Artist in Residence: Jade Townsend
As part of our ongoing commitment to support and partner with local and international art practitioners, Artspace Aotearoa will launch a new artist residency programme, commencing March, 2021.
Artists are invited to undertake a 1 to 3 month paid residency, with an onsite studio space, and opportunity to design a personal project through which they can research ideas, experiment, and network without the pressure of delivering a resolute outcome. We recognise the urgent need to provide artists support in the form of focussed time and space for their art. Essential, but rare, for most artists who fit their practice between the cost of living.
Artspace Aotearoa was established to support artists’ to take risks, experiment, and advance their practices. For this reason we believe a local and an international artist residency is a vital contribution to the rigor of contemporary art in Aotearoa.
Our new street-level relocation was an essential move to grow our capacity as an institute for significant critical and creative exchange. The launch of a local artist residency is a further response to an immediate need for increased artist opportunities for our community in an urban environment that is rapidly changing.
Both specific and universal, it is our ambition that an international residency develops benefits and connections with an international community as well as an investment in local realities. As a public institution located in the culturally vibrant neighbourhood of Karangahape Road, Tāmaki Makaurau, Artspace Aotearoa is an ideal creative centre for any local or international artist.
In 2021 we will transform further our existing basement facilities into working artist spaces, designed to accommodate a diverse range of practitioners. The full facility upgrade, scheduled for a mid-2021 completion date, will host annually a local residency programme of up to four Aotearoa based artists, with the hope, in to welcome in 2022 the first international artist.
Artspace Aotearoa is thrilled to host our first Aotearoa based resident, Jade Townsend.
About the artist:
Jade Townsend (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a visual artist and storyteller working at the intersection of her Māori, Pākehā and British heritage.
She describes it as a “non-fixed duality that ebbs and flows with contradictory cultural forces every day. My wairua connects to many seemingly disparate fields and I reinterpret that through materiality.”
She was born and raised in Whanganui before moving to Liverpool, United Kingdom where she lived as a teenager. Townsend’s exposure to a wide range of accents, dialects, regional slang, folktale and pūrākau made her aware of the limitations of translation and cultural hybridity as a completely transparent process. For Townsend, her cultural identity forms in the non-translatable, the left-over and residual aspects of herself for which there is no interpretative counterpoint in relation to the other.
Townsend is currently showing site-specific murals as part of the Chinese Zodiac Trail in Te Whanganui a Tara and has a collaborative exhibition called Ā muri atu / In the future with Emiko Sheehan at RAMP gallery in Kirikiriroa. Townsend recently brought together a group of artists in the project Hauhake and led a wānanga at Objectspace as part of the Caravannex On Tour artist in residence series. She has previously been awarded residencies at Slade School of Art, London and Red Gate Gallery, Beijing. Townsend has exhibited globally across museum, gallery and concept store spaces. Jade holds a BA Hons Fine Art Painting from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Image: Harry Were.