Making Spaces

This talk series hosted by Te Waka Tūhura Elam School of Fine Arts and Design, aims to make space for artists and art professionals to share their practice and research.

Making Spaces is a platform for artists and art professionals to reveal insights into their work and ways of working. It makes space for their voices on what they make, why and how.

In this lecture series, leading artists are invited to share their research, illuminating their practices and the contexts in which they operate professionally.

Find out about the lectures coming up and save your spot below.

Nova Paul: Ngā Pūrākau No Ngā Rākau – Stories from Trees

four children (3 boys and a girl) ages 7-11 playing in a tree against a backdrop of sunlight streaming through the foliage.
Stories from trees (detail). Credit Nova Paul.

Thursday 25 May, 6pm

Elam lecture theatre 432-136,
University of Auckland,
20 Whitaker Place, Auckland
Register here

About the lecture:

Join renowned artist and filmmaker Nova Paul (Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, and Te Māhurehure ki Whatitiri, Ngāpuhi) for a lecture titled "Ngā Pūrākau No Ngā Rākau – Stories from Trees". Drawing on her research, Nova will delve into her ground-breaking work that explores the intersection of film, nature and indigenous knowledge.

Through her innovative use of early cinematic film processes, experimental film practices and Māori storytelling traditions, Nova weaves a captivating narrative that unveils the hidden stories and wisdom within trees.

Her work with hand-processed 16mm film that utilizes plant-based developers made from leaves of the trees filmed, offers a unique perspective on the interconnectedness of photosynthesis, filmmaking and the spirit of the land.

Nova's lecture promises to show how trees can serve as powerful storytellers, revealing layers of whakapapa and offering insights into indigenous ways of knowing and being. Her ground-breaking films have been exhibited internationally and have received critical acclaim, making this lecture a must-attend event for anyone interested in the intersections of art, film, nature and indigenous perspectives.

About the Speaker:

Nova Paul (Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, and Te Māhurehure ki Whatitiri, Ngāpuhi) is a visionary artist filmmaker based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her work encompasses early cinematic film processes, experimental film practices and weaving traditional stories and mātauranga Māori to explore the poetics and politics of everyday self-determination and place, ultimately envisioning tino rangatiratanga - Māori sovereignty.

Her technicolour films utilizing three-colour separation push the boundaries of time, spirit and whakapapa. Her films have been exhibited internationally, including Sundance Film Festival and the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Indigenous Triennial.

Nova was a respected senior lecturer and arts educator at Auckland University of Technology for over two decades. She is a member of Haerewa, a group of pre-eminent Māori artists, academics and cultural figures who provide cultural advice to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson's artwork Telethon Swear Jar, 2021
Michael Stevenson. Telethon Swear Jar, 2021

Michael Stevenson
Thursday 30 March, 6pm

This event has ended.

Michael Stevenson (b. 1964 Taranaki) is an artist and educator currently based in Auckland as the McCahon House resident. Since 2000 Stevenson has been living and working in Berlin and during this time has developed a practice that sits between economy, technology, education, and faith–exploring the infrastructural systems that condition these disciplines and their entanglement in everyday life.
In 2021, at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Stevenson presented an unconventional survey, Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief, where early works produced in New Zealand could be encountered alongside more recent large-scale sculptural installations with an emphasis on their variegated materiality. Navigation of the gallery complex became a central question and a form of narration, both as a planned guided experience and as a voyage situated in material and space. For this presentation, Stevenson will walk through the KW exhibition, engaging both these modes of orientation and introducing some of the research-based material that has animated the work. 
Studying originally at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Stevenson has exhibited widely, including solo presentations at Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam; MUMA, Melbourne; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; SculptureCenter, New York; Portikus, Frankfurt; Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; and the New Zealand Pavilion, Venice Biennale. Later this year, his work will be seen in an exhibition at MoMA, New York. He holds a Professorship in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg.