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Art Chemist

Audrey Baldwin

(Ōtautahi / Christchurch)

Creative Team: Amber Clausner, Khye Hitchcock, Zoe Higgins, Eli Joseph, Sameena Zehra, Louie Zalk-Neale, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Anna Persson, Ania Upstill, Sabrina Martin, Jacob Brown, & Kasi Valu

An interactive public performance work where performers prescribe artworks, exhibitions, and more to soothe a variety of ills. From prescriptions for paintings and poetry to over the counter doses of sculpture or scores; Art Chemist will offer creative means with which to tackle woes, gripes and the agonies of everyday life.

10am - 10pm, 17-20 & 24-27 Feb | Te Whanganui-a-Tara (behind Te Papa) | FREE

Creative Team:

 

Audrey Baldwin - director/producer/creative lead
Audrey Baldwin is an artist, curator and event producer based in
Ōtautahi. She has a keen
interest in engaging the public, connecting people and strengthening communities through
contemporary art and interactive performance. In 2020 she produced Shared Lines:
Pūtahitanga which resulted in a large-scale public installation as well as a nationwide digital billboard campaign featuring a collaborative work made by 60 artists from around Aotearoa.


In 2019, her work Touchstones brought 400 collaborators onboard to create a temporary
sculpture as part of Scape Public Art. She has been curator and producer for First
Thursdays Chch, The Social Artist Collective and numerous solo undertakings.
Audrey is currently public programme coordinator at The Physics Room Contemporary Art
Space, and community projects coordinator at WORD Christchurch.

 


Khye Hitchcock - production assistant, H&S
Khye Hitchcock is an independent curator based in Ōtautahi. As a genderqueer pākehā,
their practice is informed by queer and intersectional feminisms. They are interested in
collaborative and experimental modes of practice which disrupt or unsettle hegemonic
systems. Khye has a MFA from Elam, University of Auckland. In 2012-13 they contributed as
artist and Research Associate on the Pornography in the Public Eye project, University of
Auckland. Khye was Curatorial Assistant at Artspace, Auckland 2013-14; for SCAPE 8
Biennial, Christchurch 2015; and Curator at CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki
2016 - 2017. In 2018, Khye was curator and producer of FESTA, a large scale event with an
audience of 15,000. Since 2018 they have been director of The Green Lab, a not for profit
community organisation that creates green spaces for social good.

 


Amber Clausner - performer and production assistant
Amber Clausner is an artist and arts producer based in Te Whanganui-a-tara. She is
currently Administrator at Thistle Hall community venue and Business Manager at
MEANWHILE gallery. Recent past projects include; Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga (2020),
Shared Lines: Kaikōura (2019) and the Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui (2018) which she has
worked on in a range of production assisting roles.


Amber has worked closely with Audrey on recent Shared Lines projects and more recently to produce an installation for the Cuba Street Shopfront Takeover as part of the Wellington
Performance Arcade 2021.


Alongside her creative practice and passion for arts events organisation and community
projects Amber is also currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma of Business at Victoria University of Wellington.

 


Louie Zalk-Neale - performer
Louie Zalk-Neale (Ngāi Te Rangi, Pākehā) makes performance art and installations with a
faggotty essence and transfeminine overtones. They embrace the power of clothing in their
art practice, recycling fabrics and wielding materials from forests, beaches and gutters to
add extensions to their body. They adorn themselves to determine their own non-binary
image, and immerse the audience in ritualistic live performances to bring a utopian queer
fantasy abruptly into the present.


Louie’s work has recently been presented in GLOSSY LEAF kiss at Blue Oyster (Ōtepoti
2021), Artspace Aotearoa’s New Artists Show (Tāmaki Makaurau 2020); in Costume Agency at Critical Costume Conference (Norway 2020); and at MEANWHILE in Te Whanganui-a-
Tara where they are currently a board member.

 


Zoe Higgins - performer
Zoe Higgins is a poet and theatre maker based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her work has been
published in journals including Sport, Landfall, Mayhem, and Sweet Mammalian and will be
included in two upcoming anthologies from Auckland University Press. Her poetry has also
been included in installation works such as 101 Rants, filter//free (Performance Arcade
2020) and NAG (Performance Arcade 2021). Recent performance work includes puppetry
show The Veiled Isle, performed as part of L
ōemis festival. Zoe also has a background in
mental health support, and currently works as a facilitator for mental health and wellbeing
support services.

 


Eli Joseph - performer
Eli Joseph is a P
ōneke based performing artist, a graduate from Whitireia, Victoria
University, Toi Whakaari, and Te Auaha. He's performed across Aotearoa (plus a tour of
Australia) in a variety of prestigious venues, arts festivals, and dive bars. Now he's thrilled at
the prospect of winding up in a storage container on the waterfront, distilling his hard earned arts knowledge into artpothecarial remedies.

