Artist interview: Lisa Reihana

All images are used with permission and are copyrighted.

Lisa Reihana CNZM (Ngati Hine, Ngai Tūteauru, Ngāi Tūpoto, Ngā Puhi) was born in 1964 and grew up in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa is one of Aotearoa’s leading artists: a multi-disciplinary visionary whose practice spans a multitude of mediums including photography, film, costume, sculpture, body adornment, and text. Her work has significantly influenced the development of contemporary art and contemporary Māori art in Aotearoa New Zealand and continues to do so to this day.

Lisa’s practice amongst many things “explores the desire to re-examine colonial history and represent countless counter histories and memories. And draw out inspiration from life worlds of communities in the present. And often contain a strong story telling content.”

Her work and practice has gathered a host of awards and accolades, including being made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (she was already a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to art) in this year’s  Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours list,  being an Arts Laureate, and a recipient of the Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative New Zealand.

Lisa has a prodigious output and has exhibited in just about every major gallery in Aotearoa New Zealand, not to mention numerous worldwide. In 2017 she represented Aotearoa New Zealand at the 2017 Venice Biennale with the sublime In Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17).

We were thrilled when we were asked to interview Lisa about her latest exhibition Nomads of the Sea, which is on at Porirua’s PATAKA Art + Museum until Sunday 3 July 2022, as well as many other aspects  of her remarkable career.

In Nomads of the Sea Lisa uses large-scale, immersive installations and weaves together numerous threads – from museums, archives, and historical accounts to Māori narratives and Māori belief systems. It features four significant works selected from her vast body of work from the last 15 years.

Find more information about Nomads of the Sea at PATAKA Art + Museum here.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. You can hear the interview, as well as find a selection of books that feature Lisa Reihana and her work that is available to borrow, below.

We would like to mihi to Lisa for giving us her time and such a fabulous interview.

In pursuit of Venus / Reihana, Lisa
“To accompany the exhibition of the new multi-media work by artist Lisa Reihana in Pursuit of Venus (infected) at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki”-.” (Adapted from Catalogue)



Lisa Reihana: emissaries / Reihana, Lisa
“Catalogue to accompany the exhibition ‘Emissaries’ by artist Lisa Reihana, New Zealand’s official entry in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.” (Adapted from Catalogue)



Digital marae / Reihana, Lisa
“This richly illustrated, modestly sized casebound book is devoted to Digital Marae; a major ongoing photographic and video project by one of New Zealand’s foremost artists Lisa Reihana. Edited by Govett-Brewster Director and curator Rhana Devenport, contributors are leading Maori architectural historian Deidre Brown; Melbourne-based curator and writer Victoria Lynn and cultural theorist and sociologist Nikos Papastergiadis; and Te Papa curator Megan Tamati-Quennell. Additionally, an extended interview with Reihana by Devenport reveals the complex layers of influence that inform this ambitious and significant work.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Taiāwhio II : contemporary Mäori artists : 18 new conversations
“Taiäwhio: Conversations with Contemporary Mäori artists, profiles a fresh range of contemporary Mäori artists. Each profile contains pages of information and quotes from the artists so readers can learn, in the artists’ own words, about their influences and inspirations, work methods and practice, while numerous full-colour photographs accompany each chapter, depicting the artists at work and showing the range of their work and the environment in which they create it. Short biographies are given for each artist profiled and a general introduction by Huhana Smith provides context for the interviews and background information about contemporary Mäori art. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pasifika styles : artists inside the museum
“In May 2006 some fifteen artists from New Zealand took over the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge (UK) as part of Pasifika Styles, a groundbreaking experiment in the display of Pacific Art. Installing their works in cases next to taonga or treasures collected on the voyages of Cook and Vancouver, the artists flung open the stores of the museum to bring more of the museum’s unparalleled Oceanic collections to light.. This book describes Pasifika Styles, from the perspectives of artists, museum professionals and scholars involved in this pioneering project.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Artists on art : how they see, think and create / Black, Holly
“Through a carefully curated selection of quotations, images and interviews, Artists on Art reveals what matters most to the masters. You’ll discover how the giants of the different artistic genres developed their distinctive visual styles, the core ideas that underpin their practice and, most importantly, what art means to you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Womankind : New Zealand women making a difference / Thomson, Margie
“Profiles and portraits celebrating the successes and diversity of New Zealand women across many spheres – politics, arts, science, community development, business innovation and health. These leaders share their views on what it’s like to be a woman in New Zealand today- the contributions they are most proud of, challenges they have faced and still face, dreams they have and goals for the role of New Zealand women. The range of women covers diverse fields, ages and ethnic backgrounds .” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Find our full range of resources featuring Lisa’s work here.

