Artists 2015

[1] Kris Ericksen

Title: Fractal Buildings

Fractals are patterns that repeat themselves at differing scales.
Using repeated patterns that have a 1:3:9:27 scale shapes evoking the form of shelters can be constructed and deconstructed by the artist and participants.
The colours of red, white and black suggest a link to the tangata whenua of the area.

Artist Bio:

Kris has been a finalist three times in the World of Wearable Arts.  His 2014 entry to WOW, Phoenix Transformer, came second in the South Pacific section.
Kris also has a strong interest in photography, with a number of published images.

Connection to Central Park:

Kris has been a resident in nearby Aro Valley for the past 22 years and has had the pleasure of occasionally wandering through the park.

[2] Rebecca Pilcher

Title: Dome (2015), Soft Realities Series.

Dome (2015) is a site responsive sculptural installation consisting of a geodesic dome-styled structure. This structure is part of an ongoing series of short performative videos and artworks working with and in Wellington’s town belt.

My ideas are not so much fuelled by utopian fantasy but a depiction of a soft reality comprising fragments of an alternative utopian vision. Using the town belt, a vestige from colonial planning, as a playground, backdrop and muse for my performative video works and sculptural objects is a strategy to subvert dominant ideas and to work with multiplicities.

I am exploring notions of animal, unruliness, wilderness and constructs such as Western ideas about nature/culture, with allusions to witchcraft, spell casting and 70’s counterculture. The allure is that these qualities are not easily contained or definable and this is what drives me to make art.

Artist Bio:

Rebecca Pilcher is a New Zealand-based artist who works across a variety of media, including sculpture, video, installation, and performance. Her work primarily involves video, sounds, and the creation of mediated environments. Specific works have investigated the aesthetics of the decorative in active confrontation with the macabre, the uncanny, and sometimes threatening. Notions of the gothic, horror, pop culture, and the pastoral are themes that underpin her work. The frisson that occurs when mundane situations, objects or processes are disrupted is something she is continuously exploring. She received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from Massey University, Wellington and has works in collections throughout New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and the USA. For more information see

Connection to Central Park:

I have been researching how manicured our notions of wilderness are and how entrenched they are within our colonial history. I am using the town belt in wellington to explore this urbanised view of nature. I see the town belt as a heterogeneous roving space, my studio, playground, inspiration and a place of historical significance.

This Central Park project evokes for me a type of playfulness and the aim to get people engaged more with the space ties in strongly with my current focus. I have an interest in inserting work into public spaces as a way of experiencing them and through these transpositions I am constantly on the lookout for subtle nuances that can skew perceptions This is a dynamic that is constantly happening for me and I would hope that bringing my work into the public domain will allow other people this opportunity as well.

[3] Amy King and Natalie Smith

Title: Kingdom Fungi

Within the shelter of the natural environment, fungi and bacteria are essential to many of the most basic ecosystem processes.  Not only do they have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange, but can also attack, penetrate and invade defences obtaining nourishment from living organisms.

Kingdom Fungi is the second collaborative project by jeweller Amy King and multimedia artist Natalie Smith.

Creating a trail through Wellington’s Central Park, the eight components of this work explore the concept of shelter through the synthesis of organic forms and the recycled industrial materials they are made from.

Observing the natural characteristics of fungi, Natalie and Amy use pattern, repetition, colour and texture to create works that are inspired by the abundant and varied fungi kingdom.

Amy King Artist Bio:

Amy King holds a  Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts from Whitireia NZ  and an Undergraduate Degree from Unitec majoring in Contemporary Craft. Amy’s practice is focused on contemporary jewellery and object making.

Natalie Smith Artist Bio:

Natalie Smith is a multimedia artist who explores and interprets a range of themes often organic in nature through painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles.  Process and materials exploration are fundamental elements of her practice.

Natalie holds a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts from Whitireia NZ.  In 2014 she was awarded the Whitireia / Toi Poneke Residency, culminating with her first solo show at the Wellington based arts centre.   Natalie has exhibited her work in Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and regularly throughout New Zealand working from her studio in Paremata where she currently resides.

Growing up in Wellington I have visited the park throughout varying stages of my life and have seen it grow and evolve.  Exhibiting my work in Central Park as part of the Upstream Arts Trail has further developed my experience and connection within this environment.

[4] Johanna Mechen

Title: Moturoa Stream_Long Island in the City

The artwork exists firstly in a temporal and performative form. A participatory mining of the stream site is undertaken, both orally and visually, which involves collecting of data, ecological, historical and personal from users and carers of the park and stream. The artist engages with the site by collecting rubbish and carrying out maintenance around the park and stream, soliciting and passing on stories and information about the park in the process. Secondly, the research is interpreted into a video work, installed in the park over the arts trail, which reveals a curiosity or little known insight into the hidden life of the park and stream – a life that the park shelters.

