PEER-TO-PEER MENTORING PROGRAMMING 2018

Letting Space's Urban Dream Brokerage service has four Wellington artists and projects in Wellington that have been given mentors in a new peer-to-peer mentorship programme for artists working in new spaces in the city. Wellington is full of independent and strong minded creatives.  Our artist and producer-driven initiatives have been profoundly influential in the development of Wellington's ‘creative capital’.  We have so much history and experience to share -  learned the hard way.We want to help artists share knowledge to produce independent work that interacts with the city and its publics in new ways across all artforms. We’ve expanded our reach to meet the needs we’re hearing from artists – that means assisting in the development of projects for public and underutilised as well vacant spaces, and providing mentoring and more support networks. Producing work in these spaces often involves working independently with a broad skillset. Artists also lack curatorial and governance feedback that others may have, and can be isolated and stretched in their resources as they develop bold new platforms. Let’s help each other!

Following the inspiration of the much-heralded Handshake project for independent practising artists (with an applied arts base) the kaupapa is that established artists and producers hand-over some of their quality knowledge but, as Handshake say “it is a two-way project that encourages symbiosis and give and take.” Let’s empower each other to think differently, and to make new kinds of stakeholder relationships in the city.

1. Candace Smith mentored by artist Vivien Atkinson, who works across a variety of media and is known for her work with The See Here and Occupation Artists (website here). Candace's series of public works has commenced with installation 'We Spoke' at Performance Arcade, in which the public generated energy with a bicycle,  operating fans within a transparent space,  sealed from the wind, which gently moved mobiles made from umbrella parts (themselves deconstructed by the wind). A performer joined the work in response to the cyclists at night. Candace is interested in creating installations of reassembled objects which explore ideas around the fragmentation and reconnection associated with migration.

2. Rosie White mentored by Jo Randerson, artist and co-producer of Barbarian Productions (website here). White has recently completed a Masters of Fine Arts at Massey's College of Creative Arts and will work with collaborators' on a project that is a work of craftivism or art activism, concerned with a social issue: slavery, with specific concern to the significant numbers of people in the world today trafficked for sex. New Zealand says Rosie is not exempt and the project will seek to highlight the issue.

3. Visual artist Mark Antony Smith and his project The Lost Future Exchange mentored by theatremaker Leo Gene Peters of company A Slightly Isolated Dog. This is a project Mark Antony is starting in 2018 to gather stories, dreams and remembrances of place in the central area of Wellington. It is an evolution of Ghosting About a project he did for his Masters study at Massey which included work 'Imperial Ghosts' concerning Dixon Street's Imperial Building for Lux Festival. Mark Antony Smith's previous shows also include Black Dog: Failure at Toi Poneke Gallery 2015.

4. Arts collective Mouthfull mentored by Sam Trubridge. Sam Sam is artistic director for the transdisciplinary performance company The PlayGround NZ Ltd, and The Performance Arcade: an annual festival of performance art on Wellington Waterfront. He also creates solo performance art works, installations, and performance design. Sam’s work has been published and exhibited in various international contexts, andb etween 2005-2009 Sam coordinated Massey University’s cutting edge Performance Design Degree with Toi Whakaari, NZ Drama School. The Performance Arcade has run annually since 2011. The success of this concept continues to support the growth of experimental performance practises in NZ.

Initial information on the kaupapa behind this mentoring scheme can be found here.