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Selwyn District Council announces first artist residency

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Selwyn District Council is pleased to announce that respected Ngāi Tahu artist, Emma Riha Kitson, has been appointed as the first of four artists in residence in Selwyn.

The Canterbury-born, Wellington-based artist and designer is inspired by native New Zealand flora and fauna and Te Ao Māori. Using printmaking methods that whānau can use at home, Emma will explore the intersection of traditional Māori stories and making of bunting to celebrate special occasions.

Matariki ki tua o ngā whetÅ«, ‘Matariki of endless possibilities’ uses contemporary Ngā Toi Māori to interpret and celebrate the story of Matariki. This residency will take place at Darfield Library during Matariki in June.

Installed: Artists in Residence is a series of four artist residencies in collaboration with Selwyn District Libraries and the Selwyn arts community, and produced by the Council’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Selwyn service.

Council District Arts Coordinator, Becca Bouffandeau, says Selwyn is a natural place for high-calibre art events to take place and the residency will provide artists time, space and resources to work and reflect on their practice.

"The aim is for the residency to provide support to artists in the creation of their work and connect them with a community. New and unique pieces of work will be created in response to each residency brief and location," she says.

"The artists will engage and interact with the public during the residency, providing an opportunity for people to learn from, and respond to, artists and their practice. The resident artist will produce a piece of work for exhibition, celebration and critique, as well as hosting educational presentations and workshops."

The four themed residencies are: Ngā Toi Māori (Darfield Library), Youth (Rolleston Library), Digital Art (Leeston), and Literature (Lincoln).

The first residency, Ngā Toi Māori, coincides with Matariki, the Māori New Year, and will explore Matariki through printmaking.

"The artist’s work space is open and accessible; library visitors are encouraged to interact throughout the residency with opportunities to learn about Matariki and printmaking," Mrs Bouffandeau says.

During her residency, Emma will produce a series of linocuts depicting each of the Matariki stars, exploring traditional Matariki stories. The prints will be converted into bunting which will be gifted to Darfield Library.

All are welcome to visit Emma at the Darfield Library and interact with her as she works. Emma will be available at the library from Monday 11 June to Friday 15 June, between 11am and 5pm.

An evening presentation will be held on Tuesday 12 June from 7-8pm. This will involve learning the skills to make prints at home without a printing press, using recycled and budget materials.

Emma will also host a Whānau DIY Matariki Bunting workshop, with two sessions on Saturday 16 June, at 10am and 1.30pm. The workshops are for all ages and skill levels, and the bunting created in the workshop will be displayed as part of Darfield Library’s Matariki celebrations. Bookings are required for these workshops. Register at

The remaining artist residencies will be offered at Rolleston (Youth), Lincoln (Literature) and Leeston (Digital Art) libraries, in October 2018, February 2019, and April 2019 respectively.

INSTALLED: Artist in residence

Ngā Toi Māori with Emma Kitson, Darfield Library, 11-15 June, throughout the day between 11am to 5pm

Printmaking from Home presentation, Tuesday 12 June, 7-8pm

Whānau DIY Matariki Bunting workshop, Saturday 16 June, 10am and 1.30pm

Photo: Artist Emma Kitson will be artist in residence at Darfield Library during Matariki in June.

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