Artist Bio:

Johanna Mechen has recently completed a Master of Fine Art program at Massey University Wellington. For the last 20 years her practice has included exhibiting, curating, writing and teaching photography. She lives with in the Hutt Valley with her partner and two daughters. Her exhibitions have included still and moving image works and have been shown at the CSA Gallery Christchurch, Mahara Gallery Waikanae and The Dowse Art Museum Wellington. Her work explores performativity in photographic practice and the role this can play in site based investigations. Her current practice focuses on engagement and participation with a site and it’s community in order to tell ecological, historical and culture stories – while extending the mediums ability to communicate and be experienced, both through and beyond it’s many processes.

Connection to Central park:

My connection to Central park began 18 years ago when I first moved to Wellington and lived in Brooklyn. Central Park was for me a route into the city – a breather to think and walk on the way from and to home. Much of my practice has included waterways and more recently the effect of colverted streams on the ecology of a living body of water – such as the Moturoa Stream.

[5] Kathryn Yeats

Title: Waiting

A series of small (birdhouse scale) structures made from timber, metal and textiles built into the landscape, with compartments you can look into, and irregular scaffold like legs to level on the terrain, held in place with concealed tent pegs.  Structures to be subjected to weathering, corrosion, burning, time based processes before installation.

I. I am interested in the domestic objects and places which weave the ordinary fabric of life, in examining everyday experience; spaces inhabited by people and objects of use are points of interaction between people and materials.

II. There are particular materials I like to work with, materials that I am particularly drawn to.  These are fragile and are susceptible to the actions of time: rusting, peeling, expansion, contraction, becoming brittle, discolouration, oxidation, warping, wearing away, scratching, cracking.  This is precious to me, the warmth and the life of living materials, the narrative which permeates these objects, impressed into their surface, the story of their history, and the stories yet to come.

III. I am drawn to smaller scale work; small objects invite intimacy, they invite the viewer to examine closely; the scale amplifies details. Small objects are perfect to conceal alcoves, compartments and drawers.  They can be turned over in the hands to reveal and conceal parts.

IV. Construction is a pleasurable and meditative process: repetition, building units, testing the relationships between components, breaking things up, reassembling them, treating them with chemicals, painting, sanding, repainting, stitching, and tying.

Artist Bio:

I live in Wellington, where I completed a BA in History and Art History at Victoria University including a diverse range of papers from both humanities and sciences. My visual arts study was undertaken at Whitireia Polytechnic, and after graduating with a Diploma in Visual Arts I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage Materials Science at Victoria.

I am drawn to transient and fragile materials when making my work, timber, fabric, paper, steel.  I enjoy building complex structures which reveal one face to the world while hiding secrets for closer inspection. I am interested in time, in the deterioration of objects, rusting and decay leaving its narrative on them, the record of their life of use. Other themes which interest me in my practice include gender, domesticity, memory, spaces, concealment, loss and narratives of human lives and relationships.

Connection to Central Park:

I love spending my weekends exploring the beautiful outdoor spaces around Wellington.

[6] Leda Farrow

Title: Pod Pieces
Pod pieces is an interactive sensory installation made for the purpose of evoking the idea of nature, the micro and macro universe, reflection, and escape. Each pod creates a different sensory experience for the viewer, who is encouraged to touch, look, feel, smell and listen to the pod by placing their head inside it. Each pod has it’s own habitat and ecosystem that includes recorded sounds, smells and variety of objects and textures.

Being embodied in a self-contained universe is something that I feel makes us consider the importance of parks, the natural world and the protective climate of society and culture that helps us to grow.

The pods will be active 11am until 7pm each day

Artist Bio:

Leda Farrow completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with first class honours, majoring in time based installation art at Massey Wellington. She is interested in animation, multimedia, and puppetry. In 2009 she studied at UC Berkeley where she took courses in sound and video art. In 2011 she worked with a Vermont USA political puppet theatre company called ‘Bread and Puppet Theatre’, where she learnt the art of animating objects and constructing large scale puppets. She has a fascination with combining film, theatre and fine art and is developing a course in puppetry for secondary and tertiary students. She is currently working on the design for the Manawatu Summer Shakespeare’s production King Lear.

Pod Sound Design by Deakin Palmer

Deakin is a writer, musician, photographer and active conceptualiser of systems within the field of alternative energy and alternative agriculture. Still early in his career, he aims to be a spokesperson for the non-human world and create both emotional and rational links between civilisation and the wilderness.

Connection to Central Park:

I love Central Park and like to visit often. It’s a beautiful place to come to relax and escape the busyness of the city. It would be great to see some more permanent sculptures created in the future.

