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McCahon House Artists in Residence 2016 -2017 Announced

16 Sep 2015

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


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McCahon House Trust is delighted to announce the three outstanding New Zealand artists, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Imogen Taylor and Oliver Perkins, who have been selected for the 2016 -2017 artists’ residency programme.

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy has been a professional artist for 13 years. She won the New Australian Photographic Artist of the Year at the Australian Centre for Photography in 2002 and has extensively exhibited in Australia, India, Korea and New Zealand. Smuts-Kennedy graduated with a MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts with First Class Honours in 2012 and has since developed two strategies for art making which include a collaborative practice and a personal practice. The collaborative practice allows her research to emerge in forms that are social and refer more directly to culture. Her personal practice is focused on a research-based investigation into fields of energy as they engage with conceptual thinking both within an art-based language and other intuition driven modes of enquiry. Sarah takes up her residency in spring 2016.

Imogen Taylor is an Auckland based painter, whose work is interested in balancing abstraction and representation, whilst referencing past European art movements such as Cubism and movements closer to home like Regionalism. By arguing that there may neither be good nor bad painting, Taylor suggests an additional set of guidelines around how we view paintings, a parallel to her strong interest in gender and queer identity politics.  Taylor graduated with a PGDipFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland in 2010 and is represented by Michael Lett. Her recent exhibitions include group shows Implicated and Immune at Michael Lett, Girls Abstraction at Hamish McKay Gallery, and solo shows Glory Hole at Michael Lett 2014 and Blow Hole at Station Gallery Melbourne 2013. Imogen is currently working on her upcoming solo show Body Language which opens at Artspace in October 2015, and plans to travel before taking up her residency in summer 2017.

Oliver Perkins intensive studio based practice is in continuous dynamic dialogue with the form and history of painting. He studied at Christchurch School of Art and Design before being awarded the Tanz Scholarship in 2005, which saw him complete his MA with distinction at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art in London. His work is held in leading collections worldwide including the University of the Arts Collection London, The Saatchi Gallery London and the Zabludowicz Collection London and the Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Oliver, currently based in Christchurch, is also contemplating a northern hemisphere experience before returning for an autumn-winter residency in Titirangi 2017.

These three artists have been selected because their practice demonstrates an ambition and level of critical thinking that will benefit from a 3-month supportive residency enabling them to challenge and develop their practice and achieve their ambitions through creative risk taking.

During their residency, located in the purpose built studio and accommodation adjacent to McCahon House Museum in French Bay Titirangi, the artists will engage with local community and artists though a public programme that includes studio visits and talks. Each artist will contribute a work to the McCahon House Artists Residency collection and gift work for fundraising purposes. Alumni work can be viewed in the halls of the Lopdell Precinct.

The residencies are supported through investment funding from Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. The Trust receives generous support from several organisations and philanthropists including: The Trusts Community Foundation, ASB Community Trust and Waitakere Ranges Local Board.

For additional details please see www.mccahonhouse.org.nz

Expanded artist biographies below

Oliver Perkins

Oliver Perkins was born in 1979 and studied at Christchurch School of Art and Design (CPIT) from 1999-2002. In 2005 he was awarded the Tanz Scholarship, which saw him complete his MA at Chelsea College of Arts. Recent exhibitions include: Dean Leavin/Oliver Perkins, Rod Barton, London (2014); When I paint my masterpiece, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2014); Instruments, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2013); John Moore’s Painting Prize, Walker Museum, Liverpool (2012); Accordion, Cell Project Space, London (2011). You play the line, I play the sand with David Brian Smith, Vidal Cugglietta, Brussels (2011) and Jerwood Contemporary Painters, London and touring (2010). His work is held in various collections worldwide including Chartwell Collection/Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, University of the Arts Collection, London, Saatchi Gallery, London and Zabludowicz Collection, London. Perkins is represented by Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland and Rod Barton, London.

Imogen Taylor

Imogen Taylor was born in 1985 in Whangarei and studied at Elam School of Fine Arts graduating with a PGDIPFA with Honours in 2010. Recent exhibitions include Girls Abstraction, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington (group) 2014; From the Vault, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (group) 2014; New Paintings, Michael Lett, Auckland (solo) 2013; and Blow Hole, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne (solo) 2013. Works held in collections include Sack Demon in held in the University of Auckland and Herding Cats in The James Wallace Collection. She was finalist in the Wallace Awards 2013 and in the NZ National Contemporary Art Awards 2015.

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy was born in Lower Hutt in 1966. Her work is held in significant collections including Art Bank Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide, Macquarie Art Group Sydney, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery Newcastle, Ten Cubed Melbourne, Deutsche Bank Sydney and the James Wallace Arts Trust NZ.

Recent exhibitions have been held at Breen Space Sydney 2013, Rm Gallery Auckland 2013, Sophie Gannon Gallery Melbourne 2014, and she has been invited to collaborate on a project at Artspace later this year. Sarah’s biodynamic, biological, permaculture teaching garden, 45 minutes north of Auckland, functions as a central axis for her research.


Diane Blomfield,
Phone :
(09) 817 6148, or (027) 4721 346
Email:  diane@mccahonhouse.org.nz