Artist in Residence Programme

Carved wooden canoe

The Creative New Zealand/Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist in Residence Programme has been offered on an annual basis since 1996. Artists have an opportunity to develop new directions in their artistic practice. The programme also supports and promotes the development of indigenous Pacific art in New Zealand.

Pacific Artist in Residence Programme applications

Creative New Zealand and the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies invite applicants from traditional or contemporary Pacific artists in the fields of textiles, ceramics, painting, sculpture and the literary and performing arts to apply for the 2018 Creative New Zealand/Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist in Residence Programme.

Past recipients

South Auckland artist Ema Tavola has been appointed the University of Canterbury Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies Artist in Residence for 2017. 

Born in Suva, Fiji, Tavola has lived and worked within the creative sector in South Auckland since 2002. Her research is practice-based and concerned with curating as a mechanism for social inclusion, centralising Pacific ways of seeing, decolonisation and exhibition making as activism. She was the founding curator of Fresh Gallery Ōtara and now talks and blogs frequently on grassroots curating and community engagement.

Tavola has lectured on Pacific art history at Manukau Institute of Technology, and advised on exhibitions including Auckland Museum’s 'Taku Tāmaki: Auckland Stories South' (2016) and 'Home AKL' (2012) at Auckland Art Gallery. She holds a Master of Arts Management and a Bachelor of Visual Arts.


16 June 2017

South Auckland artist Ema Tavola will be the University of Canterbury Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies Artist in Residence for 2017.

New Zealand-Samoan artist Ioane Ioane was appointed as the 2016 Artist in Residence for the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury.

A contemporary, modernist Pacific artist, Ioane began his residency at UC in May 2016 following the 12th South Pacific Arts Festival held in Guam where he represented New Zealand and held his solo exhibition at the Guam Museum.

During his three-month residency, Ioane researched the navigational heritage of the Pacific and carved a series of maquettes based on the Samoan va'atele (three-metre canoe).

Ioane's final work was showcased in his exhibition - 'O le malanga malosi tele: a very strong journey' - which was opened on 16 September at the Matariki Building, University of Canterbury, and ran till 07 October.

Ioane appointed UC Pacific Artist in Residence

09 May 2016

New Zealand-Samoan artist Ioane Ioane has been appointed Artist in Residence for the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at UC.

O le malaga malosi tele - a very strong journey

15 September 2016

Showcasing work produced by Ioane Ioane during his 2016 Creative New Zealand/Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist Residency, O le malaga malosi tele provides a glimpse into Samoa's

The Macmillan Brown Centre and Creative New Zealand are delighted to announce that Christchurch-born playwright and scriptwriter, Victor Rodger, is the 2012 Pacific Artist in residence. In 1998 Victor’s first play, 'Sons', won Chapman Tripp Awards for Best New Play and Best New Writer and in 2001 he won the Bruce Mason Playwright Award. His latest play, 'At The Wake' premieres in Palmerston North at the end of July. He has previously been the recipient of the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Writers in residency at the University of Hawai’i (2006) and the Ursula Bethell Creative Writers Residency at the University of Canterbury (2009). Since 2000 Victor has also been a scriptwriter for 'Shortland Street'.

Victor has chosen two projects to work on during his residency, both of which use the themes of class, racism and identity.

'Aftershocks' explores the personal aftershocks of four very different family units- two east-side and two west-side - after the devastating February earthquake.

'Can All Read and Write' is inspired by an award ceremony in Christchurch in 2010 where a (white) presenter assured the audience that a group of award-winning (and mainly Pasifika) students could all read and write.

Victor will be at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies in August and September 2012 and will return in November to complete his residency and to host writing workshops.

In 2011, to mark the 15th anniversary of the Macmillan Brown Pacific Artist in residence programme, Fatu Feu’u (the first recipient in 1996) returned to Christchurch to complete a second residency. As part of this, Feu’u researched and wrote a new body of poetry which will be published accompanied by a series of lithographs. The paintings in his exhibition Ola were produced as the foundation for this upcoming publication.

"Father of Pacific art" returns to UC

15 December 2011

Fatu Feu'u, who has been called the "father of Pacific art", has returned to the University of Canterbury as its Artist in Residence after 15 years.

Actress, musician, songwriter, playwright and manager of Pacific Underground, Tanya Muagututi'a was the 2010 Pacific Artist in Residence.

During her residency, Tanya researched and completed the first draft for a play called Scholars. As part of her research about scholarships that were made available for Samoan students from the 1950s-1980, Tanya interviewed and conducted workshops at the Macmillan Brown Centre.

