TV and plastic surgery.

Danced to familiar New Zealand tunes by Suzanne Prentice, Ken Lemon, Gareth Farr and Douglas Lilburn's "Canzonas", "Here lies within" explores the notion that society's pursuit and idolisation of physical perfection overrides the more important attribute of inner beauty. Hill's work promises to raise questions about what is acceptable, to set audiences smiling at absurd images of perfection, and to have feet tapping to those well-known melodies.

The Footnote Forte Season will be performed by the current Footnote dancers - Halina Wolyncewicz, Hannah Stannard, Anita Hunziker, Sarah Knox, Lance Riley and Andrew Rusk.

Footnote Dance receives annual funding ($240,000 in 2006) from Creative New Zealand for its programme of activity.

For Wellington and Dunedin bookings contact Ticketek. For Christchurch bookings contact The Court Theatre (Tel: 03-963 0870). Click on the link below for more information about Footnote Dance and the 2006 programme.


What sort of CLOWN are you? Find out on a 2 day workshop run by Aileen Davidson. Aileen has run clown workshops for over 25 years and worked with 100s of people from all walks of life. This clown workshop is for people who want to have fun; &/or want to explore the world of the clown; &/or want to develop their own clown for performance.

Dates/times: Sat 29th April 9.30 - 4.00; Sun 30th April 10.00 - 3.30
Venue: Scout Hall cnr Hanson & Stoke Sts
Cost: unwaged $80.00; waged $12.0.00
To register call Aileen on 973 7585 - or email:
but hurry-numbers are limited!!!!



McCahon House artist residency opportunity

The McCahon House Trust is calling for applications to the inaugural McCahon House artist's residency programme. Applications close 13 April.

Initial residencies will be offered to painters who are New Zealanders or New Zealand residents who have already received critical acclaim for their work and who are committed to a career as a professional artist.

Artists will receive accommodation in a fully furnished architecturally designed and purpose built two bedroom house adjacent to the restored McCahon cottage in French Bay, Titirangi along with exclusive use of the adjoining studio. Lopdell House Gallery will provide administrative support throughout the term of the residency. There will be opportunity to hold open days or give talks at the gallery and to have an exhibition or visual presentation at the conclusion of the residency. A stipend will be paid to the artist.

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Thursday 13 April 2006. For information and guidelines contact Penny Dever (Email: Tel: 09-817 9202). The application form and guidelines can also be downloaded from the residency section of the McCahon House Trust website (



What's the capital of Kazakhstan ?
Noisy Shadows
By Branwen Millar

"Amazing! Vibrant, original, and theatrically inventive. This is the voice of a new generation of playwrights."
- Santa Barbara News-Press, California.

Today's youth are famously apathetic, but can the horrors of world events burst their bubble? Noisy Shadows is a play of lost naivety in the midst of media saturation.

Jen's life is ruled by her social inadequacies and obsessive watching of CNN. Carlie thinks the news is disgusting but her own life parallels it in a disquieting way. Robbie is everyone's friendboy but no ones boyfriend. Curtis is desperately reliable. When CNN selectively intrudes on each of their lives, how can anyone know anyone's truth?

An entertaining evening of sex, CNN, apathy, peanuts and lies! Buy now and receive a bonus discussion of world politics and an extensive geography lesson at no extra cost.

Noisy Shadows, is Wellingtonian Branwen Millar's first play. Like most first plays, it's a play about students, set in a flat - but something more is bubbling under that clichéd surface. Written whilst she was on an exchange at the University of California, Santa Barbara Noisy Shadows was performed to a sell out season, before winning the Dorothy E Corwin Award for Best New Play. Branwen is now studying for her MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) at VUW International Institute of Modern Letters.

' There is a nimbleness to the dialogue, a texture and dimensionality to the characters, a dexterity with metaphor, an awareness of subtext - with a great intelligence underlying the whole endeavour.'

What: Noisy Shadows by Branwen Millar
When: 21-26 March 2006, 8pm ,
Where: BATS Theatre
1 Kent Terrace
Cost: $16/$12
Phone: (04) 802 4175 to book



The Royal New Zealand Ballet's 2006 season opened in Auckland on Wednesday with a full-length ballet, The Wedding , to a score by Gareth Farr .

Witi Ihimaera , who is currently well known as the author of the novel Whale Rider, has written the scenario, described as 'a heartwarming tale of hot heads and cold feet' which moves from rugby clubroom to inner-city nightclub, hotel lobby to church. Other members of the creative team are Mark Baldwin (choreographer), Tracy Grant (designer), and John Rayment (lighting designer).

The two-act work, which runs for 90 minutes, follows the story of Angie and Brad who, with their movie-star good looks and impending nuptials, are the toast of Auckland society. The big day draws closer and Angie begins to doubt her fiancé is the marrying kind. When Charles shambles his way back into her life, she finds herself caught in a hopeless love triangle. As her suitors square off, Angie is forced to choose between her head and her heart.

This is the second major theatrical production in as many years to be scored by Gareth Farr, who in 2005 composed the soundtrack to the stage show Maui . It is however his third ballet score: the RNZB's Smashing Sweet Vixen and Douglas Wrights's Buried Venus were early career landmarks. While he has not previously worked with Witi Ihimaera, the latter has a long history of musical collaboration with leading New Zealand composers, notably Ross Harris (on librettos to the operas Waituhi and Tanz der Schwäne) and John Rimmer (on the libretto to Galileo).

The Wedding tours New Zealand: Auckland (1-5 March 2006), Christchurch (9-12 March), Dunedin (17-18 March), Wellington (22-26 March), Palmerston North (30 March - 1 April) and Napier (6-8 April).





In 2004, in response to the recommendations made in "An Object Future", Creative New Zealand's strategy for prioritising its investment in the professional contemporary craft/object sector (2003 - 2005), Creative New Zealand established this Craft/Object Art Fellowship. The Fellowship has been established initially as an annual award for its first three years (2004 - 2006) and after this it will be offered biennially. As such, Creative New Zealand is now calling for applications from mid-career and senior practitioners (makers, curators and/or writers) for the third fellowship, in 2006.

Please note: In recognition of the fact that contemporary craft practice is also described by the term object art, a dual title for this artform sector is used by Creative New Zealand. The genres it refers to are those generally described as applied arts and includes, but is not confined to: pottery/ceramics, jewellery, cast or blown glass, weaving/textiles, furniture design.

Value of the Fellowship

A total of NZ$65,000 is available. This amount is to be used by the Fellowship recipient over a 12-month period. Payment will be made in two equal instalments of $32,500. The first instalment will be paid at the commencement of the Fellowship with the next instalment paid upon receipt of a progress report by the recipient midway through the Fellowship year.


Applicants for the fellowship will be able to demonstrate
* An established and strong national reputation in the Craft/Object Art sector
* Critical acclaim for the work they have produced to date
* They have completed, in their career thus far, a body of work of acknowledged artistic excellence

Applicants must be:
* A New Zealand citizen or resident

Applicants cannot be:
* Employees of Creative New Zealand
* Members of the Creative New Zealand Council, Arts Board, Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Board or the Pacific Arts Committee

Educational projects

Projects that are part of an educational programme, or project work that would count towards the attainment of an educational qualification will not be eligible for consideration.
Selection process

Creative New Zealand invites external assessors to assist with the decision-making process, which will take place in May/June 2006. Applicants will be notified of the decision shortly thereafter.

Announcement of the Fellowship

The successful applicant will be notified by telephone and by letter.

Making an application

Applicants must provide:
* A full CV
* Evidence to demonstrate you meet each of the criteria
* Commentary about the reasons for applying for the Fellowship and what the anticipated benefits to your practice would be of having the Fellowship

If there is a particular project that you want to undertake during the course of the Fellowship year, this should also be outlined in your application. However, emphasis will be placed on the track record of the applicant and the quality of the work they have produced to date.

Please supply 2 copies of your application and any support material pertaining to the application.

Support Material

Support material can include a range of information such as images of your work, publications and/or exhibition catalogues that include your work, other critical writing about your work (e.g. reviews and journal articles) and letters of support.

Please do not send originals. Images can be sent in a range of formats, for example slides, photographs, laser copies, CDs/DVDs (please note that assessors generally prefer hard-copy print images included as part of the application because they provide an instant visual prompt).

Closing date for applications

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm Friday 28 April, 2006.

Where to send your application

Please send your application by post or courier to the Wellington office of Creative New Zealand by 5.00pm on the closing date, addressed to:

Craft/Object Art Fellowship 2006
Creative New Zealand
P O Box 3806
Old Public Trust Building
131-135 Lambton Quay
Attn: Elizabeth Caldwell

Ineligible applications

Please note that incomplete, late, faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted.

Further information and queries

Please direct any enquiries to:
Elizabeth Caldwell
Arts Adviser, Visual Art & Craft/Object Art
Creative New Zealand
Phone +64 4 4980 737



'Papervision' is an exhibition of paperweaving - a world premiere of this art form! It is on display upstairs in the Paramount theatre foyer and cafe from March 10th to April 21st, at the normal opening hours of the theatre.

The art is created by weaving painted paper. I work to two themes; one is designing complex overlays of two or three patterns so that there is more than one way of seeing each piece and the other is representing landscapes or objects in geometric patterns.

Sheelagh Leary,



The Drunk Monologues
Written & Performed By Diane Spodarek
Directed By Karen Ludwig (New York)
BATS Theatre
14-18 March 2006 at 6:30pm
Bookings 04 802 4175

"Tautly written and dryly humorous, depicts a life lived to the full on the edge . . . performed with a winning openness and honesty" - Dominion Post

"Spodarek is a born performer" - Capital Times

Take a ride with Dangerous Diane as she gets a second chance from God to relive her wild & boozy Rock 'n' Roll life... without alcohol! Written & performed by international New York artist, writer, and actor Diane Spodarek.

Spodarek's one woman show chronicles a life spent drunk with music, fast cars, transsexual guitar players and run ins with Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and lots of booze. The Drunk Monologues are drinking stories told from birth to death evoking a raw account of an accelerated life. Spodarek reveals an amazing story of life about addiction without judgment reliving her dreams of growing up in Motown and wanting to be black, to punk rock and single parenthood in New York.

Now in New Zealand don't miss this hilarious and thought provoking show as Spodarek entertains the audience recreating the people in her life with stories abut gender, identity, sex, love, motherhood, music, and . . . even alcohol.

Diane Spodarek was part of the Detroit, (U.S.A), punk scene in the 80's, which was part of a global movement of women in punk like Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Exene, and Chrissie Hynde.



