The Frances Hodgkins Fellowship

The Frances Hodgkins Fellowship was established by the University of Otago Council in 1962 to aid and encourage painters, sculptors and multi-media artists, while at the same time associating them with the life of the University and fostering an interest in the Arts within the University. It was named after Dunedin-born Frances Hodgkins, one of New Zealand's most distinguished painters.

The annual, 12-month Fellowship provides a studio/office space and not less than the minimum salary of a full-time university lecturer. It is open to artists who are normally resident in New Zealand and who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, have executed work that demonstrates their talent, and would benefit from holding the Fellowship.

Previous Fellowship recipients since 2008

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Sorawit Songsataya image

Sorawit Songsataya

Frances Hodgkins Fellow 2022

Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington-based multi-media artist Sorawit Songsataya is the Frances Hodgkins Fellow.

Their previous interdisciplinary work encompasses sculpture, ceramic, textile, moving-image and 3D animation. Acknowledging Te Ao Māori and Thai belief systems, Sorawit explores themes rooted in Aotearoa’s geological, ecological and culturally significant histories to redefine our understandings of subjectivity and ecology.

These weighty themes are often lightened by the inclusion of provocative or whimsical pop culture elements. As well as challenging narratives, Songsataya’s work embraces visually stimulating elements such as moving images and sculpture within installation pieces or has incorporated digital and tactile media to promote audience engagement.

Their proposed Fellowship project will follow this format, and Sorawit will conduct a research-based investigation of locally situated themes (the kotuku, white heron) and material (Oamaru limestone), which blends sculptural and digital media, including LED holography, animation and stone carving.

“The project will build on a collection of footage of the bird I recorded in 2020. Similarly, with the limestone, it will be a continuation in exploring carving techniques and material properties. Weight and weightlessness, stasis and mobility are some of the attributes that I would study and expand from these two key subject areas.”

The Fellowship will afford time and space to break down and analyse ideas before incorporating them “in new forms.”

“I also hope to introduce myself and develop a way to build a reciprocal relationship with mana whenua and kaitiaki of a few specific places in Te Wai Pounamu. Certain animals, plants and locations that I would be learning carry cultural meanings and protocols that are important to Māori. Therefore, I would like to approach and honour these the right way and with the utmost care and respect.”


Otago Fellows University of Otago