The Macmillan Brown/Creative New Zeland Pacific Artist in residence for 2009 was Tongan-born artist Kulimoeanga 'Stone' Maka. During his residency, Stone drew inspiration from the traditional process of smoking Tongan mats (ta'ovala faka'ahu) and converted this smoking process to canvas. Stone concluded his residency with two exhibitions, at UC and the Centre of Contemporary of Art, entitled 'Faka'ahu-Contemporary Fumage'.

John Ioane was the 2008 Pacific Artist in residence. During his residency John carved and painted on hardboard and resin for his exhibtion entitled '9 Heavens'. The works examined the relationship between Samoa and Tonga and that thousands of years ago both countries lived together in unity.

The 2007 Pacific Artist in residence was Invercargill-based Samoan sculptor Johhny Penisula. Johnny created a series of rock sculptures under the title 'Le folauga me le afe o Tausaga: The voyage to the next Millennium' during his residency and worked with students in the School of Fine Arts.

The 2006 Artist in Residence was Sheyne Tuffery. Sheyne worked on a project entitled 'SaMoa (Sacred Fowl)'. Sheyne produced a series of mixed media murals and computer animation. Sheyne completed his residency with an exhibition at the Salamander Gallery entitled 'Penguins and Buicks'.

The 2005 Pacific Artist in residence was Tusiata Avia. Tusiata will be writing a new book of poetry and drawing on this material for a new stage show. As part of her residency, Tusiata hosted poetry workshops with Pacific Writers' groups.

Our 2004 artist, David Fane, prepared his play on Tamasese and the Mau, which premiered at Christchurch's Court Theatre in 2005. Dave worked with the blessing and support of Tupua Tamasese IV, one the Macmillan Brown Centre's former Visiting Scholars. During his residency, he also continued work with Naked Samoan colleagues in the new feature 'Bro' Town', that premiered on national television in 2004.

In 2003 the Centre broadened its artistic range to include the performing arts, and welcome the selection of a founder and a member of the Pacific Underground as our first performing artists. Erolia Ifopo and Siaosi Mulipola will work under a joint project title named 'Pacific Playwrights'.

Both Erolia and Siaosi deal with issues surrounding the Pacific diaspora and experiences of New Zealand-born Pacific Islanders, contrasting the understandings of culture and family loyalties from a New Zealand perspective, and the historical and cultural depth of the home island society.

Erolia Ifopo

Erolia Ifopo wrote her own commentary, critique and reflection of a Pacific woman/Pacific women in the arts and is interested in 'establishing more in-depth links to the threads of traditional rituals and ceremonies that have influenced and shaped contemporary Pacific arts and artists in New Zealand'.

Siaosi Mulipola

Siaosi has composed 'Paper Flowers – a dance composition about the migration of our Polynesian Mothers, acknowledging their strength and determination to start life in a different environment'.

Lurlene Christiansen

Lurlene completed her residency in September 2002 with an installation of her digital works entitled 'Cha Cha Cha in Blue'.

Emma Kesha

Emma Kesha is a Dunedin-based traditional Samoan weaver. She completed her residency in November 2002 with an installation of her weaving works entitled 'Siva Siva Maia: Come Dance with me'.

Filipe Tohi was the Artist in Residence in 2001. Filipe is a New Plymouth-based Tongan-born sculptor who worked on la lava lashings and sculptures during his residency.

Lonnie Hutchinson, of Samoan and Ngai Tahu descent was the first woman recipient to take up this residency. Lonnie completed her residency with an installation of her works entitled 'Coconut Dreams'.

In 1999, self-taught New Zealand-born Samoan artist, Andy Lelei, took up his residency. Professor Albert Wendt describes Andy as "one of the dynamic New Zealand-born-and-raised artists influencing and changing New Zealand art dramatically". Andy completed his residency by an exhibition of his paintings entitled 'Patterns of my lavalava'.

Niuean born poet, artist and author John Pule followed Michel and took up his residency in 1998. John completed his residency with an exhibition of ten ink drawings entitled 'Tala Mahofihofi: love poems'. John's drawings brought together his writing and imagery.

Fatu's 1996 residency was followed in 1997 by Michel Tuffery. Michel proud of his Samoan/Tahitian/Cook Island heritage completed his residency by an installation of his works entitled 'O le vasa loloto ma le loloa: the wide and deep ocean'. This exhibition reflected Michel's conservation and love for the ocean.

The first recipient of this scholarship in 1996 was well-known Auckland-based Samoan artist Fatu Feu’u. Fatu completed this inaugural residency by an opening exhibition of five paintings of mixed media on canvas entitled 'So'otaga ole Pasifika: Pacific Connections'.