STAB originated in 1995 from BATS' desire to initiate a commission that allowed theatre artists to experiment in a supportive environment. The STAB commission is an essential part of the BATS annual programme and can be accessed by all performance media; dance, theatre, opera, music, film, magic and interactive media. STAB has grown over the years to have a solid framework and process. The total commissioning amount for 2006 is $60,000.

The aim of STAB is:

To secure and provide a significant level of funding (the commission) to support the creation of cutting edge, revolutionary performance work.

To commission new New Zealand performance work.

To support this work from inception through a production process to presentation.

To present at least two productions in the STAB season annually.

To promote BATS as the most exciting, cutting edge theatre in New Zealand with its finger on the pulse.

To support a national community of innovative artists who strive to push boundaries in their performance work.
STAGE 1: Expressions of Interest
Friday 17 March: One-page form completed and returned to BATS.

STAGE 2: Short List Selection
Monday 20 - Thursday 23 March: BATS holds informal interviews with all those who have submitted expressions of interest.

Wednesday 29 March: Final selection of a small number of groups to further develop their concept.
Monday 1 - Wednesday 3 May : These groups present their concept and a detailed proposal containing budgets, personnel and marketing plans as well as creative content.
STAGE 3: Commissioning

Monday 8 May: Two or more groups are commissioned to produce their STAB project.
STAGE 4: Presentation

16 October - 26 November 2006: STAB shows presented/staged
STAGE 5: Reporting

December 2006: Project reports and budgets to be submitted to Creative New Zealand detailing project strengths and challenges.

1 Kent Tce
Aotearoa-New Zealand
bookings 04 802 4175
office 04 802 4176
fax 04 802 4010



Playmarket is now accepting applications for the Aotearoa Playwrights Conference. It will be held Saturday June 17 until Saturday June 24. As in 2004 it will be residential and held as part of the FUEL Festival of New Zealand Theatre in Hamilton.
Deadline for applications is Friday April 28th.

Places are strictly limited. Our aim is to appeal to as many playwrights writing for the professional stage as possible, whatever stage their work is at, and to include a wide range of development options.

We are seeking applications from New Zealand playwrights who have previously been professionally produced with a project they wish to work on. This may be a few scenes, a play at first or close to final draft, or even a project at the conceptual stage (i.e. an idea) where the writer would like to explore how their writing develops off the page in collaboration with other practitioners.

In this regard we are planning to offer at least the following resources - but your needs may provide a range of others:
* One on one sessions with leading dramaturgs and other practitioners
* Playreadings of your work, and work sessions on your play in facilitated group sessions.
* On-the-workshop-floor exploration and presentation (if desired) sessions allowing you to get excerpts from your work or ideas up on their feet in collaboration with other practitioners.
We will also be providing again keynote speakers (to be announced), playreadings, FUEL Festival performances and, most importantly, lots of social and theatrical opportunities for interaction.

The cost of the conference is $370 (variable if other services are provided as described above) and includes eight nights motel accommodation, eight breakfasts and lunches, a conference dinner and many parties, some official some not.

Therefore we are also interested in expressions of interest from playwrights with professional experience as directors, designers and actors who might be interested in combining attendance with working at the conference.

We encourage you to see the conference as an opportunity to test out your work and experiment. We aim to provide a supportive space where you can fly some balloons if you want to - explore your theatrical world - without the pressure of product success or failure. A conference that allows focus on 'playing' and 'writing'. In this regard we're interested to hear from you, as part of your application or expression of interest, the sort of people you'd like to work with.

To discuss your application, apply, or submit your ideas please email, phone 04 282 8462 or mail PO Box 9767 Te Aro, Wellington. We're looking forward to talking to many of you over the next two months about this opportunity.



Alright already! I'll tell you what's going on.

I've had a whole couple of days off since the end of the last tour, and am hanging out for the next one. Who's on it?

Well, it's just totally unfair! Those cheeky little buggers Connan & The Mockasins have gone and snagged themselves another low hum tour! Sheesh, it's just plain greedy. Anybody would think that I reckoned these chaps were the most exciting thing since Joe Jackson said "I reckon yall should be a dancing troupe". Do they sound like the Jackson 5? Nope, but they sure groove like Madonna. After seeing the Mockasins, you'll burn your Beatles records, 'cause the Mockasins are God. Forget about The White Stripes, this is blues with soul, without the makeup. After this tour the Mockasins are heading to the UK to show those TOTP posers how you really shake some ass and this tour also celebrates the release of the new Connan & the Mockasins MINI-ALBUM!

Hold onto your kneecaps, 'cause Whipping Cats from Auckland are about to make you flip out. Vincent Liability, drummer from TeenWolf steps out from behind the kit and straps on his deadly blues gat making all the cats weep. If you like to dance, I seriously cannot recommend a band more suitable to shake off the cobwebs. Crack that whip, slap that thigh. Maybe like me you demand more harmonica solos from your favourite bands? Well, rest easy, Whipping Cats gonna smoke you with some blues harp-a-delica.

Bird Flu getting you down? Need some trumpet? Same. Well, if the Bird Flu was as infectious as Wellington's Grand Prix, we'd all be dead. Sound harsh? Man, if you don't see this band you don't wanna know what I'm going to do to you. Grand Prix add some class to the evening, some maturity. Not crazy little rat-bags like the rest of the line-up, Grand Prix are seasoned vets. They've already released two full length albums, the latest "Way of the Racer" came out late last year on Arch Hill records. It's a bruising country, fuel injected, blues fest, so bring your crash helmet.

Conan & The Mockasins + Whipping Cats + Grand Prix
Auckland - March 10th - Dogs Bollix
Hamilton - March 11th - Ward lane
Nelson - March 15th - Phat Club
Motueka - March 16th - Hot Mamas
Christchurch - March 17th - Creation. (All Ages from 6-9PM, R18 from 10PM)
Dunedin - March 18th - Refuel . (All Ages from 6-9PM, R18 from 10PM)
Timaru - March 19th - Radiant Records (instore - 3pm)
Wellington - March 24th (All Ages from 6-9PM, R18 from 10PM)
Palmerston North - March 25th - Stomach

Oh yeah.

This months A LOW HUM compilation is a cracker (as always). As well as tracks from each of the touring artists, get in ya, some: Golden Axe, The Dark Beaks, The Bats, Shocking Pinks, Weird War, Luke Buda, Rand and Holland, Gadget Goose and Hawaii five-o, nicely presented with the new-look A LOW HUM magazine.

For the bonus full length album, I've got a treat. They've since left to the UK, but while they were in NZ they recorded three outstanding records. I've put together an essential collection of my favourite DEAD PAN RANGERS tracks from their back catalogue. It is an amazing little collection, damn I miss that band.

What a deal!



Percussion and Dance Immersion Courses
Jambalaya Festival
Rotorua ... EASTER


If you are getting the jambalaya emails, you will know that the immersion courses are quickly filling up. However, if you get in soon, there will still be spaces available. Really think hard about doing these courses as it will improve your skills in a very short space of time and is excellent value for money and FUN. The Immersions courses give you 3 days intensive workshops and new experiences - then you can break free in the Jambalaya Festival and try a whole range of workshops. There are opportunities to learn and perform! If you are a relatively inexperienced percussionist, then you should do Ricardo's Course "Brazilian Percussion for Up-and-Coming Sambistas", 11-13th of April, culminating in a class on sunday the 16th of April and a performance that night. The course cost is $310 which is EXTREMELY good value given that this includes accommodation and Jambalaya ticket costs. So this, apart from food and petrol, is the only cost you will have at jambalaya,.

Excerpt from the jambalaya website:
"Working with new musicians is Ricardo's specialty. He will take you through effective exercises that will sharpen your rhythmic ear, give you plenty of opportunity to work with each instrument, and provide you with a solid grounding in basic playing techniques. As a group you'll learn to play various styles of Samba (lento, médio, rápido, marcha, rock, funk), and Ricardo will have you turning out wicked rhythms in no time! And best of all, you'll get to show off what you've learned when you boogie down the road in the Carnival street parade on Sunday night! (Creative support and some materials will be provided to create crazy outfits for the parade during the festival weekend.)"

The more experienced sambista should go to Cabello's immersion course, " Brazilian Percussion for Experienced Sambistas " also 11 - 13 April with the class and performance at the end. The cost for this is $390 and also includes the same accommodation and jambalaya deal. Many Welly batucada people are already booked and ready to go on this. Cabello is an amazing teacher and you will learn heaps, as many old hands will attest.

"In this course, Cabello will focus on introducing new rhythms and variations for breaks and individual instruments. By having the opportunity to concentrate on upskilling for three days with this expert instructor, the aim is that these experienced Sambistas will find their enthusiasm for playing refreshed and inspired, having reached the next level with lots of excercises and new rhythms to keep them learning for some time after the course. "

Through Batucada we can coordinate people to hook up with for transport. There will be forms available at Batucada for these immersion courses over the next few weeks or you can also download them from the website. For more info, speak to Jacky (tamborims) or Fiona or go to the website

Also check out the Latin Ensemble Immersion Course for the more experienced musician...



The Wellington City Council Arts Programmes & Services Office now has a place of its own at the new Wellington Arts Centre. The small level one space, formerly Studio 8, has been converted into the Arts Office, and is now open for any and all creative traffic.

If you are looking for grants information, want to develop a partnership, are looking for resources or a venue or marketing ideas...if you want to get involved in public art, murals, collaborative project...if you want to take a tour of the arts centre and network with others involved in Wellington's creative sector....if you need a PA, video projector, graphic design or printing, music rehearsal space, a darkroom, editing suite, sound recording...if you want to talk about your project and develop it further...stop by the newly established Arts Office, level one, Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street. Ask for me, Eric Holowacz, and set a time to tackle any of the above.

Or try me at
or 04 385 1904

And thanks for making Wellington the creative heart of New Zealand!


Feldenkrais Practitioner

Learn how to help yourself with the Feldenkrais Method in 2006.

The Feldenkrais Method is a powerful tool that has helped thousands of people around the world since its development in the 1960s and later. It's used by athletes and performers, couch potatoes and the disabledSS.whoever wants to better understand how they function now, and who are curious about themselves and their potential in the future.


* At the Arts Centre, Abel Smith St, Monday lunchtimes, 12.05-12.55. From 20th Feb. $10

FELDENKRAIS can: you learn how to relieve back pain, release shoulder and neck tension, free up hip joints, rediscover your pelvis and improve both your posture and actions.

.. can help you break habitual cycles of pain and teach new movement patterns that restore stability and mobility.

.. can help you achieve new goals in recreation or work, from enjoying gardening again, to improving musical performance or just plain getting a good night's sleep.

For further info google Feldenkrais and take a peek at what happens with this modality around the world.

