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Baye Riddell awarded Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship

3 Jun 2011

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Ceramic artist and tutor, composer and musician, Baye Riddell has been awarded the 2011 Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship.

Worth $65,000, the fellowship is open to established and senior practitioners, curators and writers working in both traditional applied arts and contemporary practice. It provides the time and/or resources for the fellow to commit to a period of investigation, experimentation or research in their practice.

Alan Sorrell, Chair of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, says Baye Riddell’s selection reflects the importance of accomplished artists having the opportunity to continue to experiment and explore new methods within their chosen medium.

“Baye Riddell is a much-admired leader of the Māori ceramic movement and we are pleased to award him the 2011 Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship,” Mr Sorrell says. “Having devoted much of his time to teaching and helping others along their own path of artistic exploration, Baye will now be able to devote the next 12 months to his own creative development.”

Baye Riddell’s work with clay began in the early 1970s and he was one of the key figures in the establishment of Nga Kaihanga Uku (the national organisation of Māori Clay Artists) in 1987. In 1989 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship (with Manos Nathan) to establish an exchange with Native American artists. The ongoing exchange has led to benefits for the Māori Clay Artists as well as Māori artists from other disciplines.

Having workedas a tertiary level ceramics tutor, Baye Riddell is looking forward to devoting the next year to his personal artistic exploration and development. He will be extending his knowledge and practice of low-cost firing techniques (in particular larger works); publishing the developed techniques for the wider ceramic community; having a period of focused development on personal themes in his practice; continuing to develop and exhibit his work; and also recording musical compositions for an exhibition of new work.

“The integration of original visual and audio elements into an exhibition – though probably explored by other artists – will be a new direction for me personally,” says Baye Riddell. “I am at a point in my artistic journey where I will benefit from a focused period to explore new ideas and processes in my medium.”

Previous recipients of this Fellowship are: Malcolm Harrison (2004), Peter Lange (2005), Rangi Kipa (2006) and Moyra Elliott (2009).