b. Waitangi Day 1996, Whangateau, Aotearoa. Lives and works in Whangateau and Taamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Arapeta (mononymous) is a takatāpui artist of Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Te Wehi, Ngāti Kahu, Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, and Ngāti Porou tribal decent. Arapeta’s creative pratice is conceptualised as a vessel that is used to explore their takatāpuitanga (Indigenous queer identity). They describe themselves as a ‘weaver of stories through adornment, garmentry, and objects’ often creating references to the various traditional Māori art forms passed down through their whakapapa (lineage).
They are a recent Masters graduate from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, with their research ‘He Taonga Tuku Iho’ which incorporated ancestral knowledge to revive the making of kākahu parakiekie (rain capes). Arapeta is currently a doctoral candidate at the Elam School of Fine Arts researching the revival and preservation of Maori cloth making traditions through performance and time based mediums.
Arapeta has exhibited across Aotearoa New Zealand and actively engages with museum collections locally and internationally.
Image: Arapeta, Taonga collection ‘Pounamu series’ (2021), pounamu and sterling silver, Image courtesy of the artist.
b. 1990 Loznica, Serbia. Lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa.
Biljana Popovic graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a BFa Hons in 2012. She was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Berlin Artist Residency program, October 2018 – October 2019. Her recent exhibitions include: No Overhead Luggage at Mayfair Art Fair Online 2020, The Doubleghost at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany 2019, Synthetic Baby at the Physics Room, Christchurch 2018, Andromoeda, a collaborative installation with Juliet Carpenter for Shout! Whisper! Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki.
Image: Biljana Popovic, Synthetic Baby (2018), Installation view of digital work on custom side table, custom chairs, smart car quilt, painted mural, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Born 1991, Taumarunui, Aotearoa. Lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa.
Ziggy Lever’s work involves making interventions into specific sites and archives. These interventions and responses, in the form of sculpture, sound, and lens-based imagery, playfully investigate the social production of knowledge. Lever considers materials as time-based documents that draw across temporal fields of installation. These come together in sometimes tenuous and provisional arrangements of things: image, intervention, and active research. His work draws on the scientific, cosmological, poetic, and institutional material, through an active researching of sites and (paradigmatic) structures. Unfolding investigations into sites and archives, and in varying cooperative modes of practice, his works relate improvisational making to archival contexts and readings.
Lucy Meyle and Ziggy Lever, From wall to wall and moving to the centre (2017), Projected still image, motorised mirrors, timber. Projected Image credit: S17-051a Tree Asters, Chatham Islands, 1924. H. D. Skinner photograph, Box-214-019. Reproduced for this exhibition with permission from Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist. Photo: Grace Ryder.
Daegan Wells, born, 1989, Invercargill New Zealand. Lives and work in Colac Bay, Aotearoa.
Daegan Wells graduated with a MFA from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury in 2015. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower residency award, Christchurch. Through his archival and sculptural practice, Wells uses narrative to address political, environmental, social and cultural events from recent history. Recent exhibitions include World made of Steel, made of Stone, (group, curated by Abby Cunnane), The Physics Room, Ōtautahi Christchurch, (2021); Caught; slack and taut, Laree Payne Gallery, Kirikiriroa Hamilton (2021); Bush Coat, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (2020); Start with a Vase (group, curated by Sebastian Clarke), Hastings City Art Gallery, Heretaunga Hastings (2019); and Catch (group, curated by Becky Richards), Tinning Street Presents, Naarm Melbourne (2019); Hut for a Sensuous Gold Miner (with Sophie Bannan), MEANWHILE, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, (2018); A Gathering Distrust, Ilam Campus Gallery, Ōtautahi Christchurch, (2018).
Daegan Wells, Bush Coat (2020), installation view. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown
Miranda Bellamy (b. 1987, Aotearoa) and Amanda Fauteux (b. 1983, Canada) are partners and artistic collaborators who extend the stories of wild plants through site-specific research and experimentation. Working through ideas of reciprocity, animacy, and the personhood of non-humans is central to their practice. By listening to plants and responding through interdisciplinary projects, they queer the constructs that separate human beings from non-human beings and make space for the critical revision of human histories.
Bellamy holds a BFA from the Dunedin School of Art and Fauteux holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montréal. Since their collaborative practice began in 2019 they have attended artist residencies in New York and Vermont, USA, and have exhibited their work in Aotearoa, Canada, and the USA. In June 2020 they were digital artists-in-residence with Artspace Aotearoa and in May 2021 they presented radiata at Blue Oyster art project space, Dunedin Ōtepoti. Bellamy and Fauteux live and work in Ōtepoti, Aotearoa.
Image: Miranda Bellamy and Amanda Fauteux, radiata (2021), sculpture and sound installation, Blue Oyster Art Project Space. Image courtesy of the artists. Photo: Miranda Bellamy
Born, Kunming, China. Lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa.
Xin Cheng likes to walk, and do stuff around making by hand, ecology, conviviality. While living in Hamburg from 2016-2019 she hosted performative talks and workshops on everyday resourcefulness in Berlin, Sheffield, Mexico City; befriended dancers, film-makers, philosophers, junk traders; wrote stories for hainamana.com; made books with Materialverlag and organised a multidisciplinary show on rubber trails. Returning to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland before a virus changed the world, she is happy to continue her making-do(ing) with old and new friends. Her works have been shown in public galleries throughout Aotearoa and at International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno (Czech Republic), Sprint Milano (Italy), Frappant Galerie (Hamburg). She has done residencies in Norway, Taiwan, Cambodia, Switzerland, Korea, Japan. She was previously a co-director of the artist-run-space RM, Auckland and holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (Germany), and studied ecology, psychology and fine arts at the University of Auckland.
Image: Xin Cheng, Suburban Water Bodies (2021) digital video, silent (2 mins 37 secs) Image courtesy of the artist.