Rupert Watson MNZFG
The Feldenkrais® Studio
@Ghuznee Health Associates

"Where mind and movement meet"

Ph: 04 801 6610
6/75 Ghuznee St



Inverlochy Art School

For full job description ring the office administrator Pamela Bradell on 04 9392177 or email . Applications can be sent to: Director Position, Inverlochy Art School, PO Box 27-344, Wellington.



Shanghai Duolun MoMA offers two-month artist residencies for working visual artists. Applications for the 2006 autumn residency from 1 September to 1 November must be received by 15 May 2006.

Artists are provided with a private room in a shared apartment, a studio at the museum equipped with computer and internet access, and a stipend of 3000 RMB/month.



A new organisation for the promotion of participatory music-making in the Wellington area.

West African Palm Drumming
Weekly classes in djembe techniques and authentic West African rhythms.
An ideal way to de-stress or enliven yourself after work in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Participants can borrow a drum at the class if they do not have their own, Drum are also available for purchase.

Drummers will have opportunities for performance accompanying the Wellington Community Choir.

Venue: Newtown Community Centre (corner of Rintoul St)
Day: Thursday
Beginners: 5:30-6:30
Intermediate: 6:30-7:30
Cost: $5 per class
Tutor: Julian Raphael.
For more information: or 021 076 7570

Wellington Community Choir
An all-comers choir specialising in music from around the world.
This choir, established in June last year, has already gained a reputation as an innovative and versatile troupe. Regarded by many as Wellington's friendliest choir, previous experience is not a requirement as the music is taught by ear. Included in the repertoire are songs from South and East Africa, USA, Israel, Georgia and the Balkans and there will be many opportunities for performance in 2006.

Day and Time: Wednesday from 7:15 to 9:15
Venue: Wesley Methodist Church (Taranaki St)
Cost: $5 ($4 un-waged) per week.
Leader: Julian Raphael.
For more information: or 021 076 7570



Writers have until 16 June to submit their entry to the 2006 Landfall Essay Competition, which is aimed at sustaining the tradition of vivid, contentious and creative essay writing that has appeared in Landfall's pages.

The prize is $2500 and a year's subscription to Landfall. The winning essay will appear in Landfall 212, published in November 2006.

Writers are free to choose a topic of their interest. It's anticipated that entries will provide commentary on a wide range of issues. Essays are to be original, fully developed works no more than 6000 words long.

Former winners have been Gregory O'Brien (1997), C.K. Stead and Peter Wells (1999), Patrick Evans and Kapka Kassabova (2002), and Tze Ming Mok and Martin Edmund (2004).

Otago University Press, Landfall's publisher and the competition's sponsor, will accept entries from 1 May to 16 June 2006. Click on the link below for more information and conditions of entry.





New Zealand artists have until Friday 19 May 2006 to submit proposals for Sculpture on the Gulf 2007, an outdoor sculpture exhibition held every two years on the coastal walkway at Matiatia Harbour, the gateway to Waiheke Island.

One of the main criteria for the selection of works is their appropriateness to their site, how they fit into the landscape, and what visual and physical connection and interaction they have with the environment.

All proposals must be accompanied by a signed application form and artists will be notified by Friday 16 June 2006. Click on the link below for more information and application forms.



Thanks to a Wellington-based arts patron, the Arts Programmes & Services office has been given an opportunity to turn a vacant former nightclub in Auckland's High Street into a temporary exhibition space. We are currently looking for local artists interested in submitting their portfolio or samples of recent work, for consideration. The project will focus on new, emerging, and promising visual artists working in all media - and will offer an opportunity to show their work to Aucklanders. We hope to assemble the first group show in March, and present it in April - with the possibility of additional exhibitions to follow. Proposals from curators and collectives are also encouraged. If interested, just contact me,

Eric Holowacz, Arts Programmes & Services Manager
Wellington City Council



The Arts Programmes & Services office is currently drafting application material for a mural/public art project to be situated on the Te Aro Park Public Toilets. The well-known loos are scheduled for a major overhaul in March, necessitating the removal of the existing mural paintings. Local artists are invited to submit their designs and ideas for the exterior adaptation of the renovated loo buildings between now and the end of February. To express interest in this commission, just contact

Eric Holowacz
Wellington Arts Centre
61 Abel Smith Street
04 385 1904

Look for more upcoming art projects, commissions, calls for proposals, and projects in future editions of the No.8 Wire.


Artists who haven't submitted a proposal for a project/residency at Island Bay School, will have another chance later in the year - so get thinking. Review of the first submissions is underway, and the project team has selected the initial three artists/projects. For a basic summary of this Artist-in-Residence pilot project, and details on how to submit a proposal, just contact

Eric Holowacz
Arts Programmes & Services Manager
Wellington Arts Centre
61 Abel Smith Street
04 385 1904



Application forms are now available for the next round of applications for WCC Arts & Cultural Projects, Community Festival, and Maori Arts Grants, and also the Creative Communities Wellington Local Funding Scheme. Applications close at 5pm on 31 March 2006.

Applications forms and instructions are available at Advice seminars will be held on 1 and 9 March from 1-3pm and 6-8pm. To book a place in a seminar please fill in the form on the website or call Barbara Franklin on 801 3595. If you can't make it to the seminar but would like to discuss a possible application please feel free to contact me.

Please pass this around your networks. You have received this because you are on one of my mailing lists for WCC grant rounds or you work for Council. Please let me know if you would like to be removed from this distribution list.

Katharine Macann
Grants Assistant
Wellington City Council
DDI: 04 801-3158
Fax: 04 801-3635



The Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence Project is accepting applications for the Fall of 2006 through Summer of 2007 residency periods. There are four three-month residencies annually: September-November, December-February, March-May, June-August 2007 will mark the 50th anniversary of On the Road and Jack Kerouac living in the historic Orlando home on Clouser Avenue.
Jack Kerouac lived in this home at the time On the Road made him a national sensation. And it was in this home that Kerouac wrote his follow-up, The Dharma Bums, during eleven frenetic days and nights. The Kerouac House, as it has come to be known, is now a living, literary tribute to one of the great American writers of the twentieth century. Like all the other places in Kerouac's nomadic journey, he didn't live here long. But the home represents a critical juncture in Kerouac's life, when he made the transition from a 35-year-old nobody writer, to the bard of the Beat Generation.
Be part of history send in your application now. Deadline for applications is April 30 2006.

Application forms, click on the "information" button:



Auckland-based artist John Radford is about to transform the iconic bucket fountain with his patented clay treatment...and give Wellington a bold new product to consume...

Be on the lookout! Transplasticise yourself...



Wellington Access Radio

Studio Recording:

Ever dreamed of producing your own radio show??? Well, here's your chance. Here at Access Radio we have all the facilities you need to produce, record and create your own show and even record 'live' to air!

If you are a musician, poet, singer song-writer...or you are interested in affordable recording studio time, or perhaps have an idea for a show you'd love to record ...get in touch with Wellington Access Radio for affordable prices at competitive rates. Have your say and get a group together to produce your own show. We offer a variety of rates to hire the studios for programming or pre-recording with group/membership rates and individual rates available.

Please call us PH: 3857210 or email



Creative New Zealand and Fulbright New Zealand are calling for applications to their international residency for New Zealand writers wishing to work on a project exploring Pacific identity, culture or history. Based at the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai'i, the residency will run for three months from mid August 2006.
Applications to the 2006 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers' Residency at the University of Hawai'i close on Monday, 3 April 2006. Open to writers across all genres, including playwrights, fiction and non-fiction writers, poets and screen writers, the residency includes return airfares, accommodation costs and an artist stipend of NZ$6000 per month. Previous recipients are filmmaker Sima Urale and performance poet Tusiata Avia.
Hawai'i is a hub for Pacific writing and has become a well-established centre for publishing the work of Pacific peoples. It is also an important link to mainland United States and has a flourishing indigenous culture.
The recipient of the 2006 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers' Residency at the University of Hawaii will have had work published or accepted for publication. In the case of scriptwriters or playwrights, he or she will have had work performed or accepted for performance.
The recipient will be expected to work on an approved project during this time and contribute to other opportunities provided by the residency. There will also be an opportunity for professional development, including invitations to give lectures and interviews, make contact with suitable agents and publishers, and enhance the development of New Zealand Pacific literature.
By the end of the residency, the recipient will be expected to have completed a significant amount of writing. The recipient will also be required to write a report, demonstrating the residency's tangible benefits to New Zealand Pacific literature.


Stella Robertson
2 day workshop. Saturday 22nd and Saturday 29th of April
10am till 4pm, $150

Learn to use a variety of craft materials to funk up existing items of clothing or soft furnishings with contemporary decorative techniques. An introduction to fabric choices and colour will lead to directed experimentation with simple hands-on processes. Needle and thread experience not essential. Step by step instructions are given by an experienced art and design tutor. Some materials provided, call to discuss.

Sign up now: 021 0234 6834



Call for entries to the BELLADONNA Canterbury Short Film Festival 2006
The Belladonna Film Trust is now calling entries to its 2006 annual short film festival. It will be holding its annual Christchurch short film festival in June this year at the Philip Carter Family Auditorium of the Christchurch Art Gallery. The deadline for entries is 21 April.

If you have a work you wish to submit, then please download our entry form from the website and submit your film before 21 April.

All films must be the work of a New Zealand citizen or resident as the Festival focuses on local not international works.

The festival is now in its fifth year. Each year the festival showcases a variety of works ranging from documentaries, media art and experimentals to narrative dramas and dance films. Seminars will also be offered as a part of the programme, exploring topics related to film-making and cinema appreciation.

For more information, phone (03) 365 6151, email or visit the website.


Black Milk
by Douglas Wright Dance

Black Milk is an exploration of the boundaries of love, fear and memory by acclaimed choreographer Douglas Wright. Passionate physicality, teasing mystery and earthy black humour are combined to spectacular effect.

The first major new work from iconic choreographer Douglas Wright since 2002, Black Milk showcases the awe-inspiring talents of some of New Zealand's leading contemporary dancers: Craig Bary, Sarah-Jayne Howard, and Clare O'Neil (all return from successful international careers to perform), Helaina Keeley, Tai Royal, Alex Leonhartsberger, and Jessica Shipman.

The premiere of Black Milk will be accompanied by the release of Douglas Wright's new book - Terra Incognito (Penguin Books NZ). Signings at all venues.

