Thursday, November 28, 2013

Walk This Way
Judy Darragh

by: Kathryn Tsui

In Walk this way artist Judy Darragh constructs a new floor and wall based installation out of consumer by-products and everyday objects that are attacked with psychedelic colour.
Infamous for her resourceful use of cheap found materials, Darragh contorts these into new assemblages. As an artist, she observes how consumer society measures success on material wealth. By reusing low-cost throw-away objects she draws attention to this capitalist logic and subverts it. 

Just as the appearance of wealth through materialism is somewhat illusionary, so is another point of interest for the artist, Science Fiction. From this semi fictional world Darragh borrows visual metaphors and connotations.

Generic science fiction imagery of star scapes, radiating beams and brightly hued gradients invade the wall works. PVC banners that once advertised the latest film releases are no longer commercially relevant and have been repurposed with astral graffiti of neon coloured spray paint and grids of tape. 

These galactic wall works are analogue not digital, they are produced by hand and to the artist they take on a new form of futurism in reaction to an increasingly digital world. Darragh says, “they act as glitches like a manual low-fi process, breaking down the screen surface and undermining notions of technology.”

Meanwhile the installation crossing the floor is made out of low-fi and high tech materials. Bent industrially produced aluminium rods with strange growths and attachments of familiar household objects are given a new form of meaning. These highly animated foreign forms have human and bodily qualities, and observed closely we see the artist has used bandages, cotton wool, make-up sponges and inner soles from shoes. The inner sole or soul is a recurrent motif in this new exhibition titled Walk this way, in which the foot prints can represent the steps it takes to crossover into an alternative world or reality. 

Artist Biography
Auckland based artist Judy Darragh was born in Christchurch. She gained a Diploma in Visual Communication and Design from Wellington Polytechnic. She has exhibited widely and her works are held in various public collections including; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. In 2004 the Museum of New

Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa featured a major retrospective of her work curated by Natasha Conland and entitled Judy Darragh: So... you made it?. The artist has held many secondary and tertiary teaching positions including Henderson High School and Elam School of Fine Arts.  Darragh was also involved in the development of ARTSPACE, Auckland and artist run initiatives, Teststrip and Cuckoo. Judy Darragh is represented by Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sculpting Pure Silver Jewellery, a new Summer School workshop with Ingrid Schloemer
By Patricia Aguilera
Now you can create your own jewellery accessories in Sculpting Pure Silver Jewellery, a new workshop with silver clay artist Ingrid Schloemer, offered at Corban Estate Arts Centre from 13 – 17 January 2014 as part of the centre’s annual Summer School arts programme.

Ingrid Scholemer is an exceptional jewellery artist whose passion for silver has led her to exhibit and sell her work internationally in Germany, the United States, Australia and throughout New Zealand.  Her interest in silver began in 2006 when she discovered the versatility of precious metal clay and soon engaged in learning contemporary silver sculpture.  “The most fascinating aspect of silver is the transformation of a soft, clay-like substance that can be shaped in infinite ways” - Ingrid says. 

Ingrid finds her inspiration in her immediate surroundings.  Nature and its constant changes, the effects of light and darkness are the inspiration for decorative motifs used in her creations. “My eyes are constantly hunting for pleasing shapes, colour combinations and textures to incorporate into the design of another jewellery item.” – Ingrid says.

Over seven years of practice and dedication have enabled Ingrid to become a senior clay silver instructor. As a certified tutor, Ingrid has taught over a thousand students of all ages. Ingrid says of her teaching experience, “The possibilities are incredible and attendees see what others make, get new ideas and also learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. It’s always an honour for me to guide every participant to create an original jewellery item and witness the joy and amazement this medium provides!”
Enthused over sharing her passion for silver, Ingrid will take you through the design aspects of sculpting jewellery for the different kinds of items. You will acquire skills to shape, refine and finish your individual silver jewellery pieces. You will learn various decoration techniques such as the use of moulds for applying textures and working with a syringe to create filigree and intricate hollow items.

At the end of this five-day workshop, you will have produced at least four jewellery items and gained new skills and inspiring ideas to continue creating original jewellery at home.  “Beginner or not, everyone will create individual silver jewellery. My promise is that by the end of the week you will look at your world with different eyes”. - Ingrid says about this workshop.