[7] Justine Fletcher

Title: Bastion

The names of the 1260 Wellington women who signed the suffrage petition can be read on the white-framed windows as part of the bridge. The names are grouped according to suburb, with the windows placed in a roughly geographical configuration.

Artist Bio:

Justine studied history and English literature at Victoria University, and trained as a jeweller at the Scuola Orafa Ambrosiana in Milan. After returning to New Zealand in 1997 these fields of study merged with her feminist stance in the process of making jewellery. In the last ten years or so, Justine’s work has revolved primarily around the 1893 third suffrage petition which led to the attainment of the vote for New Zealand women. More recently she has moved toward installation work, which provides the opportunity to visually express statistics and numbers. Domestic objects and implements are ongoing features in her work.

Connection to Central Park:

Justine and her family have spent many happy hours in the Central Park playground! It is only more recently that they have explored the wilder areas of the park.

[8] David Brown

Title: AR 2015-43: 200,373 Hens

This project creates a conceptually formal artwork within the framework of the park’s exercise stairs. From the middle supporting rail to the top handrail the area calculated by width x length has 150,282sqcm of space. One colony cage that houses 60 hens has 45,000sqcm – around one A4 sheet per hen. Based on this, the area of 150,282sqcm is calculated to have shelter for 200.373 hens. Colony cages will become mandatory in NZ in 2022, but their comfort is perhaps in name only, from the still, contemporary battery cage. Colony cages are illegal in Switzerland, and will be banned by 2020 in Austria and 2024 in Belgium (

Artist Bio:

Practicing artist since 2006

Graduated Master of Fine Arts from Massey University 2014

Interested in how geometrically formal art can be used to convey a socially conscious message.

Connection to Central Park:

I have not seen much of Central Park before this project, so am finding it an educating experience.

[9] Brenda Sullivan

Title: Untitled

The work is made from cut and shaped layers of acrylic paint, of red oxide and yellow ochre, two traditional painter’s ‘earth colours,’ on pre-stretched canvas. The work explores relations between painting, sculpture and installation, where two abstract shapes lie together to form a graphic cross.

Artist Bio:

BFA University of Georgia, Athens, USA
MFA Massey University, Wellington, NZ
I am an abstract artist with an inclination to use paint, an obsessional approach to colour choices and a constant inquisitiveness about geometry and space. I am inspired by art’s ambiguous, vague qualities that have the ability to help us think things that remain difficult to put into words.

Connection to Central Park:

The work operates within the park environment as bandage, plasters as we call them in NZ, ground covers of sorts, as metaphor-for protection, nursing, nurturing. (The park was used as an R and R site for US soldiers during the Second World War). Hopefully the work also raises an ecological thinking around shelter and our ‘groundedness’ in the fantastic concept of nature that ‘covers’ the horror of displacement from this towards an awareness of the plasticity of change.

[10] Kemi Niko & Co.

Title:  In Memory of a Tree

Test your powers of observation and appetite for adventure as you navigate Central Park forest following increasingly hidden wayfinders. The work expands on the classic orange triangle routes that traverse the NZ backcountry. Take one step at a time, absorb the silence of the trees and enjoy the journey.

Artist Bio:

Joining forces in 2012, Kemi & Niko have since delighted dog walkers, rewarded the adventurous and freaked some people out with their public art. They seek to make connections that are enchanting, fun, good looking and genius. Drawing from fine art and graphic design backgrounds, these connections take form through a variety of mediums. Their latest project, Miniature Hikes, encourages the public to discover Wellington’s diverse backyard.
Connection to Central Park:

Being Mt Cook locals, we have explored and traversed Central Park for years. Our art practice has been influenced by the park’s emphasis on fun and its diverse landscape.

* Disclaimer: Children please supervise your adults. Common sense & shoes required at all times. Be aware of uneven ground and step carefully. Only journey as far as you are confident and able. There is an end point, you will know if you have reached it.

[A] Local Schools project by the students of Brooklyn, Ridgway, Te Aro & St Bernard’s Schools, facilitated by Wellington artist, Gabby O’Connor

Title: Super City

Repurposed plastic grid, cable ties, wire, string, wool, hot glue and collected flax, twigs and logs.

The children brain stormed the word shelter and all the creatures, reasons and materials that they could be made from. The idea of the Super City was announced mid project and artist Gabby O’Connor asked the students if they could design a “super city” with no limits, what would they create? Hover Boards, Flying cars and trampolines/bouncy castles were considered as were trees, parks, bike tracks, living close to your friends, giant vege patches/food forests that could feed everyone as well as schools and places for everyone to live and work. Alternative energy sources and transportation, clean water, recycling and being environmentally responsible were very important. The future is in good hands!