Black Milk 2006 Performances:
Invercargill - Civic Theatre - 25 March
Dunedin - Regent Theatre - 28 March
Christchurch - James Hay Theatre - 31 March
Auckland Sky City Theatre 5-8 April
Wellington - Opera House 12-13 April

Book at

For more information about Black Milk:



Musical fun for pre-school
children and babies at the
Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street,

10:00 am Musical fun for preschool children aged 2-4 years
10:45 am Musical tots & babies aged 18 months - 2 years
11:30 am Musical babies for babies aged 6-18 months

Classes start Thursday 16 February 2006. Fees are $58.50 for nine sessions. Registrations are open for term one 2006. Email or phone Sarah ph 976 2754. Class sizes are limited and registration is essential. Look forward to seeing you



Pilates have begin at Wellington Arts Centre, with sessions on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Qualified tutor Katie Haines is a former Royal NZ Ballet dancer, and has certified pilates certificates from Oxford/Cambridge and Pilates Institute London. Flatten those abs. Strengthen that spine. Tone and stretch. Improve posture and breathing. Sessions are $10 per lesson, for a term, or $15 for casual attendance. Sessions are also available in Brooklyn, Karori, and Newlands. Contact Katie on 476-3771 to begin Piilates today.



Hi all
The 2006 NZ Affordable Art Show is well underway. Registrations have now opened for artists....

3rd NZ Affordable Art Show
3 - 6 August 2006

Our vision for the show is to see New Zealanders buy New Zealand art. To make this possible we need visual artists from all corners of the country. We need you.
You are invited to display and sell your art at the 3rd annual New Zealand Affordable Art Show. With over 7000 people attending the event in 2005, and more expected this year, it will be a great way to gain exposure and connect with patrons, collectors and first-time buyers.
All mediums are welcome to be exhibited and sold (with a few conditions of course). Registration closes 1 May, so check the website for details. Don't miss out!
Download a registration form from our website
or have one sent to you by calling 04 472 7652.

Carla Russell
Executive Director
NZ Affordable Art Trust
PO Box 11679, Wellington
027 244 8090 (04) 472 7652



Exhibitions upcoming at Wellington Arts Centre gallery space...

And look out for an expanded exhibition space, coming in April 2006!



Wellington Arts Centre has rehearsal space now available for theatrical troupes, musicians, small dance groups, and other creative disciplines. The three sound-proofed music spaces have just been completed and are ready for bookings by bands, instructors, and musical projects. Hourly cost is $6-15, depending on room and time of day. Other rehearsal rooms include several spaces for theatre and stage work, beginning at $12.50/hour. Enquiries and bookings can be made by stopping by 61 Abel Smith Street, calling 385-1929, or emailing



Get involved in these upcoming classes, workshops, activities, and arts opportunities at Wellington Arts Centre
Term 2 - April, May, June 2006

Wellington Arts Centre
Address: 61 - 69 Abel Smith Street, Wellington
Reception and Bookings: 385 1929
Arts Programmes & Services: 385 1904

Reception desk hours (main lobby of East Building)
Weekdays 9am - 8pm
Weekends 10am - 4pm

The Arts Centre comprises of two buildings linked by a walkway on the first floor. The east building houses the reception desk, gallery, teaching workshops, community room, music studios, a photography darkroom, 28 artist studios, and several creative businesse. The Arts Programmes and Services office, Wellington City Council, is also based in an office above reception on level one. In the west building is the Back Room and Upper Chamber, two larger rehearsal spaces that can be booked by the hour or day. DANZ, Fringe Festival, Taki Rua Productions, Barbarian Productions, NZ Globe Shakespeare, Empress Stiltdance, and ARMS are all housed in this building. Parking is available at rear of the Arts Centre at $2 per hour / $7 per day weekdays 8am - 6pm. Evenings and weekends are free.

Courses and Workshops for Adults

Visual Arts

Create a masterpiece or two and learn all about techniques, history and the enjoyment of forging art for fun and learning - not profit.
Eight week course starts Thurs 4 May
Time: 7.45pm - 9.15pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

"I can't believe that's coloured pencil." This clean, non-toxic and versatile medium can achieve a painterly quality similar to oil, watercolour and pastel. It has gained worldwide popularity with many artists. The workshop is for both new and experienced artists and will focus on drawing and techniques using coloured pencils. It is ideal for botanicals, landscapes, portraits and animal studies.
Contact the tutor for more information
Cost; $80 / $70 PTL
Tutor: Garth Satterthwaite phone 232 4444

This course explores the many techniques and ideas that are combined to create visual abstract art. We'll look at techniques and processes involved. A great course to get you into the thinking process of creating art that is unique.
8 week course starts Tuesday 2 May
Time: 10am -11.30am or 7.45pm -9.15pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

This course explores the many techniques and ideas that are combined to create visual abstract art. We'll look at techniques and processes involved. A great course to get you into "the thinking process" of creating art that is unique.
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May
Cost: $220 / $198 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

Everyone can learn to draw using techniques that access the right side of the brain. Your perceptual right side has all the requirements for learning the fundamentals of drawing. Come along to this informative and inspiring course by Kimbra Taylor, a qualified and experienced artist/tutor. Learn to draw in a non-judgemental and relaxed environment.
Course starts 27 April
Thursdays 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Cost: 10 weeks $200
To book: phone Kimbra Taylor on 04 902 1656 or email

Learn to use a variety of craft materials to funk up existing items of clothing or soft furnishings with contemporary decorative techniques. An introduction to fabric choices and colour will lead to directed experimentation with simple hands-on processes. Needle and thread experience not essential. Step by step instructions are given by an experienced art and design tutor. Some materials provided.
Two day workshop Saturday 22 and 29 April
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: $150
Tutor: Stella Robertson mob 021 0234 6834.

A course that has a reputation for getting results. Drawing is the foundation for all art forms as it trains you to see. This popular and comprehensive course builds confidence, skills and know-how to get you drawing. For complete beginners wishing to explore their artistic side.
Eight week course starts Wed 3 May 10am - 11.30am or Thurs 4 May 6pm - 7.30pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

A course that has a reputation for getting results. Drawing is the foundation for all art forms as it trains you to see. This popular and comprehensive course builds confidence, skills and know-how to get you drawing. For complete beginners wishing to explore their artistic side!
Saturday 6 May 10am - 4pm
Cost: $110 / $95 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

Just turn up. The casual life drawing group meets weekly. Drawing from the human form is with a model and self-guided. Participants bring their own art supplies.
Monday 10am - noon
Cost: $7 / $6 PTL
No booking required. Just turn up
Location: Workshop 2, Arts Centre East Building

A class for beginners to more advanced students to develop skills in modelling clay, using the body as a subject for art. Sculpture and students' ideas will be discussed in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring a piece of "no fire" clay (from Gordon Harris/Archibald's etc), plastic bag, clay modelling tool and a sheet of thick plastic to work on. Be prepared to have fun.
Saturday 22 April, 10am - 4pm
Cost: $110/$100 PTL
Tutor: James Waugh phone 479 3029 or mob 027 472 0021.

Designed for people who have done art courses or who have worked on their own. This course is for those who have ideas but lack space, time and sometimes motivation. A chance to bring along concepts or have projects set, and to work at your own pace in a supportive and creative environment. An experienced tutor will be on hand to assist with ideas, motivation, suggestions and techniques.
* Materials will be required - the tutor will advise.
Starts: Wed 3 May 7.45pm - 9.15pm or Fri 5 May 10am -11.30am
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

Learn great techniques to produce a great portrait. The course will cover colour mixing, expressive use of colour and blending applications. Some previous drawing and painting would be helpful to get the most out of this course.
Starts: Thurs 4 May 1pm - 2.30pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

This introductory stimulating course will get you started with using acrylics. Learn all about painting styles, techniques, layering, blending and colour. This fun course will show you the many possibilities while giving you the motivation.
Starts Tuesday 2 May 1pm - 2.30pm or 6pm - 7.30pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

This introductory stimulating course will get you started with using acrylics. Learn all about painting styles, techniques, layering, blending and colour. This fun course will show you the many possibilities while giving you the motivation.
Saturday 10 June
Cost: $110 / $95 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

Improve your drawing skills with an experienced tutor whose portraits and figure drawings are renowned. You will be encouraged to draw the human form as you see it in a natural, accurate and uncomplicated way using traditional and modern techniques with various drawing materials. A course for both experienced and inexperienced figure artists. Individual attention is given by the tutor.
Mondays 6pm - 7:30pm
Cost: Eight sessions $140/ $115 PTL
Tutor; Garth Satterthwaite phone 232 4444
This course will give the ins and outs of how to paint using acrylics on canvas. Learn about the creative processes, visual research, layering, composition, technique and colour uses. It's a fun course producing finished works.
* You'll need two canvases - the tutor will give information.
Starts Friday 5 May 1pm - 2.30pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

This course will give the ins and outs of how to paint using acrylics on canvas. Learn about the creative processes, visual research, layering, composition, technique and colour uses. It's a fun course producing finished works.
Saturday 17 June
Cost: $110 / $95 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

World Pinhole Day this year is Sunday 30 April. Pinhole Photography is the simplest and most fun kind of photography you can imagine. Anyone can give it a go and make their own fascinating camera from cardboard boxes, tins, red peppers(!!) or whatever takes your fancy. A pinhole camera is just any light-proof container with a tiny pinhole in the side - instead of a lens. You cover the pinhole, put a piece of photographic paper inside, and then go outside and make photographs that usually need exposure for a couple of minutes. Then in the darkroom you develop the images. We will upload your favourite pinhole photographs from the day to the World Pinhole Day website .
* All construction tools and darkroom chemicals will be provided
Please note - you need no prior knowledge for this workshop - in fact total ignorance is an advantage as you are likely to be more imaginative!
Date: Sunday 30 April
If sufficient demand an additional workshop on Saturday 22 April (before World Pinhole Day). This will give people the chance to build a number of cameras and then on WPD take their photos. They must be developed in a darkroom so I will hold a darkroom session the following week to develop photographs for the online exhibition at
Cost: $95 if you book and pay before 10 April, otherwise $105. Those participating in this longer workshop over two sessions will pay $115
To book: phone Alastair McAra Photography 477 1215, mob 021 269 1127 or email
Numbers are limited to six or seven participants so book now!

Dance, Performance and Movement

Pilates combines a holistic blend of stretch and inner strength, balancing muscle lengths, aligning the spine and isolating specific areas. The focus is on the core muscles that flatten the abs, support the spine and increase global power through a stable gravitational centre. You're only as young as your spine
The tutor is experienced and qualified (Oxford/Cambridge, Pilates Certificates Pilates Institute London. Ex RNZB
Wednesdays 5:15pm - 6:15pm
$10 per lesson term fee or $15 per casual class.
To book: phone Katie 476 3771, mob 021 146 9571 or email

The Feldenkrais Method is a powerful tool that has helped thousands of people around the world since its development in the 1960s and later. It's used by athletes and performers, couch potatoes, the disabled and whoever wants to better understand how they function now, and who are curious about themselves and their potential in the future. Feldenkrais can:
* help you learn how to relieve back pain, release shoulder and neck tension, free up hip joints, rediscover your pelvis and improve both your posture and actions
* help you break habitual cycles of pain and teach new movement patterns that restore stability and mobility
* help you achieve new goals in recreation or work, from enjoying gardening again to improving musical performance or just plain getting a good night's sleep.