Enrolments for Sculpting Pure Silver Jewellery and other Summer School workshops are now open.  To ensure a place call (09) 838 4455 or email . For more information about this class and the full 2014 Summer School programme, please visit

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A New Play Tackles Youth Issues Head-On
Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane – a story of courage and unspoken truth
By Jay Junior Williams

Facing up to the issues of youth bullying and the resultant effects within communities,
especially those in the West Auckland area is a task that Jay Junior Williams, the
creator of ‘Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane’ has taken by the horns.
With a cast of talented young West Aucklanders, Williams fuses Maori and Pacific
motifs with gritty hard-hitting realities of youth living real daily lives – somewhere
between lost and found. It is an ugly duckling story described as a poetic and operatic
drama of transcendence.

“The transcendence we’re talking about is that of self-worth and the freedom to be
yourself,” explains Williams.

The play touching on issues of bullying, depression and suicide have all been issues
big in the news of the day re: Roast Busters and others. But, Williams says, these are
not new issues and he’s been working with them since 2007 when he began Phoenix
NZYP (New Zealand Young Performers).

“Contrast to the Roast Busters, we’ve got a group of young men doing incredibly
positive things. But, what these guys have done is highlight the issues we’ve been
working with all along. Bullying today has changed and it’s time communities and
especially schools started recognising that.”

Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane examines some of these issues, which
Williams is passionate about. He goes on,

“You know it’s about responsibility; of the bystander, the community, the schools all
to feel a certain level of responsibility towards each other. If we had more of this, then
intervention and reaction would be so much more meaningful. What we’re about
[Phoenix] is being proactive and tackling the problems in a real multi-dimensional
way, which is what our communities and schools should also be doing.”
As a secondary school teacher, Williams explains that all too many times bullying
would go unnoticed until it was too late – especially cyber bullying which is almost
invisible except to those involved.

“This is the worst thing about it. We haven’t yet learnt to identify it as something as
real as getting punched in the face. But, it can be much worse than just a physical act.
This is part of the reason I wanted to do the play, to bring awareness to the power of
words and the humiliation this can wield over others, especially in an online context.”
Williams says that the recent spate of news items about these issues serve to highlight
the gap in societies responsibilities to teach emotional literacy and care particularly
through our schooling system.

“Phoenix as an organisation is robust and has provided opportunities for hundreds of
young people to transition and transform through accessible forums and empathetic
encounters. These are not always accessible in the schooling system and so we find
that we are catching those who leak through the cracks.”

Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane examines the issues in a non-traditional
narrative. It points to a betrayal of the system, as in the Garden of Gethsemane,
whereby the elephant standing in this garden is covered in a shroud of secrecy and

“We’re using a non-traditional narrative because what people don’t understand is that
these issues have evolved and yet we are still using old mechanisms. We’re trying to
make it accessible and also to be able to bring out the discussion that needs to be had
around these issues. It’s not about laying blame, as some have been doing, it’s about
finding solutions and forums in which young people may be free to share.”

Although the Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane ends in a positive, as with the
story of the ugly duckling, this doesn’t always happen in real life. Williams points to
the fact that for a real change to happen over the long-term to stop bullying, violence
and suicide the community has to stand-up attack it in a multi-dimensional way and
get support from government dollar for dollar. Williams concludes,
“I don’t have all the answers but I do know that at least my organisation has been and
will continue to be part of the answer. I’d like to see community, schools and
individuals really find solutions that connect and share through a focus on wellbeing.
We’re helping out with providing art as a mechanism for change and we hope that
others may see some worth in this.”

* Jay Junior Williams is the founder of Phoenix NZYP, a Senior Secondary Schools drama
teacher and social change agent.

* As a recipient of the Vodafone World of Difference Award 2013, Jay worked on a number
of projects through the year - Matariki (drawing awareness of it's significance for Maori),
Phase 1 young writers festival, Candid (showcase of emerging artists), Blood in Water theatre
piece, Women's Refuge Campaign in Palmerston North, The White Ribbon Campaign, Anti-
Bullying Campaign in schools, visit to NYC.
* Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane also has limited public seating in a fundraiser
performance for Leadership NZ on Tuesday 26th November 8pm, preceded by an address by Mr Williams at 730pm. Contact Q-Theatre for enquiries.

