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Wystan Curnow Wins 2010 Seresin Landfall Residency

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wystan Curnow
Wystan Curnow

Tuscancy residency offers established NZ writer opportunity to work on upcoming Colin McCahon book

Seresin Estate and Otago University Press are delighted to announce writer and curator Wystan Curnow as the winner of the second Seresin Landfall Residency. The residency provides a New Zealand writer with six weeks' accommodation in Tuscany or Marlborough to work on a major project.

Wystan Curnow is a writer, curator, editor and educator who has worked in the arts for 40 years. His publications include 30 books and exhibition catalogues, more than 250 articles, reviews and poems. A Professor of English, he is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland.

Curnow will spend the six-week residency in Tuscany working on a book on Colin McCahon, which has an associated exhibition combining McCahon's works with those of his international contemporaries. In 2009 he co-edited with Tyler Cann a new book on Len Lye, published by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the Len Lye Foundation, and collaborated with American artist, Lawrence Weiner, on his book The Other Side of a Cul-de-Sac. He has also published four books of poetry.

Wystan Curnow says 'The news is taking a bit of time to sink in - you don't count on such outcomes. I've not been to Tuscany before nor Italy apart from Venice. I shall be able to work on the McCahon book and make side trips connected with possible exhibition venues.'

Michael Seresin says the quality of the 2010 applicants made a final decision very difficult, however he felt it was important to support Wystan Curnow's latest work. 'The project that Mr Curnow is working on has an enormous amount of merit, not least because Colin McCahon is such a pivotal figure in New Zealand art. I believe we should contribute anything we can, to get this work completed.'

Mr Curnow says 'McCahon was a friend of my family, my mother especially. As a secondary school art student I was selected for an advanced class at the Auckland City Art Gallery, taught partly by McCahon. As a university student I hung out with him at the Gallery and in the pub after work.'

He adds 'my personal contact continued through the writing of a catalogue essay for his Necessary Protection survey and for I Will Need Words in 1984. My writing and curating of McCahon work is notable for shifting attention to his later language-based works at a time when his landscape work was preferred by most critics, and for introducing McCahon to an international audience first in Australia and later in Europe.'

The inaugural Seresin Landfall Residency winner was C.K. Stead, who spent six weeks in Tuscany in 2009 working on his memoir, Southwest of Eden and other projects. In the first year of the residency Michael Seresin also took the opportunity to support a young writer starting out, offering Jenah Shaw an additional six-week residency in the Marlborough Sounds. Jenah, a promising young writer at the start of her career, used the residency to finish work on her first novel.

Entries for the 2011 Seresin Landfall Residency close on 31 January 2011.

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