This series of interconnected collaborative structures are the manifestation of the diverse discussions and workshops with our local school children.

Artist Bio:

Gabby O’Connor is a NZ-based artist who has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for the past 20 years. She has featured in exhibitions in Japan, Canada, Holland and Australia and has had artist residencies in Melbourne, Sydney, and Hiroshima. She studied sculpture (BFA) at Victoria College of Arts, University of Melbourne and holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, Sydney. Her practice is site specific and is often concerned with the transformation of ideas, materials and the natural environment with a recent focus on science and stories of the Antarctic. O’Connor often involves the community to help with the assembly of the installations. This enables a unique opportunity to discuss ideas about art, science and bigger issues while building alternative audiences.

Connection to the Park:

The local school children are all familiar with the park, especially through the playground and its fantastic flying fox. Through the Upstream Art Trail, the students and their families are now further invested and connected through the Super City collaborative artwork project.

This project has been supported by the WCC Creative Communities fund.

[B] Friends of Central Park

Title: Beetles

Removing wandering willie (Tradescantia fluminensis) from the banks of the Moturoa Stream is a never-ending task for the Friends of Central Park.

It’s a virulent plant, from South America, with an impressive ability to regenerate from tiny fragments that even the most vigilant can miss. It smothers the ferns and young seedlings we’re nurturing in Central Park.

We’re hoping for salvation in the form of the tradescantia leaf beetle (Noelema oglobini), a tiny insect, also from South America, that feeds solely on tradescantia.

Beetles were released here in 2013 for biocontrol but we have yet to see any signs that they have made Central Park their home.

Meanwhile, we’ve created our own ideas as to what the leaf munchers might look like.

[C] Stella Carruthers

Title: Tree Cosies

The work ‘Tree Cosies’ is inspired by the craft activism of recent years called Craftivism where objects and areas in public spaces such as trees and lamp posts and fences are decorated with knitted and crochet pieces in an effort to get people to re-engage with public space in a different way. Building on the theme of shelter that artists were given in their brief for the Upstream Central Park Art Trail ‘Tree Cosies’ brings the warmth and comfort of knitted garments that shelter against the cold into the outdoor bush arena. The play on words of Tree Cosies to tea cosies evokes the sheltering nature of an old fashioned tea time where people shelter in the warmth of each others company while the tea cosy itself keeps the tea warm as well as providing a decorative function. Both functions, warmth and decoration, are present in the work ‘Tree Cosies.’

Artist Bio:

A History and Art History student at Victoria University of Wellington, artist Stella Carruthers complements her academic studies with a passion for knitting, textile crafts and mixed media art. She is largely self-taught and loves playing with pattern and colour. This is her first public art piece.

Connection to Central Park:

The trees of Central Park shelter the people who pass through the park as the yarn bombing shelters and protects the trees from the elements. As a born and bred Wellingtonian I have enjoyed Central Park as i grew up from toddler messing about in the stream to adult walking through the park on the way to other places or walking there purely for the beauty and joy of the green oasis in the centre of the city.

[D] Sanctuary

“Someone is stealing the song of the birds. Join us as we reclaim our voices!”

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the birds have found sanctuary from outside predators. But when something threatens their only remaining possession, their song, the birds are forced to confront the enemy within. Directed by Julia Campbell. Performed by Julia Campbell, Tony Black, Kaly Newman, Lana Burns, Janet Holborow and Alexandra Devoy. Set and Costume Design by Marly Doyle

Performed as part of New Zealand Fringe Festival

12th – 15th March

14th and 15th March

Koha Entry

At the Playground by the Flying Fox
Central Park
Julia Campbell – Director/ Producer/ Performer

Julia Campbell is a theatre artist and filmmaker based in Wellington. She has directed, produced and performed in work all over New Zealand and Australia. She recently directed Madame Blavatsky and the Astral Light (NZ Fringe 2014) and co-directed Unboxed’s production of A Memory, A Monologue, a Rant and A Prayer (April 2014) . She also co-produced Take back the Hood which toured Dunedin, Palmerston North and Wellington in 2014. She is currently the producer for The Lord Lackbeards Touring Company and the Theatre Director for Scraps, the Paraparaumu based young women’s performance initiative.

As a video maker Julia’s client list includes Wellington City Council, Christchurch City Council, Silverstripe, New Zealand String Quartet and Pledgeme.
Marly Doyle – Set and Costume Designer
Marly Doyle, a designer and costume maker originally from Christchurch, has worked  in Wellington in various aspects of costume design and construction and set design since 2009. Some examples of previous shows are Summer Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra) 2012-13 (costume designer), Madame Blavatsky and the Astral Light (designer) 2014, and Othello (costume designer) 2014. Marly currently works at Weta workshop.