For further info google Feldenkrais and take a peek at what happens with this modality around the world.
Monday lunchtimes 12.05pm-12.55pm
Cost: $10
Tutor: Rupert Watson MNZFG, phone 801 6610

A unique practice that incorporates breath, yoga postures, sound, chanting and meditation. It works on all levels of the mind, body and spirit. Kundalini Yoga allows us to experience our true nature and connect to our surroundings and the infinite.
Mondays 9am - 10am
Cost $12 / $10 for artists, students and unwaged
Tutor: Tamsyn phone 907 1077.

TEKNO FUNK DANCE COMPANY 2006 present a Fresh, Funky and High NRG Dance work-out. T-Funk is a blend of Hip Hop, Tekno, Jazz and Funk Offering Kids, Teens and Adult classes + Performance Squad..... Classes run through school holidays.
Wednesdays. For class timetable and bookings phone Marina 021 071 3919 or email
Cost: $115 - $135 per term
Website: .

This course is for those of you who want to try out your newly acquired voice and performance skills and/or your creativity in a performance context. Have fun devising with a group and learning skills from the performing arts to help you perform at your best. A structured group-devised piece will be performed to an audience at week 10 and will be videoed.

You will learn techniques from a qualified and experienced practitioner who draws upon the methods of internationally renowned voice and performance artists and teachers, as well as TheMethod Pilates in a supportive and fun environment.

Voice 1: Intro to Voice
This course is for presenters/performers or anyone who wants to develop confidence in using their voice more effectively. You will learn how the voice works, what to do, what not to do, and how to condition the voice for greater resonance, projection, expression and clearer speech. Course notes are provided.
Five weeks: Monday 29 May to 3 Jul 6pm -7.30pm
Cost: $150 / $130 PTL
Tutor: Diane Radford phone 385 2020, mob 021 237 9661 or email

Voice 3: Present Your Voice
This course is for presenters/performers who have completed voice course 1 and/or 2 (or similar training) and want to master their vocal techniques in an improvised and prepared performance context. Practice will include storytelling, impromptu speaking, improvisation, poetry, prose and/or dramatic extracts. You will present prepared work in week five.
Five weeks: Monday 24 Apr to 22 May, 6pm -7.30pm
$150 per 5 week course or $130.00 (PTL Holder)
Tutor: Diane Radford phone 385 2020, mob 021 237 9661 or email

Performance 2: Devised Group Performance
This course is for those of you who want to try out your newly acquired voice and performance skills and/or your creativity in a performance context. Have fun devising with a group and learning skills from the performing arts to help you perform at your best. A structured group-devised piece will be performed to an audience at week 10 and will be videoed.
Ten weeks: Mondays 24 Apr to 3 Jul, 7.30-9pm
$300 or $270.00 (PTL Holder)
Tutor: Diane Radford phone 385 2929 mob 021 237 9661 email

Children's Classes and Activities

A chance to learn theatre and performance skills from experienced professional tutors and directors.
8 - 10 years Friday 3:30pm - 4:30pm
11 - 12 years Thursday 4pm - 5:30pm
13 - 14 years Tuesday 4:30pm - 6pm
15 - 16 years Friday 4:30pm - 6pm
17 years plus Friday 6pm - 7:30pm
Cost: 10 x hourly sessions $100 / 10 x one and half hourly sessions $150
Tutors: Dayle Jones and Sarah Delahunty
To book and for further information phone Estelle 970 1545

At Creative Minds art class, you can enjoy creating works of art, starting with the basics and moving at you own pace. Learn drawing, painting and 3-d techniques within a theme each term.
Fridays 3.30pm - 4.45pm
Cost: Nine weeks $110/ $100 PTL
To book phone Leah Wynne 021 159 0782 or 387 2821, or email

This class is available for 13 to 17 year olds to explore their creative techniques and improve their artistic skills. Work from a theme or on your own projects.
Fridays 5pm - 6.45pm
Cost: Nine weeks $140/ $125 PTL
To book phone Leah Wynne 021 159 0782 or 387 2821, or email

Musical fun for pre-school children and babies. Classes include fun music and movement.
10:00 am Musical fun for preschool children aged 2-4 years
10:45 am Musical tots and babies aged 18 months - 2 years
11:30 am Musical babies for babies aged 6-18 months
Cost: $58.50 for 9 sessions.
To book email or phone Sarah 976 2754.

Art classes designed to enhance skills in art, explore mediums and leave room for personal expression. Limited numbers and an experienced tutor.
Starts Wed 3 May 1pm -1.45pm
Cost: $150 / $135 PTL
Tutor: Stephanie Woodman phone 388 9479, mob 0274 352 073 or email

A highly-qualified primary school teacher offers after school art and active drama classes where the aim is to have fun, use fantasy, learn and improve existing skills in a social, positive and happy environment. Explore art and art history in a fun, relaxed and educational way. The interactive activities could include:
Painting: learn about colours using acrylic and/or water colours in theme based paintings
Making collages: create and design your own idol poster and learn decoupage
Architecture: make your own house inspired by Gaudí using your fantasy and creativity
Drawing: learn how to draw people and animals in an impressionist and expressionist way. Make your own cartoon and do fun drawing exercises.
Active drama: learn to cooperate, build confidence, concentrate and act in an entertaining way. using active drama activities combined with fun games. The classes include various amusing drama exercises where mind, fantasy, creativity and body will be involved and activated!
Time: 3.30pm - 5.30pm
Monday, Tuesday Art for 6-8 years
Wednesday Art for 9-10 years
Thursday Drama for 6-8 years
Friday Drama for 9-10 years
Cost: $25 per casual two-hour session / $21 per session for eight two-hour sessions including materials, a little snack and a drink.
To book and for further information phone Karen Carey mob 021 2153760 or home 528 4301

Write record and perform your own songs. We are waiting for you to join one of our choirs or composition classes. Train under the direction of Sharon Thorburn, an internationally experienced, fully registered teacher who is an award winning composer. We offer:
* Weekly fun, non-auditioned training choirs and composition workshops
* International auditioned choir
"Boys Can Sing" choir
* Adult fun choir
* A-cappella auditioned groups.
Rehearsals and workshops are held weekly
To book and for further information email or phone 475 5040

TEKNO FUNK DANCE COMPANY 2006 present a Fresh, Funky and High NRG Dance work-out. T-Funk is a blend of Hip Hop, Tekno, Jazz and Funk Offering Kids, Teens and Adult classes + Performance Squad..... Classes run through school holidays.
Wednesdays. For class timetable and bookings phone Marina 021 071 3919 or email
Cost: $115 - $135 per term
Website: .

Groups and Societies and miscellaneous events
Acoustic Routes is a club for people who enjoy performing and listening to a wide range of music with the emphasis on acoustic styles.
Club Night
The night consists of attendees who wish to lead songs or play instruments.
Second Sunday of every month at 8pm
Entry $5.00.
Monthly concert
Fourth Sunday of each month at 8pm.
Door charges $7 for club members, $10 for non members, school aged children free.
For more information and to check out artists and special events
For further information phone Gerard Hudson 477 3415.

An eclectic array of short films and locally-produced new media works from cutting edge Wellington film makers.
Date: Coming soon
Time: 7:30pm - 9pm
Entry: Gold coin / koha
For more information phone 385 1929

The art of storytelling is the name of the game for this Arts Centre group. Members meet monthly to present and discuss their craft, often with special guests. Get to the heart of the story with this lively and diverse opportunity.
Date: First Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:30pm to 9pm
Entry: $5.
For more information phone Mary Alice Arthur 381-3307 or mob 021-687-627.

The Wellington Photographic Society, through regular workshops and seminars, encourages practical use of your camera whether it is a cheap "point and shoot" or the latest technological marvel. Monthly meetings provide plenty of motivation and stimulation, as well as practical information on how to improve your photography. WPS also organises social activities, outings, and other special occasions. Members range from beginners to experienced amateurs and professionals. The only requirement for membership is a desire to learn about and appreciate the art and science of photography.
Dates: Meetings are 7:30pm - 9:30pm the second Tuesday and fourth Monday of each month. All are welcome.
For further information phone George Sutton on 476 9227

Wellington Arts Centre Upcoming Gallery Exhibitions
Contact 385-1929 for information about Opening Receptions
Dates and exhibitions subject to change

Stephan Tevaga, Aaron Frater, Andrea Bryne
29 Mar - 7 April

Anne Hutton
9 - 18 April

William Hedley
20 - 30 April

Frankie Rouse
2 - 20 May

Andrew Ginther
23 May - 12 June

Sarah Thomas
22 June - 5 July

Alastair McAra
7 - 23 July

The gallery is located on the ground floor of the east building.
Gallery hours: 10am - 7pm weekdays, Saturday 10am - 4pm.
For more exhibition information check out



Archives of the No. 8 Wire are on-line at



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Wellington Arts Centre
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Wellington, New Zealand


People you don't know ask questions of American poet Robert Hass, whom Wellington will get to know soon...

Dacey, Boston: Do you view yourself as a California poet? If so, in what way?

Robert Hass: Well, yes. I grew up in California. I live there. I was influenced, at different times, by West Coast writers like Robinson Jeffers and Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan and Gary Snyder, some of whom I read more intensely than I might have, were I born in Wisconsin. And, to some extent, the place has been my subject matter.

Stan, Maryland: In your poem "Meditation at Lagunitas" you write, "a word is elegy to what it signifies." I have discussed this line with a number of colleagues, and we have yet to come to consensus for interpretation. I wonder if you could clarify your use of the word "word" -- do you mean the written or the spoken word, or both? If written, elegy takes on a particular tone suggesting the loss of something "there" when transcribed to the page. If spoken, the loss seems more nostalgic. Thanks for your response.

Robert Hass: I don't think I thought about the distinction between the written and spoken word when I was writing that poem. I think I meant the word-spoken or written-as a marker for a class of things, and about the proposition that the fact of its being a symbol and a marker both points to the thing and emphasizes our separation from the particulars that compose the class of things evoked. Something like that. Somebody put it, I think, that our first purposeful utterance is a cry and it means "no breast" or "breast," or both at the same time. And yet-in my experience of language, I now think, and I think I was thinking then, it is simply not the case that a word is a marker, or a sound or set of symbols representing a sign. That functional definition simply doesn't cover our actual experience of language which is much livelier than that, more radiant. I think I use the word "numinous" in the poem. Does this answer the question, Stan?

B.T., San Diego: Why do we have to wait so long between your books?! I love your work and I'm curious to know why you take so much time between the publication of your books.

