Announcing Urban Dreams Monthly Lunchtime programme 2018

Thomas King Observatory, Wellington, work residency for artist Julian Priest in 2018 with thanks to the Wellington Museums Trust.

Thomas King Observatory, Wellington, work residency for artist Julian Priest in 2018 with thanks to the Wellington Museums Trust.

Introducing for your diaries the Urban Dreams Monthly Tuesday lunchtime programme for March to May 2018 at Toi Poneke. We've got a great set of guests, across artforms: Leo Gene Peters, Julian Priest, Sacha Copland, Kerry Ann Lee and our mayor Justin Lester. We're always aware of the holes in knowledge between artforms even in a small city, so read on for more details on these strong artists. First gathering: next Tuesday March 13. An opportunity for artists or all kinds to network and discuss ideas working in new ways in Wellington city.

Tuesdays 12.30-2pm

March 13: On being embedded. Working with other industries and groups - what is the potential for residences or having artists embedded in different spaces in the city?

We talk with two artists who have been working in work residencies and have an interest in how their work can interact in new ways through this: theatremaker Leo Gene Peters, and visual artist Julian Priest.

Leo Gene Peters is a theatre director and maker and founder of A Slightly Isolated Dog who have been creating celebrated devised work since 2005. “We’re trying to have a conversation with the public about what matters to each of us… and through that conversation we’ll create performance work. The goal is to find new and different ways to use live performance, conversation, virtual platforms, social media (and other things) to create a space where we can meet and reflect together. A space where we can discuss important questions in our lives that we normally don’t talk about with strangers.”

A Slightly Isolated Dog are currently in residence at Creative HQ. who aim to help develop and grow businesses in Wellington through “nourishing entrepreneurial talent and driving innovation.”

Julian Priest is an artist working with participatory and technological forms and recent work explores relationships to different infrastructures including time, energy, security, health and communications. In 2017 Julian created the Citizen Water Map Lab with Letting Space as part of the Common Ground Public Art Festival where Hutt City residents and community groups were invited to collect ground water and bring it to the lab and test it with data represented in an illuminated installation that produced a map of local water quality. Julian was co-founder of early wireless freenetwork community in London. He became an advocate for the freenetworking movement and has pursued wireless networking as a theme in fields of arts, development, and policy.

Julian is currently undertaking a residency at the Thomas King observatory Wellington (supported by the Wellington Museums Trust), an old 1912 observatory which is part of the Carter Observatory complex.

April 17: On the art of keeping in business. Sasha Copland and Kerry Ann Lee. The realities of the business of being an independent artist.

We introduce two artists both interested in working in a variety of different ways with the public and communities. Kerry Ann Lee is a celebrated visual artist, designer and educator who uses hand-made processes and socially-engaged projects to explore hybrid identities and histories of migration. She creates installation, publication and image-based work and has a long practice in independent artists’ publishing.

Sacha Copland is a dancer, choreographer and the Artistic Director of Java Dance Theatre. As she told The Big Idea here she believes in the power of dance to build empathy and her works aim to permeate and dissolve the distance between people by creating dance that “clambers into your senses and gets underneath your fingernails.” Founded in 2003 Java is a professional dance company that presents dance theatre nationally and internationally often working in site specific locations, or creating work around specific themes that engage new audiences.

May 8: On creating creative capital. Mayor Justin Lester  A discussion with our mayor who holds the arts and culture portfolio on what is needed to take our creative scene to the next level.

All events are free. You are very welcome to bring your lunch. For podcasts of the 2017 series go here.