Ngāi Tahu jeweller wins CNZ Fellowship


Creative New Zealand’s $100,000 2015 Craft/Object Fellowship has been awarded to Ngāi Tahu artist/jeweller Areta Wilkinson of Canterbury.

Areta recently completed a doctoral thesis examining concepts of taonga relevant to her own contemporary practice and she says the fellowship will enable her to complete further work relevant to her thesis. Her project, Hine-Āhua: Absences and Presences will use gold sourced from Te tai Poutini (the West Coast) and Ōtakou regions.

“Through a Māori lens, gold from Papatuanuku and Te Waipounamu has a mauri (a life essence) and I’m interested in investigating how the precious metal and new forms will be further enhanced by Ngāi Tahu narratives about gold,” she says.

Areta’s doctorate exhibition, Whakapaipai:Jewellery as Pepeha (partially shown in the photograph above) was on show at Canterbury Museum from November 2014 through to March 2015 and is now showing at Objectspace in Auckland and then tours to the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

The Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship is awarded to established or senior practitioners, curators and writers working in traditional applied arts or contemporary practice.

Creative New Zealand’s chief executive Stephen Wainwright says Dr Wilkinson’s research informed by Māori inquiry, makes a unique contribution to the field of contemporary jewellery.
“This is important here in Aotearoa and internationally. We see great value in having this work developed as a tangible illustration of the connection between indigenous knowledge and craft practice.”