The Wallace Foundation provides grants to a wide range of arts projects throughout the year – and it’s not just the big organisations that benefit. Often it’s the smaller projects from emerging artists that receive the support so badly needed to launch their fresh, new ideas onto the stage in front of New Zealand audiences.
Rainbow Rosalind Meets the Orchestra! was one of these projects. Musician and children’s singer/songwriter Rosalind Manowitz – aka Rainbow Rosalind – received funding towards a concert she devised with the Dunedin Youth Orchestra, held at the Dunedin Town Hall in October this year. This family-friendly concert was offered free of charge, with the aim of bridging the gap between children and classical music, especially families who might not normally go along to experience a classical music concert. Each of the 16 original songs (written by Rosalind) introduced a different aspect of classical music and dance performance (the strings, brass, percussion, the conductor, tuning, the ballet dancers, bowing at the end of a concert and so on). This was an interactive show, giving children the chance to conduct the orchestra, sing and dance along as well as see the musical instruments and players close-up after the concert.
Te Reo Māori was also integrated throughout the concert, with many of Rosalind’s song lyrics providing translations into Te Reo as well as using greetings and instructions in Te Reo.
The event was a huge success, with nearly 2,000 people filling up the hall and children dancing and singing throughout the show. SOUNZ sent their team to the event to make an audio and film recording which will be made available online on the SOUNZ website. Feedback was really positive and further opportunities for Rosalind have arisen as a result of the event.
The grant from The Wallace Foundation assisted Rosalind by enabling her to offer it to families free of charge – and the concert gave her the opportunity to debut 10 new works to a large audience. Working on her compositions in rehearsals with the Dunedin Youth Orchestra alongside conductor Anthony Ritchie provided valuable mentoring. And the experience of putting on a large-scale event provided Rosalind with the chance to learn and grow not only her musical skills but her organisational skills as well – skills she can use to continue building a career in the arts.
For more information on applying for a contestable grant click here.
The Wallace Arts Trust has partnered with Allpress Studio (8 Drake Street, St Marys Bay) to present a new exhibition from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection.
Past participants of the Wallace Arts Trust Intern Programme were given the opportunity to submit a proposal for an exhibition concept to be shown at Allpress Studio. Jess Douglas, Nina Lala and Lucy Backley put forward a creative and thought provoking idea concerned with technology, contemporary art and New Zealand society and was selected for display. The exhibition, Distant Past, will be on show at Allpress Studio until 5 August.
Tap it, swipe it, flip it. These are among just a few of the instructions that are now synonymous with 2016 and the 21st century. Technology has accelerated and disseminated at a rate so rapid that we are now contingent on it in the functioning of our everyday lives – and is this for the better or the worse? We perhaps hold a blind belief in the ability of technology to advance our nation to a better future. Such themes are explored in Distant Past, which uses modern and contemporary art in a number of media to explore the role of technology on our identity as New Zealanders.
New Zealand was the last habitable land mass on earth to be settled by humankind, and as such is an incredibly young country. Because of this, Aotearoa is arguably a nation that doesn’t look back to its far-off past in order to assert its identity. We do, however, turn to our childhood memories with a sense of nostalgia for what the recent (but seemingly distant) past used to be like. With technology has come the internet and social media, which brings with it freedom – but also a number of issues. With technology comes liberation of thoughts, greater broadcasting of ideas, improved security and a better understanding of how the world works. Yet it also brings with it greed, a startling permanency of opinions, less privacy and poorer focus and attention to details.
This exhibition has conceptual layering between all of the different artworks and thoughts. The eclectic mix of media provided is reflective of how technology has made our thought process more active and diversified and our attention spans shorter. Every piece of art creates a platform for people to come and think about such ideas, much in the same manner that the internet provides a platform to share and disseminate opinions and beliefs. Every artwork in this show deals with technology in some manner, or at least in the current context of 2016 they can be interpreted as such – because all things can change meaning given their environment or context, and artworks are no exception to this intimidating rule.