Sunday, 30 August 2009
New New Artland!
Each week TVNZ 7 show New Artland provides a New Zealand artist with the resources to make a new artwork involving their local community, and follows them around watching how it goes.
New Artland has just started it's second series, Saturday night at 9.35pm, TVNZ 7, and repeated Tuesday night at 9.35pm. It's hosted by music legend and art commentator Chris Knox, who completed filming the series before being incapacitated by a stroke from which he is still recovering.
Saturday night's show featured Wayne Youle organising a mass tattooing event where participants were tattooed with a NZ map marked with their particular home place or places. That episode is available online here.
All the shows from the first series are also available through the TVNZ On Demand website, here. Do have a look if you haven't seen them, they're such an amazingly diverse set of projects. And because all the artists are pushing the boundaries of what they've done before and also collaborating with their communities, the results are excitingly unpredictable.
The award for single most surreal idea must go to Phil Dadson with his project to send a brass band flying in a fleet of hot-air balloons drifting on the breeze.
The single funniest episode features painter John Reynolds wanting to personally mark and number all the road arrows on State Highway 1, before coming up with another idea which was equally amazing but less labour-intensive. If he ever gets sick of being an artist, I'm sure he could have a career as a stand-up comic.
The episode which moved me the most was Lonnie Hutchinson's Anzac Day work featuring thousands of pansies and tens of schoolchildren.
Hardest-working artists in series one would have to be Wellington duo Raised By Wolves (Amy Howden-Chapman and Biddy Livesey) with their project Popping the Tent, featuring their own handmade tent, 3,000 balloons, and a lot of campers talking about camping!
Some of the most interesting works involve teaching art to young people. Ans Westra's project recruited local Petone schoolchildren to record things that were important to them with disposable cameras.
Judy Millar coached a roomful of initially reluctant high-school students in painting on a large scale, using mops, buckets, and other unlikely implements.
There's lots of other great stuff. Go have a look, the list of programmes is here.