For ticketing details at Corban Estate Arts Centre (Shed 1) on Friday 13th December
at 8pm (preceded by a directors talk at 730pm), you can find out more at or ph: 838 4455, website:

Elephant in the Garden of Gethsemane
A story of courage and unspoken truth
A play by Jay Williams, Phoenix NZYP director
(Project K)


Project K is developing a hybrid body of work that involves up to 30 young people who will be engaged in an intensive creative process. While Jay Williams is the Director, the creation of this body of work brings together specialist practitioners to mentor young people through a series of comprehensive workshops.

Project K’s devising and research processes provide an environment that foster reflective thinking and promote greater skill in social decision making.
Project K will result in a 45 minute installation/theatre piece that explores identity and culture in Aotearoa today. 

Creative Process
Young people will be involved in a series of discussions and workshops where they share their own experiences, listen to the experiences of others and then reflect on their own understandings and responses.  This process gives them a platform to explore, interpret and translate experience into the essential meaning it has for them in today’s world.

The Story
The story is based around Hans Christian Andersen’s literary fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling, a classic tale of searching for one's own identity as an alternative to conformity and assimilation. The story centres around Maui Felimu, a half Samoan/Maori born out of wedlock. Maui’s narrative looks at his journey with mental illness and how this impacts on his perception of himself.  Maui’s pulsating question is “How do I fit?”

“Some are commercial flowers, always watered, fed, hydroponic clones, harnessed in a man-made glasshouse.  I'd rather be a dandelion weed, free like the phoenix, uncaged, candid, real, growing on the side of the road, broken through the surface of stone, to live, to share with nature,  to seed without prejudice.  To float by the breeze of my tupuna, carrying my DNA beyond the confines of a shop window.  I'd rather be invisible, than be an decoration in someone’s kitchen or an after-thought on Valentines day.  I’d rather be a dandelion weed growing wild any day.”  (Opening spoken word, Jay Williams)

Elliot Collins
By Kathryn Tsui

Artist Elliot Collins latest exhibition is based loosely on The Odyssey by Homer. Through the interplay of text, sculpture and photography Collins visually relocates this classic story to take place within the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, representing his on-going interest in the perception of New Zealand as a vibrant place for exploration and discovery.

Argonauts (2013) refers to the great ship Argo, that took the warrior Argonauts to Troy. Ironically Collins has reframed the Optimist, a single handed sailing dinghy into the Argo. The Optimist being a common sight around Auckland’s coast line as countless New Zealand children have their first sailing experience in this boat. Now, as individually hand painted brooches the Argonauts (2013) become a talisman or portable artwork that can be travelled with. 

Situated on Great Barrier Island within the Hauraki Gulf are the two photographic works and map work. In the two photographic works there is a sense of isolation and entrapment that comes from island life, of travelling from place to place. Collins has taken two different perspectives of the island, that of looking outward at dawn and inward at daytime. Follow me to Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island) (2013), is from a series of 60 nautical charts of New Zealand’s coastlines and features the Twitter instruction to ‘Follow Me’. 

Communication is a founding interest for the artist and he is well known for his lyrical text based paintings. In Hermes (2013) the words are less poetic and more code-like, alluding to the simple coding that underlies both nautical communication and current forms of social media.  Hermes is known to be the messenger between Greek gods and humans, and this work will be interactive between the artist and the viewer, as the show progresses he will randomly change the message.

Tempest (2013) a work of suspended poles further signifies visual codes of nautical travel.  The banded poles symbolise tidal markers which can mark the safe or unsafe passageway through measuring water levels. Collins paints grey stripes as a colour cue for storm clouds since the word tempest is a synonym for a natural storm.

By focussing on the epic trials of Odysseus as he makes his way home after the fall of Troy, Collins combines concepts of mythology, adventure, travel, navigation and communication.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


End to End Film-making, a new Summer School workshop
By Patricia Aguilera

“End to End Film-making is designed to emulate the entire film process” explains film director Bryan Hudkins. Hudkins talks about a new workshop offered as part of the Corban Estate Arts Centre’s Summer School programme, 13 – 17 January 2014.

 Bryan Hudkins is an American film director and scriptwriter with a remarkable trajectory in the film industry. His experience includes an internship at Walden Media, producers of The Chronicles of Narnia series, as well as working in the Hollywood film Aliens in the Attic. Hudkins has directed TV commercials, participated in international and local film festivals and is co-founder of Dreams in Shadow, a joint venture with a group of passionate industry professionals.  The Dreams in Shadow team includes film and art directors, stunt coaches, storyboard drafters, executive producers, together with camera and lighting experts.

