A French artist and writer are heading to Wellington this month to develop their work in New Zealand.
As the talented recipients of two international artist residencies, the pair will take their work to new horizons in dialogue with members of Wellington’s creative community.
Artist Chloé Quenum will move into the Te Whare Hēra International Artist Residency at Clyde Quay Wharf for six months and writer Amélie Lucas-Gary will occupy the historic Randell Cottage Writers Residence until mid-June 2018.
Quenum told French art publication République des Arts in 2015 “What interests me is seeing how an object can take on a completely different meaning and value according to the context in which it appears. In the same way as a word can mean something else entirely according to the conversation in which it is spoken.”
République des Arts’ Patrick Scemama noted “from her first exhibitions, [Quenum] introduced items of furniture into her work, chairs, benches, folding screens. But she diverted them from their original function. Thus the folding screen, which ordinarily hides and conceals was, in the exhibition at Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2013, composed of panes of transparent glass, providing a view of the other side and above all served to demarcate the space.”
Amélie Lucas-Gary comes to Wellington less than a year after the publication of her second novel, Vierge.
French magazine Lire describes Vierge as “the story of a young woman who falls pregnant having never been with a man. As her unlikely virgin pregnancy begins, Emmanuelle, 16, decides to leave her hometown, Saint-Denis, to undertake a forced journey on the roads of France…
“Carried by solemn writing and a great expressive power, Emmanuelle’s voyage plunges you into a bizarrely mystical atmosphere, at the crossroads of the carnal and conceptual, the fantastic and the metaphysical…
Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist Residency is a non-commercial initiative run by Massey University’s Whiti o Rehua School of Art and Wellington City Council. The French Embassy in New Zealand has partnered with Te Whare Hēra to bring French artists to New Zealand in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The most recent French artist in residence Soraya Rhofir, produced an exhibition of works entitled Rough Rough shown at The Engine Room in August 2017.
Historic Randell Cottage in Wellington, New Zealand, has been a writers’ residency since 2001. In partnership with the Embassy of France, New Zealand-France Friendship Fund and Creative New Zealand, the Randell Cottage Writers Trust provides a six-month residency each year to a French and NZ writer respectively. The most recent French resident of Randell Cottage, Josef Schovanec, gave a series of lectures around New Zealand in 2017, sharing his experiences as a writer with autism.