In the last week of April 2021, we celebrated the launch of Saving Randell Cottage. A short film talking with descendants of William and Sarah Randell about how the historic Randell Cottage saved from demolition, restored and donated to become a residence for New Zealand and French writers.
Listen to Beverley Randell Price and her daughter Susan Price as they share memories of the rescue and renovation of their ancestors’ colonial home (6:37 minutes).
Director: Jeremy Macey
Cinematographer: Valeriya Golovina
Second camera: Jess Soderberg
Sound: Brynn Olsson
Editor: Shane Loader
Produced by Godwit Films and funded by Creative New Zealand.
Our 2020 New Zealand resident Michalia Arathimos is nearing the end of her stay at Randell Cottage – and we’ll be very sad to see her go.
Last week she spoke to Lynn Freeman of Radio New Zealand’s Standing Room Only about returning to Wellington, life in the cottage and its impact on her project, Cartographia, and her plans for her Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.
Listen to Michalia talking with Lynn Freeman:
Newly returned to Aotearoa New Zealand after four years teaching and writing in Edinburgh, Lynn Davidson is to be the 2021 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writing Fellow. Davidson will be using her time at Randell Cottage to write a memoir of her move to Scotland in 2016 and how, when prevented by Covid-19 from returning to New Zealand, she began exploring the life of her great aunt Vida.
A poet and novelist. Davidson’s most recent publication is the poetry collection Islander. She won the Poetry New Zealand Award in 2020, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Massey University.
Selection panel convener Stephen Stratford says, “We soon got it down to five applications to argue over, then four. And then there were three. A while later, there were two. This was a close-run thing, but Lynn Davidson’s project was, in the end, a unanimous choice. Everyone on the panel saw it is as a valuable contribution to New Zealand history and a project that, given the author’s track record with both poetry and prose, will deliver something special. The mix of poetry and prose in the sample provided was a strength too.”
Davidson says she is delighted to be the 2021 resident and is looking forward to living and working in Randell Cottage.
“After four years in Edinburgh, and towards the end of this strange and difficult year, I decided to return to New Zealand. I was just days out of managed isolation and back in my beloved Wellington when I had the call to say I would be the 2021 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writing Fellow. It feels remarkable to be supported in this way, at this moment, as I write about my family’s migrations between Scotland and New Zealand, and about my own migrations between Scotland and New Zealand. My particular interest is in uncovering the story of my great aunt, Vida, which I began in my flat in the eerie quiet of an empty Edinburgh City, and will continue to explore in the supportive quiet of the Randell Cottage. “
The Randell Cottage Writers Trust was established in 2001. The restored Category II historic building, gifted to the Trust by the Randell-Price family, hosts two writers a year: one from New Zealand and the other from France.
It is currently home to Michalia Arathimos. The 2021 French resident, writer Caroline Laurent is scheduled to arrive in Wellington in July.