 


Anna Persson - performer
Anna Persson (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary artist and arts practitioner originally from
Boorloo/Perth, currently based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her creative practice spans across
the disciplines of music, acting, photography, and writing. She is a current student at Improv
Connection where she recently performed at BATS Theatre as part of the school’s
graduation showcase. In 2020, she exhibited her first solo photography exhibition,
‘HOMEBODY’ at Black Coffee in Newtown and in 2019 exhibited at the Thistle Hall Lightbox.
Anna holds a Certificate in Creativity from The Learning Connexion and is currently the
Director of Public Programmes at MEANWHILE gallery where she organises and facilitates
events, performances, and shows.

 


Sameena Zehra - performer
Sameena Zehra is an award winning comedian, storyteller, actor, writer, director and blues
singer/songwriter. She has performed her solo shows all over the world, including Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and New Zealand Fringe.


Her strong belief is that art should be inclusive, accessible and commonplace; an everyday
activity, because art is the manifest expression of philosophy, and philosophy is the template for civilisation; it is how we express our humanity and how we access the humanity of others.

 


Ania Upstill - performer
Ania Upstill is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre
(Professional Training Program). Their most recent work is Sapphic Lake, a queer ballet at
BATS. Other theatre credits include solo clown show Transhumance (Butch Mermaid
Productions); In Many Hands (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Thou Shalt Not (Thinkery &
Verse); R+J: A Genderqueer/Female Reimagination (Hypokrit Productions); and Richard III
(The Bacchanals). Ania’s directing credits include Into the Bush (TAPAC); Alone it Stands
(Wellington Irish Society); and Love’s Labours Lost (Wellington Summer Shakespeare).

Ania Upstill is a professional theatre educator and a clown. They have toured with Clowns
Without Borders USA and have taught clown internationally.

 


Sabrina Martin - performer
Sabrina is a physical theatre-maker, actor and singer who loves to create theatrical
experiences outside of the theatre. She traverses many styles from clowning, to bike tours,
to plays in gardens, to intimate shows in her home; from touring musicals, to kids shows, to
street theatre.


Sabrina's expertise is in physical theatre, having completed further training in Glasgow after drama school in Aotearoa. She has specialised experience in making site-specific,
immersive theatre. In 2017 she made a solo show May Contain Sex Scenes, performing this
to small groups of people in Ohtel (a Wellington Hotel), in her home, and at Melbourne
Fringe Festival. She has made shows with the highly acclaimed Danish theatre company
Cantabile 2, including acting in national theatre award winning show Hidden Number in
2017. Their intimate style of theatre has informed Sabrina's work.


Recent highlights are: street performance in What If The City Was A Theatre?, assisting at
Circa Theatre on the play Di and Viv and Rose, artistic producing and performing in Moon
Cycles (a theatrical bike experience), and a national tour of CATS the musical.

 


Kasi Valu

Mālō e lelei,

Ko hoku hingoa ko Kasi Valu. 'Oku lele mai mei Ma'ufanga mo Lapaha.

I am currently in my final year of actor training at Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa.

Being a product of a migrant dream entails an endless variety of curiosities, possibilities, and privileges. Acting, writing, and producing are my love languages of storytelling. What I have realised within the work of our Pasifika arts community, is the fundamental importance of investing in our local ecosystem, and maintaining sovereignty on how, when, who, and why we share our stories. Though the oceans have flooded our Kingdom of Tonga, it is the same vast seas that unite us in resilience as Pasifika peoples. That is part of my practice. Swimming in the oceans that are engraved with excellence by my family, mentors, and ancestors. I am honoured and grateful to be part of this team to share the plethora of talent and joy within our local visual arts community. 


Jacob Brown - performer

Hi! My name is Jake Brown. I am 27 years old, and a Gemini flexitarian. I live in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, I have done for ten years. I have a degree from Victoria University of Wellington - I moved down from Wellsford to study English literature and theatre, and have been reading novels and making theatre in this city ever since. I love it here.

 

I act, dance and make theatre. Last year I was the lead in the gay Christmas ballet The Slutcracker - I played myself - and I was also lucky enough to be involved in two of the shows in the 'What if the city was a theatre?...' festival last year too - I was a shopfront futuristic femme in Madame FancyPants with Audrey Baldwin's Art Exhibition, and I was a blue body in a pink tutu on a scooter in the Flamingo Scooter Ballet.

I am excited to be an Art Chemist because it means I can prescribe beautiful events and efforts going on in our city, like balms. Many of them are free, many of them we might take for granted, maybe we simply don’t know they exist. I am thrilled to be involved in the Performance Arcade this year. Art feels near-impossible to make right now, and still it’s everywhere. It takes money and it takes years, aren’t we lucky to have it. Wellington is, like, a whole city of art, all the time, so life as an artist is hard too here. But I believe in art, and I believe that people believe in art too. I always want to talk about art, and it makes sense to do it in costume. It feels apt to inhabit art when you are talking about it. So let’s talk about it. Have you seen any good graffiti lately?


Shania Bailey-Edmonds - performer