Interview: Legendary musician David Long

Photo of David Long against a light yellow circle and his latest album art.

David Long is a legend in the New Zealand music scene. He started his musical career performing in the Braille Collective, in bands such as Six Volts and Jungle, and was a founding member of The Mutton Birds with Don McGlashan. These days, Long can be found working in a very wide spectrum of musical activities.

Long did compositional music for contemporary dance pieces working extensively with choreographer Douglas Wright. He works on the musical, soundscape side for a whole host of television and film projects; he has worked with Peter Jackson and has played some part in every one of his film for the last twenty years, including Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Long even worked with Brian Eno on the soundtrack to The Lovely Bones.

He also does a lot of production work, having produced many of New Zealand’s finest musicians and ,recently, doing production work for the recently formed Oro record label.

Long has worked on a wide range of collaborative projects, such as with Richard Nunn and Natalia Mann on the album Utterance. He has also just released a new work of his own, titled Ash and Bone. He has also won several silver scroll APRA awards, amongst many other musical accolades. Basically, in musical terms , Long has excelled at everything and so when we got the chance to interview him, we jumped at it.

Coming soon, we have an exclusive filmed interview with Long where we talk all things musical. For now, to whet your appetite, we recently had the pleasure of interviewing Long in conjunction with the Caffeine and Aspirin on Radioactive FM about his new album, Ash and Bone, and various other aspects of his career. Below is the podcast of that interview for your enjoyment:

We are thrilled that Long has taken time out from his very busy schedule to talk to us about his new release, his career, and all things musical. We extend our heartfelt thanks. Keep an eye out for our filmed interview coming soon!

For more information on David, visit

And for more information on Rattle records, visit

Envy of angels [1 CD] / Mutton Birds
“Envy of Angels could have been recorded ten years earlier considering its invocation of the new south — in particular the moodiness of Dumptruck — not to mention similarities to more commercial guitar rock of the same period […] Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that Hugh Jones, who also worked with Dumptruck, produced Envy of Angels. He renders the Mutton Birds’ guitar strum and jangle in more solemn than bright tones, which suits the sometimes poetic lyrics and unusual chord progressions. ~ Greg Adams” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Ash and bone. / Long, David
“Musicians David Long, synthesisers, banjo, electronics, electric guitar ; Carolyn Mills, harp ; Andrew Jarvis, tuba ; Mark Carter, trumpet ; Rachel Vernon, bass clarinet ; Pat Barry, clarinet ; Bridget Douglas, flute ; Riki Gooch, percussion, electronics. Contents Underground — Ash and bone — I follow it — You want to fight everything — The long long walk — A second glance — Wash your mouth out — Water the earth.” ( Adapted from Catalogue.) 

Utterance / Long, David
“Musicians …David Long, banjo, theremin, bowed guitar ; Richard Nunns, taonga pūoro ; Natalia Mann, harp, prepared harp, zither, gongs, voice. Tracks Perilous knowledge — Old shadows — Spider shell — Upper circle, lower case — Celestial dog — Mercury — The nearest clear liquid — We died once — City of green — Hidden cameras — Begin again.” ( Adapted from Catalogue) 

Flock : the best of The Mutton Birds / Mutton Birds

” Other Title Best of The Mutton Birds. Contents …Dominion Road — Nature — The heater — A thing well made — White Valiant — In my room — Anchor me — Wellington — Queen’s English — Don’t fear the reaper — While you sleep — She’s been talking — Come around — Envy of angels — As close as this — Last year’s shoes — Pulled along by love — Not to take sides.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

The Mutton Birds. / Mutton Birds
Dominion Road (3:55) — Your window (4:39) — A thing well made (4:39) — She’s like a city (3:56) — Before the breakthrough (4:52) — White Valiant (5:12) — Giant friend (3:15) — Big fish (4:33) — No plans for later (2:31) — Nature (3:39).” ( Adapted from Catalogue) 


Salty / Mutton Birds
The heater — Ngaire — You will return — Wellington — In my room — When the wind comes round — Queen’s English — Salty my dear — There’s a limit — Esther — No telling when — Anchor me — Too close to the sun — Don’t fight it, Marsha, it’s bigger than both of us. ” ( Adapted from Catalogue) 



WCL interview: Acclaimed artist Robèrt Franken

Portrait of Robèrt Franken in a studio with his painting.

