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Wild Creations 2020 opens: Opportunity for artists to engage with nature

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hot on the heels of Conservation Week’s 50th Anniversary, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Creative New Zealand are pleased to welcome submissions for Wild Creations 2020 - an initiative supporting artists to engage with nature and conservation.

Wild Creations offers artists the opportunity to spend time in New Zealand’s natural environment and to be inspired to create new work based on a DOC conservation experience and the places, people and stories of Aotearoa New Zealand. At least two projects will be selected for funding support.

Artists can choose from a range of DOC experiences to incorporate into their proposal, from visiting a place of significance to Māori, to getting involved in the protection of threatened species, to immersion experiences in island coastal or remote habitats.

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Caption: Temple Basin, visited by 2018/19 Wild Creations Artist Bridget Reweti during her DOC experience. Image courtesy of Bridget Reweti.

Bridget Reweti, one of the Wild Creations artists from 2018/19 says, "The 2019 Wild Creations opportunity allowed me to become more than a visitor in a few small corners of our wondrous Conservation Estate. The value of this time is immeasurable and will be a constant source of inspiration in my practice."

Lou Sanson, DOC Director-General says, "We’re lucky in New Zealand to have a rich natural and cultural heritage like nowhere else in the world. It’s exciting to provide artists this chance to connect with nature, and then see how they share their experiences and tell stories about what conservation means to New Zealanders.

"The artists who’ve been on the programme previously have produced amazing work, and I’m looking forward to seeing what applicants propose this year. Engagement with nature and heritage is critical, and we see this programme as a valuable way to inspire New Zealanders to do so."

Michel Tuffery was one of the Wild Creations artists for 2017/18. His project involved research into pelagic birds at Taiaroa Heads and Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui Stewart Island, which resulted in multiple artworks and community engagement projects.

"The Wild Creations programme is the perfect vehicle to communicate and empower communities, by increasing our knowledge about our unique environments. Everything is connected," says Michel.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright says, "Aotearoa offers stunning landscapes, unique flora and fauna and rich cultural heritage from which artists may draw to influence their thinking and practice."

"Not only is being with nature fantastic for our wellbeing, it pulls us out of our day-to-day, encouraging a fresh perspective. In previous years, Wild Creations artists from a range of disciplines have developed fascinating and diverse work, highlighting the significance of our interconnections with our heritage and natural environment," says Stephen.

Up to $36,000 is available towards supporting a minimum of two projects and covers a stipend, project material costs and travel costs.

Applications close 6 December 2019.

Applicants will be notified on 14 February 2020.

For information and to apply visit:

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