The French Riviera and New York –Two Game Changing Destinations for Three Prolific NZ Artists
Time, space, and inspiration are what dreams are made of. But this week, dreams turn into reality for three New Zealand artists who will be awarded two of New Zealand’s most coveted international residencies: the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship and the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency, both run by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Novelist, short story writer and essayist, Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua) is the 2018 Katherine Mansfield Fellow. Lucien Johnson and Lucy Marinkovich, composer and choreographer respectively, are joint recipients of the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency.
Paula Morris will spend at least four months in Menton, South of France, with access to the writing room below Villa Isola Bella, where Katherine Mansfield created some of her most important work. Paula joins a long list of celebrated New Zealand writers who have gained from the time and space the residency allows, including Janet Frame, Witi Ihimaera, Elizabeth Knox and Bill Manhire.
The residency comes at the perfect time for Paula, who since returning to NZ in 2015, has been an active member of the NZ literary sector, serving as a trustee for many boards such as the Māori Literature Trust, the NZ Book Awards Trust, the Mātātuhi Foundation and is the convenor of the Master in Creative Writing programme at the University of Auckland. Paula says the residency will give her the opportunity to focus on projects that she has been trying to find the space and courage to tackle for some years.
Heading to New York on the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency for as long as $100,000 lasts them, are prolific Wellington based artists (and couple) Lucy Marinkovich and Lucien Johnson. Marinkovich is an award winning contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is a former member of Footnote Dance Company, a guest artist with the New Zealand Dance Company and is Creative Director of the Borderline Arts Ensemble. Lucien Johnson has been described as “a saxophonist and composer of rare excellence and mettle.” He has worked with some of the world’s leading jazz musicians including free improvising trio Alan Silva and Makoto Sato, and father of Ethio-Jazz, Mulatu Astatke. Johnson also features on records by NZ favourites, The Phoenix Foundation, Hollie Smith and Lawrence Arabia . In 2017, Johnson and Marinkovich collaborated on Borderline Arts Ensemble’s award winning work Lobsters, which played at Circa Theatre.
The pair are still coming to terms with the good news and say, “we are beyond excited for the unknown of what our time in New York, a dream machine, will hold for us - rich as it is in its myths of transformation, challenge, and opportunity.”
The Arts Foundation announces the 2018 recipients ahead of two private events this week at Government House Wellington and Auckland, where the three artists will be presented with their awards.
Simon Bowden, Arts Foundation Executive Director said, “The Arts Foundation is very excited by the potential for impact on the careers of these recipients and celebrates this announcement as a major milestone for them. Paula joins a community of literary greats and this is a timely recognition for Lucien and Lucy who are going to a place where anything is possible.”