Wellington artist Robèrt Franken was born in 1946 in The Hague, into a family with a long and rich artistic heritage. He grew up in the studios of Mesdag, connected with the Panorama Mesdag Museum, and is a sixth-generation artist.

Franken has lived in the Wellington region since the late 1960’s. Robèrt Franken and his work have travelled extensively, with exhibitions in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China over many years. His works are also held in numerous national and international collections, including Wellington’s very own Te Papa.

“The Messenger” © Robèrt Franken

Franken works in a wide variety of mediums, such as glass engraving, ceramics, mosaic and oils. He was responsible for the sparklingly, colourful mosaics at the bottom of shallow ponds between the old Town Hall and the Michael Fowler Centre. His works have been described as Surrealist, but Franken walks to much an individual path to be pigeonholed so easily.

“Into the day” © Robèrt Franken

To illustrate this point, here are a couple of quotes from Franken which clearly demonstrate his unwavering commitment to following his own unique artistic path. “As an artist, one tries to invent a language for which I have no words.” and “Perhaps the true measure of an artist is their ability to see things differently, to redefine reality.”

We are thrilled to be interviewing Franken about his practice and, in particular, his new show Reflections in a pond which just opened at the PATAKA Art + Museum in Porirua. Reflections in a pond runs until the 20th of March. If you can’t make it out to Porirua, Franken regularly exhibits at the  Walrus gallery in Wellington.

Follow this link for details of Reflections in a pond at PATAKA Art + Museum, and here for details about the Walrus gallery.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that you can watch our interview with Robèrt Franken below! Or, if you are more a podcast fan, there is also a podcast version of the interview. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Robèrt Franken for his time and giving us such a fabulous interview.

Franken: “My special thanks to Jonathan and Alice Milne for being my sponsor over the past 25 years as Artist in Residence at the Learning Connextion, and to Michelle Homer at Walrus Gallery for my Framing and hanging my works.”

All photographs used in the video and displayed above are © Robèrt Franken (All rights reserved).

10.98 seconds of Wellington artists / Maschmeyer, Lennart
“Wellington, like any other place, is made unique by its people. And Wellington is made a unique place especially by its community of artists. Inside these pages are photographs of musicians on stage or painters at work, capturing both their artistic and private sides. Altogether, the amount of time captured by photographs in this book adds up to just over ten seconds, as is the title. “…an intelligent, empathetic and unique record of the contemporary artistic community within the Wellington region.” -Avenal McKinnon (Director New Zealand Portrait Gallery)” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Interview: Sam Duckor-Jones on his new work “Gloria”

Image of the very pink inside of Gloria

The fabulous local poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones made waves across international headlines recently, following his ongoing five-year transformation of an 83-year-old church in Greymouth. Designed as a “queer place of worship”, Duckor-Jones is in the process of turning the church into an innovative, immersive work of art. The space, which Duckor-Jones refers to as Gloria, is coloured in a resplendent, veritable explosion of pink hues and tones. It also, delightfully, includes a huge pink neon “Gloria” sign over the altar. The work also features a unique congregation of 50 Papier-mâché people.

Sam says in the Guardian piece about the work that he wants Gloria to “belong to the community”. It has already become a destination for visitors within our shores, and one suspects that when our borders eventually open will attract a lot of visitors from further afield. We were very fortunate to be able to interview Duckor-Jones last year (in conjunction with Radioactive FM), when he talked to us about his poetry and his plans for Gloria (long before word of the work had reached the international media).

You can listen to that interview conducted by Liam Wild below, and read the Guardian piece here.  If you’d like to know more about Duckor-Jones’ work, you can follow this link to his profile at Bowen Galleries.

As well as his artistic practice, Duckor-Jones is also an acclaimed poet. You can borrow his poetry collections from us, which we have collated into a handy booklist at the end of this blog post.

