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Otago’s 2017 Arts Fellows welcomed

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 9:40pm

At the “Meet the Fellows” event on Monday night: 2017 Arts Fellows (from left) Mere Whaanga, Craig Cliff, Campbell Patterson, Chris Gendall and Caroline Sutton Clark. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Five new Otago Arts Fellows have been officially welcomed at a function at the Hocken Library.

At a gathering of former fellows, Friends of the Hocken, Humanities, Library and Science staff, Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne formally greeted all five 2017 Fellows to the University.

They are Frances Hodgkins Fellow Campbell Patterson, Robert Burns Fellow Craig Cliff, Mozart Fellow Chris Gendall, Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance Caroline Sutton Clark, and University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence Dr Mere Whaanga.

“We know you will challenge, provoke, entertain, so that you can tell us who we are, where we have been and where we are going in the future,” she told the gathering.

"We know you will challenge, provoke, entertain, so that you can tell us who we are, where we have been and where we are going in the future."

Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell hosted the event, and said she would be taking a keen interest in the Fellows as their work and careers develop. Drawing chuckles from guests, she added, “and when the time comes for you to decide where your archives should reside, we also encourage you to think of us.”

She added that the recent Frances Hodgkins Undreamed Of exhibition to celebrate the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship underscored why the Fellowships were so vitally important, and recognised the astute choices selection panels from Otago had made over the years in nurturing all the Fellows as they developed their various disciplines.

The exhibition, which was co-hosted at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Hocken gallery, had attracted 85,000 visitors in total.

“It’s been a very significant exhibition and I thank the Vice-Chancellor for her support in providing funding for this,” she said.

Humanities Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Ballantyne also warmly greeted the Fellows, and invited them to speak.

Burns Fellow Craig Cliff took up the offer. He said this was a great chance for him and his family to break away from business as usual in Wellington. He thanked guests for their warm welcome, and the University for the opportunity. Chris Gendall also spoke, saying that as Mozart Fellow for the second year running, he had already made many “wonderful friendships” during his time in Dunedin. Caroline Sutton Clark, the Dance Fellow, who is from Texas, said the incredible opportunity had come along at just the right time for her.

“I have envisioned community dance, and the dance collection I put together will be kept as an archive at the Hocken forever,” she grinned.

Mere Whaanga thanked the University, and Ngai Tahu, in Māori.