Robert Hass: Thanks. B.T. I wish I knew. I'm slow. I'm easily distracted. It is a terrible struggle for me to make time for work, the stretches of it I seem to need to get concentrated work done. ---I mean, I'm always working on something, translations or prose or some public project, but I tend to get pulled in many different directions. My friend, the philosopher Richard Wollheim, once described himself as a person inclined to treat a mild request as a command. I recognized that description. For example, here I am answering these questions instead of writing. Though I had the idea that it would help me to focus on my central task.

Rachel, Washington, DC: Are there some folks that were particularly encouraging or helpful in your special projects, as Poet Laureate, involving literacy and the environment?

Robert Hass: Many. In an earlier version of these answers that my computer ate, I listed them all. I won't do it again. But there are many people some of whom I got to know and some I didn't, in the Library of Congress and in the non-profits and the schools, in the Department of Interior and the EPA, who are doing great and inspiring work.

Carl, Jackson: How has translating poetry into English affected your own writing?

Robert Hass: Well, it's taken time. Translation is a way of studying writers or individual poems very intensely, so you absorb their energies, ideas, rhetorical strategies way below the level of consciousness, I think, where they become part of your own repertoire of responses while you're writing. Auden in his essays evokes a phrase from Shakespeare--"the dyer's hand." Translators probably get soaked in the stuff they translate.

Jeneva Stone, Bethesda MD: "Meditation at Lagunitas" has been one of my favorite poems since I first read Praise back in 1985 (one of my favorite books). Can you talk a little bit about what inspired the poem, or how it developed, how it came to be? What does it mean to you?

Robert Hass: I think, Jeneva, the poem describes pretty accurately the terms of its inspiration and development. I mean the immediate experiential background--'in the voice of my friend,' 'there was a woman I made love to.' Back of it also, probably an irritant from my readings, not extensive, in various Platonisms--"the idea, for example, that each particular erases the luminous clarity of a general idea." I am not sure I understand what you are asking when you ask what it means to me. I am not sure whether you mean by "it" the poem, my having written the poem, or the existence of the poem in the world. And I'm not sure if you are asking how I would interpret it--that idea of meaning--or how I feel about it. I think the poem is pretty much my interpretation of the meaning of the poem. And I feel about it the way I feel about most of my poems. When I revisit them, I mostly see their defects first. If I read them aloud, or read them to myself aloud in the silence of my head, I get back inside their rhythms, which is where a lot of the labor and attention is for me, and I sometimes like them better.

Paul, Washington, DC: I am interested in knowing what drew you to the prose poem form in Human Wishes. Also, do you think that the experience of writing those poems influenced the poems in Sun Under Wood formally, and perhaps thematically as well? If so, how?

Robert Hass: I talked about this at some length in an interview that was printed some years ago in the Iowa Review, if you want a fuller account, Paul. As I recall, I was writing the peice that became "Museum" in Human Wishes and I couldn't find in the rhythms of the verse a way to describe the reciprocity between the young couple I was trying to describe. So I turned aside to write it out in prose to clarify for myself what I was seeing. And once I felt like I'd gotten it in prose, there didn't seem to be a reason for trying to translate it back into verse. I had been working on some of the essays in Twentieth Century Pleasures around this time, and I found that writing them I would sometimes labor over the shaping of particular paragraphs in the way that I work on poems. So the two impulses seemed to fuse for me at the moment, and I became interested in the idea of the paragraph as a form. A phrase came into my head--the name of a posthumous book of essays by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "The Prose of the World"--and that gave me a push also. Later, looking back on those pieces, I came to think that I had begun writing in prose to avoid the deeper engagement with what I was feeling that verse would have required. Prose seemed a cooler medium. And in Sun Under Wood, particularly in "My Mother's Nipples," it's true that the things we can say in verse and the things we can say in prose became a theme.

charles cantrell, madison ,WI: Images paired with abstractions often appear in your poetry. Generally, the abstractions stop me. Any suggestions as to how to "read" the abstractions and not give up on what may appear to be too cerebral?

Robert Hass: Charles, I wrote and lost a long answer to this question. So this will be shorter. I think images paired with abstraction appear in most poetry--if you mean by abstractions words that refer to general categories of ideas like "justice" rather than words that refer to general categories of things like "tree". Your question implies that abstractions are more cerebral, I guess you mean less rooted in the senses, than images. And there are other categories of noun and verb--is "word" more cerebral than "tree" but less cerebral than "justice," etc. This is all mixed up in English with the way the language itself mixes up its Latin and Germanic roots. "Tree" from Aglo-Saxon, "justice" from Latin. If I had an example of what you were troubled by, I could answer more usefully. But poetry can do a range of things. There are poets who think in their poems in the whole vocabulary of English and others who rely pretty much on tactile images. Poetry certainly needs body, but it can get it from the music of its rhythms; it doesn't always have to be sticking to a picture language to stay tactile. Examples are better than arguments. My arguments would be in the general direction of some poems of George Oppen and Wallace Stevens.

Chris, Baltimore: I'm very interested in reading more contemporary Polish poetry. I suspect you have some favorites besides Czeslaw Milosz, who might they be? Adarn Zagajewski? Wislawa Szymborska? Some lesser known (to American's) Polish poets? Thank you for any guidance you can give me.

Robert Hass: The most important Polish poets of the mid-twentieth-century generation who are available in English are Milosz, Symborska, Tadeus Rosewicz, and Zbigniew Herbert. A lot of Poles think that Herbert is their most important poet. The other poets whose poems can be found are Anna Swir and Alexander Wat, both translated by Milosz. There is also his anthology Post-War Polish Poetry. In the generations after them, only Adam Zagajewski's poems are widely available in English. But there is an anthology (which needs to be updated) called Humps and Wings which will give you a sampling of that generation. And I think there is an anthology in English just out or coming out of the younger generation--the post-Communist generation--of Polish poets. The crucial historical figure in Polish poetry is Adam Mickiewicz, and there is one very good translation of a part of his major poem "Pan Tadeuz" by the English poet Donald Davie. It's called "The Forests of Lithuania," I think, and it may be in Davie's Collected Poems. To see what else is there, you might look at Milosz's History of Polish Literature.

Michelle Sorgen, California: I have a question about your form. How do you decide when to use stanza breaks in your poems? The form seems much more organic, and often broken more at places that feel right with the tone or mood, but I wondered if there was a particular method that you've developed for your own work. I would say I have a strong understanding of poems which follow a more consistent free verse pattern, tercets, quatrains, etc. but I'm interested in understanding how one embarks upon a form such as your own. Thanks. I'm a huge fan of your poetry. I saw you read a few years back at the University of Michigan. It was a great pleasure!

Robert Hass: Thanks, Michelle. Big question. Stanzas in English poetry were originally a function of the rhyme scheme---I mean before scribes used space on the page to indicate a stanza, you could tell by sound when a stanza had ended and another one begun. The convention of giving written down poetry a lot of white space on the page made the other part of the convention of the stanza. When poets began to do without rhyme, the function of the stanza was no longer self-evident and it got expressed by the convention of white space. But what was it for? Whitman was the first poet in the English language, as far as I know, to deal with this problem. It looks like he mostly--in "Song of Myself"--used the stanza as a paragraph is used in prose (but what he does is actually more complicated than that) and on a different scale in his short poems also. What he doesn't do is impose a fixed pattern--so many lines to the stanza--and not doing that is what people have come to call "organic," I guess. That is, it is just as much an artist's decision as a fixed stanza pattern is, but it gives an appearance (it may be the case) that the content is determinging the stanza length and so it appears more natural. I think I probably begin there. The fixed pattern stanza conveys an idea of order. It gives the poem a more Apollonian look on the page

Lisa, Greenbelt: Many people describe the lineage of contemporary poetry as deriving from either Eliot or Williams. Do you see yourself as a decendant of either poet?

Robert Hass: Of both. I think the actual influence of Eliot was more immediate. I read him, or at least a few poems, intensely from high school on. The indirect influence of Williams--of his free verse, of the realist project--was probably much deeper, though I don't think I really studied Williams until I was in my forties. I think of the Eliot line as the one developing out of symbolist poetics, I guess, the technique in "The Wasteland," "Prufrock," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," even The Four Quartets, is, roughly expressionist.--"I should have been a pair of ragged claws," "And fiddled whisper music on those strings" etc; also there is the dramatic gift in Eliot, the people in his poems have voices. By contrast, I guess, the people in most of Williams are seen in snapshots. I think of Williams and Whitman together in their realism, their use of local materials, something pragmatic in their approach to people and life.

charles cantrell, madison, wi: Do you have any advice for someone who has an MFA (Goddard 1977) and was one of your students, has two chapbooks and is looking for a teaching position, with eleven years teaching composition but would like to teach creative writing.

Robert Hass: Hi Charles. I wish I had some advice for you, but I don't. I don't know much about the job market. But I wish you luck in finding the chance to teach creative writing. I imagine it is a matter of applying for jobs when they come up.

Billy Reynolds, Kalamazoo: What would you say is the difference between "My Mother's Breasts" and say some of Lowell's family poems? Why do you think some of his poems get labeled as so-called "confessional" and your poem doesn't? Is it a matter of "tone"? Or how one sees ones relation toward both the natural and social? Finally, as you discussed in the Hopwood lecture, family is a subject that we as Americans are obsessed with. My question is, do you think it's finished as a subject in American poetry as some think?

Robert Hass: The main difference is that I was very much aware of Lowell's poems. The term "confessional" probably has limited usefulness. I think it was intended to indicate on the one hand poems dealing in intimate personal materials (confession, as in True Confessions magazine) and on the other poems that courted something like the sacramental (or psychoanalytic) idea of confession, a confession of sin or a narrative of trauma, as a form of healing. (Louise Gluck in her book of essays writes about the difficulties of this second approach with its presumption that the narrator of trauma is, by definition, an heroic survivor; her point is that people who are damaged really are damaged.) Lowell was doing something odd and new in Life Studies. People had always written about family relations and also about all kinds of human behaviors, but they mostly did it at a remove, through myth or the framing of fictional narratives of one kind or another. I think all the masking among the modernists--Prufrock, the voices in the Wasteland, Pound's various masks, Crazy Jane and other masks in Yeats--led more or less directly to an idea of unmasking in Lowell's generation, also in Ginsberg, especially in Kaddish, in the next half-generation. Lowell, of course, felt that he had in his family and its lineage an historical subject. He's said that Faulkner was a sort of model for this. The Lowells and Winslowes were representative of a region and a culture in the way that Faulner's Sartorises and Compsons--fictionalizations of his family history were--so there was this other agenda in Lowell (and also for that matter in Ginsberg; his mother is also, in the age of the Rosenbergs and Cold War paranoia, a representative American figure). All very interesting---anticipated by Williams in his "Adam" and "Eve" and his other family poems. So there are really at least two separate subjects here that Lowell connected. Family history as subject matter and private life-meaning sexual life and family strife, money, marriage and divorce and illness, scandalous behaviors, the things that people are private about. Lowell took up both in a way that lyric poetry, as far as I know, never really had. Surprising--as I remarked in that Hopwood lecture--because it is such an obvious subject. And there's been as you notice a turning away from it, as the daring materials of the 1950's became the daytime TV of the 1980's and 90's. It has come to seem part of American narcissism, of the self-absorption of consumer culture. So poets, mostly, have changed the subject. I find myself--or found myself--turning to those materials in my own life to understand certain things, I guess. I was mainly aware, writing "My Mother's Nipples," that this was going to seem to many people very tired subject matter. I'm not sure how that affected the writing--the poem is partly about the way it teases and avoids its subject, until it gets down to it--except that I was aware that I disliked the kind of poem (or prose) that wanted mainly to say look what happened to me. Dostoevesky said that the trouble with Turgenev was that if he wrote about a man being hanged he did it by describing the tear in his own eye. Something like that. Is the subject finished? I don't see how it could be, but it is apt to show up in new forms.