We wish to extend our heart felt thanks to Sam Duckor-Jones and interviewer Liam Wild for this wonderful interview. All photographs in this blog are copyrighted and reproduced with the kind permission of Sam Duckor-Jones

Party legend / Duckor-Jones, Sam
“Sam Duckor Jones’s first poetry collection was a tour of small towns, overgrown lawns, and giant clay men. In Party Legend he turns once again to questions of existence but at an even bigger scale. These are poems about creation, God, intimacy, the surreality of political rhetoric, misunderstandings at the supermarket – and they are fearless in form and address. Though Party Legend is often wildly funny, it is also, in its Duckor-Jonesian way, tender-hearted and consoling.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

People from the pit stand up / Duckor-Jones, Sam
“This is the voice of someone who is both at home and not at home in the world. Sam Duckor-Jones’s wonderfully fresh, funny, dishevelled poems are alive with art-making and fuelled by a hunger for intimacy. Giant clay men lurk in salons, the lawns of poets overgrow, petrolheads hoon along the beach, birds cry ‘wow-okay, wow-okay, wow-okay’.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Out here : an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa
“A remarkable anthology of queer New Zealand voices. We became teenagers in the nineties when New Zealand felt a lot less cool about queerness and gender felt much more rigid. We knew instinctively that hiding was the safest strategy. But how to find your community if you’re hidden? Aotearoa is a land of extraordinary queer writers, many of whom have contributed to our rich literary history. But you wouldn’t know it. Decades of erasure and homophobia have rendered some of our most powerful writing invisible. Out Here will change that. This landmark book brings together and celebrates queer New Zealand writers from across the gender and LGBTQIA+ spectrum .” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Short poems of New Zealand
” Funny, startling, poignant, illuminating, and always succinct, this anthology celebrates the many moods and forms of the short poem and demonstrates its power in holding our attention. Included here are famous names like Manhire, Glover, Hulme, Bethell, and Cochrane, amongst many new and rediscovered gems.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Annual. 2
“Annual 2 contains all-new material for 9- to- 13-year-olds. The result is a highly original, contemporary take on the much-loved annuals of the past – all in one beautiful package. Alongside familiar names publishing for children – Gavin Mouldey, Sarah Johnson, Ben Galbraith, Barry Faville, Giselle Clarkson, and Gregory O’Brien – you’ll find the unexpected, including a new song by Bic Runga, a small-town mystery by Paul Thomas, and a classic New Zealand comic illustrated by new talent Henry Christian Slane. Smart and packed with content, a book for the whole family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Interview with Professor Anne Noble, Arts Foundation Laureate

Professor Anne Noble

Professor Anne Noble is one of the most highly regarded and acclaimed art photographers and conceptual artists working in Aotearoa New Zealand today. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that you can watch our interview with Professor Noble below!

All photographs used in the video and displayed below are © Anne Noble (All rights reserved) and Massey University Press and are reproduced with kind permission.

Professor Noble’s photographic and conceptual works have gained her a major international reputation. Her work has been exhibited globally and is held in numerous national and international collections. Her practice spans various mediums — including moving image, still photography, sound, and installation work.

Professor Noble’s previous bodies of work have to this point included pieces examining Antarctica, her own daughter’s mouth, pieces on the significance of memory and imagination to personal and cultural narratives of place and belonging, and most recently, forests.

Dead Bee Portrait #01, by Anne Noble

The video interview above particularly focuses on her various bodies of work surrounding her interest in bees. This interview was shot at Professor Noble’s recent exhibition at the Bartley & Company Art Gallery, and covers her practice — in particular this exhibition and the associated book Conversātiō – in the company of bees, recently published by Massey University Press.

More about Professor Anne Noble and her practice

Professor Noble also has another exhibition coming up — “In a forest dark…” (25 November – 18 December 2021), at Bartley & Company Art Gallery.

And below is the full extended uncut version of the interview  for anyone who wishes to delve deeper into Professor Nobles work!

Conversatio : In the company of bees / Noble, Anne
“Lavishly illustrated book to accompany Professor Anne Noble’s Bee themed exhibitions staged internationally over the course of several years. With guest essayists commenting and illuminating various points and themes explored in these bodies of work.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

Find more by Professor Noble on our Catalogue:

Spoolhenge Antarctica / Noble, Anne
“Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Cube3 Gallery, Peninsular Arts, University of Plymouth from 19 May-25 June, 2011. Includes bibliographical references.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

No vertical song / Noble, Anne
“Catalogue of an exhibition held Friday 24 March – Sunday 7 May 2017, at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

Slow release : recent photography from New Zealand : Fiona Amundsen, Gavin Hipkins, Anne Noble, Fiona Pardington, Peter Peryer, Ann Shelton, Yvonne Todd
“Catalogue of an exhibition at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Victoria 10 August – 22 September 2002; the Gippsland Art Gallery Sale 16 November – 15 December 2002; and the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, 2003.Supported by the Chartwell Trust. And including bibliographical references.” (Adapted from Catalogue )