In this Summer School workshop, participants will learn the art and business of film-making as they develop a story, create a budget, pitch it to studios, hash out storyboards, then cast and shoot a film with their team. In the edit room they will work with professional editors to prepare for the screening.  “Workshop participants will emerge with an arsenal of tools ready for tackling any film project”, says Hudkins.   

Enrolments for End to End film-making and other Summer School workshops are now open.  Ensure a place.  T: 8384455  E:  More info

Dreams in Shadow team: Bryan Hudkins, Mike Lough and special guests

Launch yourself into the heated fray of film with a passionate group of writers, directors, producers and editors. With professional filmmakers teaching and supporting you, learn the art and business of filmmaking as you develop a story, create a budget, pitch it to studios, hash out storyboards, then cast and shoot a film with your team. In the edit room you will work with professional editors to prepare for the screening which completes the end to end process of film making and sets you up as a film maker.

Bryan Hudkins is an American director who has worked on everything from Hollywood movies to local documentaries, music videos and TV commercials. His great interest is in using film to tell a story and to make feature films.

Mike Lough is an avid actor passionate about the film and television industry. He has appeared in several NZ TV shows and is well known for his work in several large TV commercial campaigns. He has been an entrepreneur in digital technology innovation and marketing for over fifteen years. Mike’s production company, License to Film, partnered with Lord Of The Rings’ co-writer Stephen Sinclair, on a portfolio of feature film projects. 

Dates: Mon 13 – Fri 17 January 2014, 10am – 4.30pm
Fee: $600 (Includes all materials and equipment)
Location: Corban Estate Arts Centre. 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson, Auckland
Bookings: Phone: 838 4455 or Email:

1O% OFF SPECIAL! -  For school teachers and students with ID

/ Join this workshop's Facebook event here and invite your friends! /

* Classes fill up fast. Early bookings advised to avoid disappointment.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Twelve art workshops
to nourish the creative spirit
A varied choice of arts workshops on this Summer School 2014 menu

Corban Estate Arts Centre brings together leading arts practitioners to offer their talents in a variety of stimulating workshops at its annual Summer School, from the 13th to the 17th of January 2014.

This summer, twelve inspiring and experienced artists will share their skills in a selection of diverse arts workshops, led by notable arts practitioners. Renowned sculptor Martin Selman, award-winning theatre company Red Leap and the Dream in Shadows Film Company’s crew will come on board for the first time to offer three brand new workshops at the Summer School 2014.

Sculptor Martin Selman is well known for his exquisite and refined Carrara marble sculptures. His commitment to the medium has involved extensive work, research and travel in New Zealand, Italy, England and Switzerland.  Selman’s workshop will introduce participants to stone carving techniques, the basic principles of design and how to transpose their concepts into soft Oamaru stone.

Red Leap is New Zealand’s leading movement and image based Theatre Company, renowned for fantastical theatrical work that enchants audiences.  Participants of their workshop will learn expertise in creating puppets and imagery to bring stories to life and discover powerful ways of storytelling, involving performers to complete the picture. 

In an end to end filmmaking workshop, a passionate group of film industry professionals come together to share their knowledge. This complete workshop will set up participants to tackle any film project, and will provide them with a simulated real-life film production experience that involves writing, acting, directing, producing, editing and screening. Dreams in Shadows is an emerging film company with multiple production projects that include TV commercials, music videos, documentaries and short films.

Other workshops offered at the 2014 Summer School include printmaking, oil painting, life drawing and painting, graffiti art, sculpting jewelry, darjit sculptures, singing, up-cycled fabric art and children’s book illustration.

In addition to spending time in the course of their choice, participants may choose to attend an evening where each tutor/artist presents an aspect of their arts practice.  These widely varied presentations are always a much anticipated element of the Summer School, stimulating ideas for participants.  Another optional element of the Summer School is a private visit to the house where Colin McCahon and his family lived, hosted by the McCahon House Trust. Participants will also meet McCahon House Artist in Residence, Tiffany Singh.

The Summer School provides participants with a week of arts experiences where they can expand their imagination, master new skills and push the boundaries of their talent. The spacious environment of the Corban Estate, gives participants the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and enthusiasm for creating art and often develop new friendships. 

Set in the character filled industrial winery buildings of the Corban Estate Arts Centre, with its parklands and handy on site cafĂ©, the arts centre is a twenty minute drive from central Auckland and there is abundant parking on the Estate. It is also only a ten minute walk to the Henderson railway station and town centre.