Brittany, Alexandria: "Sunrise" is one of my favorite poems, partly because of the moves between grand ideas (birth) and specific images (deer at creek). Also, the sound and rhythm of the poem is extraordinary. I notice in later poems, your vocabulary is less dramatic, less grand, though the ideas are still weighty. Do you see this difference and can you comment on it?

Robert Hass: I'm glad you like that poem. It's true that my usual manner is plainer. I think this one began in my mind as an homage to Hart Crane and to the Neruda of the Residencia poems. I wanted a denser, grander idiom, momentarily. It comes back a bit, this style, in "Thin Air" and "Between the Wars" and in some passages in "Berkeley Eclogue." I think.

Jean Shepard: I was reintroduced to your poetry this past summer in Iowa by Bruce Bond who was teaching an advanced poetry workshop. Since then I have ordered several of your books and have been reading and rereading your poems. I am having difficulty with a section of one poem from the book Human Wishes. In "On Squaw Peak" I have difficulties with the lines that begin with "You were running" and end "or simply turn away." It is the identity of the people that gets me off track. I enjoy the poem so much that I would like to be able to follow all of it.

Robert Hass: Thanks, Jean. Let's see. The person addressed in that poem, the "you" is evidently a friend and colleague of the speaker. "We had to teach poetry / in that valley two thousand feet below us," he says. And--in the awkward manner of 2nd person poems, he characterizes the "you" to herself. Those are the lines you were wondering about--

You were running--Steven's mother, Michael's lover,
Mother and lover, grieving, of a girl
About to leave for school and die to you a little
(or die into you, or simply turn away)

--and they are simply an attempt to describe the situation of the "you": mother of a boy named Steven, lover (perhaps wife) of a man named Michael), mother also of a daughter about to go off "to school," college maybe, or boarding school, a loss the "you" is mourning. The three forms of that loss the speaker imagines--a going away is a kind of dying--people "die into" us, that is, we absorb then as we lose them--and kids, going off to school, to their lives, simply--some of them some of the time--turn away from their parents. I was trying to do a little domestic riff on complicated, ordinary feelings, and didn't mean for it to be mystifying. The poem is very much an homage to Wordsworth and to the conversation poems of Coleridge, but especially to Wordsworth who often addresses his sister Dorothy in his poems. I had some strategy or model like that in mind as a way to muse over the issues the poem muses over.

David, Baltimore: Do you ever think how your writing may have been different if you hadn't spent years teaching poetry to young writers? If so, in what ways do you think things could have turned out differently?

Robert Hass: I don't know, David. I didn't teach writing until after I'd written my first book of poems and then for about ten years I taught a night school open admission poetry class once a week and had a regular academic job during the day teaching literature and humanities courses at a small liberal arts college. I loved the night school class because it was a chance to talk about poetry and be involved with it. This was the stretch in which I was working on my second book and also writing prose about poetry. I would teach in summer workshops and I taught in a non-residential MFA program which was really a correspondence course, but I didn't regularly teach creative writing courses until I came to UC Berkeley in 1989. So I'd written three of my four books of poems before I was regularly employed teaching creative writing. I do think about what my writing might have been like if I'd tried to make a living as a writer instead of a teacher. The truth is, to be an artist in America, most of us have to try to work at two full-time jobs, and it takes a good deal of juggling one way or another.

Christopher, Georgia: How, and when, did you become friends with Czeslaw Milosz? What has his friendship meant to your writing?

Robert Hass: I started reading Milosz when I was still in college, I think, or just after. I read the prose book, The Captive Mind. And one of my friends from grammar school and high school did graduate work in Slavic languages at Berkeley and studied with him and talked to me about him in the late 60's. I met him sometime in the mid-70's after I moved to Berkeley. I was very curious about his untranslated poems. I had no idea then how much of it there was. I started to work on it in the late 70's and over the years we fell into this long collaboration on getting his work into English and became friends. It's been a very rich thing for me, living with that body of work, and our friendship a great gift. Czeslaw can be very funny and very good company. And one is always aware of the richness of his experience, also of the terrible task of witness he undertook.

Tim, D, Tempe: This may be an odd question, but it is a question that I have always been curious about. What is the role / function of the semi-colon in poety? Thank you for your time and your amazing work.

Robert Hass: Interesting, Tim. My wife, Brenda Hillman, is a poet and she's written a wonderful essay on punctuation in poetry, which you will certainly want to look at. It's in a book called By Herself, edited by Molly McQuade and published by Greywolf. My own sense--without having thought much about it--is that the semi-colon has the same function in poetry as it does in prose. It's used to bring together and to separate independent clauses in a way that indicates there's more relationship between them than between two wholly separate sentences. But there must be many other imaginative uses of that broken-looking little mark.

Nu, Towson, MD: Campbell McGrath wrote, "literary magazines are the most authentic forum for contemporary poetry." Do you agree? What exactly do you think he means by this? Or what would you take this to mean?

Robert Hass: I don't know what he means by "authentic," Nu. Literary magazines are certainly where most poetry in this country first sees the light of day and where issues of style and subject get played out. Campbell McGrath teaches in Miami. I expect he'd tell you what he meant if you asked him. At Florida International University, I think.

Sam, North Shore, Chicago: Do you have a formula you return to when faced with dry spells (I hate the phrase 'writer's block')? At such times do you read more books or poems? Do you force your way thru it, just keep writing? Do you take long breaks from poetry?

Robert Hass: I do seem to take long breaks, Sam. Usually when I get busy with other kinds of tasks. And I've tried different things over the years, the least effective of which has been just to wait. I've worked at translation, kept journals, set myself tasks (a paragraph a day that is the equivalent of a photograph, four lines of verse about this or that) I could perform with my will.

Mark C., Columbus OH: Could you share about juggling family life and writing? Has the balance you've made between the two worked out OK for you, or has it been a frustration? It seems like the best writers I know personally have difficult family situations. For me it's an interesting problem. Does one's family situation influence one's writing, or is it that one's writing influences one's family situation? Of course both are true, but I guess I would like to hear your take on, lets call it the correspondence, between these two things.

Robert Hass: It is, of course, difficult, Mark, to juggle family life and writing. Especially because it's not really possible to make a living as a poet (unless you are one of a handful of songwriter-performer-poets). A couple of poets make livings as novelists, but most novelists don't make livings as novelists, either. So, to be a writer in America, one needs to work hard at two jobs. The third part of that is family life. And since one has to show up for work the conflict occurs in the demands of writing life and family life. And then there is everything else, friendship, other interests, politics, citizenship, spiritual life, adventure. Kenneth Koch has written a poem which remarks that you can have art and love in your life, or art and friendship, but that you can't really have all three. When I was beginning to write and beginning to raise a family, I so loved being inside the rhythms of family life and parenting, that it was mostly nourishing to me and it also gave me a subject matter. It was what made up the texture of my days, what gave me a life to think about. And, of course, it's difficult. I've written about it directly and indirectly in my poems. Williams's "Danse Russe" is a wonderful poem on one part of the subject. The connection between art and the soul's loneliness, or maybe the word---it's the one he uses--isn't always right--each soul's separate task--the part of the self that isn't absorbed by other people's needs or answered entirely by love of another--is the reason why there is a need to juggle family life and writing. Anyway, it's difficult for me. I've never figured it out. Partly because it is my nature to be agreeable to others and to set aside what I'm doing, or at least that's how I choose to see myself, and one problem with it is that one's selfishness goes underground and is more difficult to pay attention to than the socially admirable parts of one's character. Complicated: writing comes to be associated with the outlaw parts of the self, but one really needs an orderly, bourgeois life to get work done. Older, I find that the demands of family life are less, but the demands of community life and work life and social life greater, so the problem never really goes away. A work ethic as an artist seems the nearest thing to a solution.

Joel, Miami: A professor of mine said you are truly a California poet. What do you think this means?

Robert Hass: "Truly" is the interesting and puzzling word, Joel. I live in California and write about it. Maybe he means that he sees something in my poems as an accurate (or inaccurately mythic) reflection of California's culture and geography (but California is a various place).

Lacey, New Jersey: The Northern Californian landscape figures significantly in your poems; what is its role?

Robert Hass: When I was starting to write, I was taken by various regional writers--Faulkner on Mississippi, Dostoevsky as a poet of St. Petersburg, Lowell and New England, and, to a lesser extent, the California poets, Jeffers and Rexroth. I had also begun to be concerned about what was happening to the natural and cultural environment of California in the economic boom of those years. The writing of Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry interested me a lot, then, because they were thinking about how to write about the issues involved, and they were doing it. I liked writing about my place. It gave me a subject; also I have always been very interested in natural history, and I had the idea, in my early work, that the sheer variety of the gene pool needed to be invoked and celebrated, if it was going to be saved, etc. But I found that I wasn't really interested in or good at advocacy types of writing. It just wasn't where my subject matter was. So the thought I had went something like this: if I live in my place and live my life and write about my subjects, whatever they turned out to be--love, grief, the nature of things, the nature of our nature, the riddles of existence--and drew on the materials of my place as the idiom of that expression, then that would be the kind of environmental writing I'd do. And that's roughly how the northern California landscape functions in my work, I think. Though lately I have had thoughts of turning back to it more directly, if I could figure out how.

Clare, Baltimore: How does the landscape and its particular vocabulary help us to understand our relationship to language? I'm thinking about your line, "beard stained purple by the word juice."

