Artists chosen for regional park residency

Thursday 26 March 2009, 2:35PM
By Auckland Regional Council


Writer Siobhan Harvey and painter Johanna Pegler were chosen from 54 applicants to the ARC's regional parks based programme. This is the second year that the Artist in Residence programme has been offered and Johanna and Siobhan join sculptor Nic Moon and painter Derek March (last year's residents) as creators of art on parks.

Both Johanna and Siobhan will reside at Awhitu Regional Park for the months of October and November respectively.

"Once again we received a good number of applications from a range of genres," says Chair of the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Sandra Coney.

"We had composers, choreographers, poets, and playwrights apply as well as visual artists working in a range of media. There is no shortage of people that want to take advantage of this residency and extend their work into a regional park," she says.

Siobhan Harvey has just completed editing a collection of poetry, titled Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand poems about animals. Her proposal for this residency is to tell park stories through the point of view of animalia and flora that inhabit the landscape.

She proposes working on a cycle of poems which carries ‘the voice of the day; from morning chorus to nightfall'.

Ms Harvey, a Manukau resident, will make her work available to Awhitu visitors and hopes to offer an open studio and a reading during or after her residency.

"We are lucky to have this refreshing and talented writer taking part in our programme," says Artist in Residence project leader Michelle Edge

For painter Johanna Pegler, the residency is an opportunity to depict the impacts of human habitation on landscape and the landforms of the area.

Johanna Pegler has a strong connection with the Awhitu peninsula. Ms Pegler's ancestors, Elijah and Betsy Hockin, settled in Waiuku in 1859 and ran timber and flour mills there. Enos Pegler, Ms Pegler's great grandfather photographed the region from the 1890s.

She hopes to ‘gain further insight into the early settlers' attitudes towards the land and consider these in relation to contemporary attitudes'.

Like Siobhan Harvey, Ms Pegler has a strong affinity for the environment. Her location has always been the basis for her painting. She hopes to encourage others to think more deeply about the question of living with one another and the elements.

Originally, this residency was to be an eight-week project for one artist. Both Siobhan Harvey and Johanna Pegler proposed a shorter term in their applications, enabling the selection panel to decide upon two artists for the same duration.

About Siobhan Harvey
Siobhan's poetry has been published in literary magazines and anthologies in New Zealand and in the UK. She is editor of Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand poems about animals and is poetry editor of Takahe, one of New Zealand's literary magazines. Siobhan has been a guest at literary festivals in New Zealand and abroad, and her work has been performed on radio. She is a creative writing tutor at Auckland University, a literary journalist and reviewer, and holds a BA (Hons) in creative writing and an MA in creative writing. Siobhan is a regular journalist and reviewer for New Zealand Listener and Landfall, and is currently guest editor of Poetry New Zealand.

About Johanna Pegler
Johanna has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts. She has held solo exhibitions in Auckland, Wanganui and Rotorua, and regularly exhibits at the Anna Miles Gallery. Johanna's work has been reviewed and critiqued. Her work appears in significant public gallery and corporate collections.