The University of Otago’s prestigious Arts fellowships for 2017 have been announced.
Otago's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Humanities, Professor Tony Ballantyne, jointly announced the recipients with Professor Hayne. The Humanities Division makes the selection each year.
The Frances Hodgkins Fellow is Campbell Patterson, of Auckland, the Robert Burns Fellow is Craig Cliff of Dunedin, the Mozart Fellow is Chris Gendall of Wellington, the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance is Caroline Sutton Clark of Texas, USA, and the Creative NZ University of Otago College of Education Children’s Writer in Residence is Mere Whaanga of Wairoa.
“I am delighted with the new group of talented and creative individuals who will take up the Otago Arts Fellowships in 2017. These 2017 Fellows represent the forefront of their fields; they have each been selected from an extremely strong pool of applicants,” Professor Ballantyne says.
“Through the Otago Arts Fellowships we hope to strengthen our links with the arts community and to nurture conversations between these creative disciplines which illuminate our view of the world. I look forward to the music, words, images and performances that these Fellows will bring to us next year.”
The Fellows receive a stipend for between six months and one year and space on campus to indulge in their creative projects. Past Fellows have created dance performances, orchestral compositions, poetry, novels and children’s books during this time.
Former fellows include literary luminaries Janet Frame, Keri Hulme, James K Baxter, Michael King and Maurice Shadbolt, the artists Ralph Hotere and Grahame Sydney, not to mention many of New Zealand's significant composers, dancers and children’s book writers.
Frances Hodgkins Fellow 2017 - Campbell Patterson
Robert Burns Fellow 2017 - Craig Cliff
Craig Cliff’s short story collection “A Man Melting” won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book, and his novel “The Mannequin Makers” has been translated into Romanian, with a US version forthcoming in 2017. He has also published poetry, columns, book reviews and essays, and presents at festivals and conferences about writing or his other specialty - the design of education facilities.
“Taking up the Burns Fellowship in 2017 will be the best kind of disruption for me, and an adventure for my young family. When writing my last book I spent a lot of time imagining Otago in the 19th and early 20th centuries and it's a blessing and an honour to be invited to spend a year there in the flesh, to write, but also to think, converse and explore.”
Craig will work on a novel about a location scout and a levitating saint — “another tilt at the margin between the weird and the routine, art and life, past and present.”
Mozart Fellow 2017 - Chris Gendall
Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance - Caroline Sutton Clark
Creative NZ UoO College of Education Children’s Writer in Residence - Mere Whaanga
Dr Mere Whaanga’s knowledge of Māori land lore complemented her studies into Māori land law; she has worked as a professional historian, researcher and project manager on the Treaty of Waitangi claims of the Wairoa area. Amongst her extensive list of publications are four children’s picture books, which she wrote and illustrated, with a fifth due for publication in early 2017.
Mere affiliates to Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Pahauwera iwi.