Robert Hass: In my teaching life, I've started trying to figure out how to co-teach, with a scientist friend, an introductory course on language, science, and the environment (I am not even sure, therefore, what word to use--environment, earth, world) and have written a little about this to clarify my own thinking. The short version--because the whole of epistemology is in your question, I think, Clare; Wittgenstein has an answer to your question; Heidegger has a different answer--is that the world given to the senses is the vocabulary with which we express everything that is not visible, or not given to the senses. We can tell people something about thought by describing certain kinds of bird flight, something about certain dispositions of the heart by describing an aspect of trees. This, by the way, makes for a problem with seeing what's outside on something like its terms rather than ours. Moreover, the "world given to the senses" is drenched in ideas that come from language as soon as it is available to us. Not only stuff belonging to the structure of the particular language we are acquiring as we acquire consciousness, for example (in English the correspondences between, say, the subject-verb-object in the language and cause-and-effect in what goes on out there) shapes what the senses give us, but the pre-linguistic experience of our own bodies--that already informs ideas like "the tree is standing in the field." "Standing" is already an idea in the mind based on an experience of the body. Perhaps "beard stained purpled by the word juice," as a thought, falls into this category. I had a dear friend, the philosopher Richard Wollheim. He died recently. A while ago, as I was dithering with these subjects, I said to Richard that I wanted to talk, to go back and think about the little I knew about knowing, because I was teaching this course. He asked how far back. I said, well, how do we know the mailbox is on the corner. And he said, dubiously, I see. Way back.

Reynard, Houston: Could you comment on your poem, "The Seventh Night"? I've always assumed it is in a code I don't know. Is it purely nonsensical? What is the purpose of the playfully outrageous dialogue?

Robert Hass: It isn't intentionally complicated, Reynard, or written in code, though perhaps the social background is intentionally sketchy, so that the figure of the woman in the poem can be a person or some muse figure conjured by the imagination. I don't know if it will help, if I say that the social context I had in mind was the last day of something like a week-long gathering of poets (such as occur in the American summer). Hence the seventh day of creation or the beginning of de-creation. So what I imagined was a sort of volleying mix of metaphor competition and flirtatious conversation between two poet or poet-like figures. So when one of them greets the other--I'm not going to look at the poem for the exact lines--"Hello, moonshine," the other responds back, "Hello, dreamer" and then they start to have a metaphor duel. The woman says who she is by saying, "My father is·" etc.

Cecilia, Memphis: I love your prose poems in Human Wishes; do you still write prose poems? Can you talk about what prose poems allow you to do that shorter lined and stanzaed poems do not?

Robert Hass: I have written some prose poems in the last few years, but I am not really working at the form in the way that I was when I was working on Human Wishes. I think what I said to myself at the time was that the prose form allowed me to get more of the prose of the world into my writing. I think I also was responding against the tendency of the prose poem to be wildly imaginative, free associative, etc, to prove that it was poetry. It had in the late seventies and early eighties devolved into a medium for surrealist skits because it was so afraid of the discursive and narrative uses of prose. So I found myself experimenting with discursive and narrative prose inside the limits of a paragraph.

Ndaneh, New York: When Robert Creeley did Poets Q&A, he made the argument that American poetry is too concerned with itself--it doesn't look outward enough; we aren't knowledgeable about the countries/cultures with whom we are involved, politically and militarily. Do you agree? Would you say that, despite our blinders, our poems are political nonetheless, in that they don't take up political issues? Are all poems political?

Robert Hass: I think each generation of poets and artists has to think out this issue all over again. It is certainly the case that most Americans are deeply ignorant of other cultures. If one lives elsewhere even for a short time and reads other media, gets a different account of the world, then the bubble Americans live in seems, when one gets back inside, absurdly, hopelessly limited and self-pre-occupied. That is true. I picked up a book recently by Dean Acheson, secretary of state in the Truman administration, called The Korean War. In the index, there were, in five or six pages, two Korean names. Our ignorance about Iraq and the Middle East is visiting us just now. Are our poems political by not being political? Yes, sure. But there are also a number of political poems and poems that try to register politics. Are all poems political? That's something we used to say in the 60's and it is true, of course, but it's misleading. Very few of the explicitly political poems in the history of English literature survive into the anthologies we read, and an intelligent Marxist critic could show how the apparently unpolitical poems that do survive have, in fact, a clear political sub-text, but they are for the most part poems of love and sorrow, life and death, social wit, natural description, metaphors for states of the soul. Politics, as a subject, is about government and the effects of government on society. Its particular inventions--laws, written constitutions, monarchial pageantry, prisons, armies, gallows, tax-collection, the separation of powers, equality under the law--are different things, seem to require different skills than invention in poetry. And it isn't helpful to think they are the same thing. But an appetite for justice, an imagination of peace or fairness or freedom, is an imaginative thing and is poetry's business, I think. Also, in this country, we have exported so much of the exploitation in which our economic system is implicated that it's invisible to us. Our wars occur elsewhere, so that the consequences of our politics come to us as displacement, through the media, and it is difficult to figure out how to (1) write about second-hand experience, and (2) get at the politics of our direct experience. Healthy for us, of course, to find ways to do it.

Roger, Wisconsin: Who are you reading?

Robert Hass: At the moment, Rimbaud. I've been teaching a course that involves reading Sappho, Catullus, Horace, Li Po, Tu Fu, a little Chaucer, a little Dryden, Baudelaire, Rilke, Vallejo, Montale. I've just been reading new poems by my wife Brenda Hillman and my colleague, James Galvin. One of my bedside books has been Happily, by my Berkeley colleague Lyn Hejinian, another is a new book from UC Press, The Seventy Prepositions, by Carol Snow. I have also been looking at the just-published Columbia Book of Modern Korean Poetry.

Russell, Annapolis: In an already over entertained world, what do you make of more and more outlets for creativity such as an independent magazine like Smartish Pace? I guess the question is, do we really need another? If so, why? I once heard some poet say, "If you're thinking of starting a literary magazine, don't!" Though I must say, it is pretty progressive of Smartish Pace to have poets open to chats on-line.

Robert Hass: I haven't seen Smartish Pace. I always like the idea of a new literary magazine. The magazine is clearly going to be reinvented by electronic technologies, but a literary magazine is a kind of literary community--even if, like groups of friends, especially the young in their twenties, they form for a while, generate their excitement and then dissolve. I would think demographics favor more literary magazines. You know, there are more people who can read in most good-sized American cities than there was in Shakespeare's London or Villon's Paris. Every city out to produce an interesting literary magazine, and then there are the whole aesthetic movements, people in Seattle in touch with people in Port Royal, Kentucky, and all of them connected with new work all over the world through translation, that can only find their conversation through some form of the literary magazine.

R. Davis, Cincinnati: Do you think poetry has withdrawn from the general public? Or, at least withdrawn since the 1950s? At times it seems to have a club feel--a club for members only feel--though I'm wondering who's to blame (poetry community or society at large) for this feeling. Thanks for taking time to answer my question.

Robert Hass: I don't think poetry has withdrawn from the general public. On the contrary, I think--I know, actually--that there is far more public awareness of poetry now than there was in the 1950's. I don't know how old you are, R. Davis, or what your gauge of public awareness is. Things certainly change. In my childhood (in the nineteen forties and fifties) there was an older generation still around that had been raised in an educational system that had stressed memorization and public speaking. So, in my experience, my grandparents, both educated in Montana at the turn of the century, could recite at least a few poems--poems that seemed to me sort of fun and sort of corny. And in the local newspaper in the little town where I grew up north of San Francisco there were old-fashioned sounding poems, I remember them all as being about gardening or the seasons, printed in the newspaper. And by the late 1950's when I was old enough to read the San Francisco newspapers, I remember there was stuff in the paper about beatniks and poetry readings in North Beach, and the trial of Lawrence Ferlinghetti for publishing Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" was a local newspaper story. Poetry was taught in the schools, but no one I knew of read it for pleasure--and the idea of reading poetry in public, which the Beats initiated, was treated as if it were the equivalent of getting naked in public, which they also initiated. There were not ten literary magazines in the entire country; there were--with a couple of noticeable exceptions--no creative writing classes in university, colleges, community colleges, or high schools. The Beats--in my angle of vision in one part of California, began to change that. Robert Frost's appearance at John Kennedy's inauguration in 1960 also made for some public awareness of poetry. The elder poets I know or have known--like George Oppen or Stanley Kunitz, who came of age in the nineteen thirties, both spoke about the terrific loneliness and isolation of poets in those years. So it looks to me like the fact of poetry readings in every city, summer poetry workshops regionally all over the country, the dozens of literary magazines, the poetry slams, the fact that there are now one or two poets teaching at almost every institution of higher education in the country, the poetry organizations, prizes, the whole business of poet laureates, the 800-1000 books of poetry published in this country every year--all that looks to me like a more socially active presence of poetry in this country than ever. It is true that it occurs almost exclusively under the radar (the dull Cyclopean eye) of the television set and the local newspaper--but the culture pages of most newspapers simply rewrite the press releases of movie studios and rock concert promoters anyway. So I can see how it might not seem that the culture embraced poetry if one were to judge by the mass media. But there is--I think--an enormous amount of activity all over the country. I am interested by your sense that the poetry world that is out there looks to you like a closed club. I don't know if this comes from your experience in Cincinnati specifically, or in the country at large. I don't know how many active poets there are in this country--somewhere around 5,000? There are more stamp collectors, I'm sure, and baseball card collectors. And the published writers do get to know each other and that it looks like a closed club if you are on the outside of it. Probably in that way it is a club--actually a series of little clubs. Poets tend to bond into smallish packs based on their aesthetic commitments and it is often their character, especially the character of avant-gardes and new-poetry movements, to form clubs of those who are against what looks like the main club--which is not necessarily such a bad form for energy to take. I can report that there didn't seem to be a "poetry community" when I was in my teens and twenties, starting to write, and wondering about making my way. There were the Beat Generation people--who seemed like a group of rebellious like-minded young artists and political activists and adventurous souls, among whom were some poets. And the poets I read in magazines from the East Coast--the quarterlies like the Partisan Review and the Kenyon Review, where I came across poets like Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell and Elizabeth Bishop--seemed also to belong to a group (to me, from that distance) that included other kinds of writers, novelists and critics. I was getting some of my political education, education in looking at painting and listening to music from the reviews in those magazines, and it felt like the people who wrote for those magazines knew each other, felt, to me, that there was an ideal community out there somewhere of artists and intellectuals more interesting than the world I grew up in, but it didn't seem like a closed club to me. It felt like an arena of activity. Perhaps the poetry community now is more closed-in on itself, less connected to politics and the other arts, and that may be what you are describing. One solution, of course, is always to create your own club. It is the nature of the arts that each next generation has to turn over the soil.