Current Students


Lance Pearce

Letterbox numerals

Lance Pearce, Letterbox numerals arranged according to their weight (lightest to heaviest), 2015

Lance Pearce’s practice is concerned with the intangible properties of language and physical manifestations of the speculative. His work teases out the potential for objects and ideas to break with convention and regulation, and our ability to perceive or imagine limitlessness within identity. Pearce’s practice evokes a connection between the unknown and the not understood realms of both material and systems of knowledge or belief and our experiences of them. Working across various material fields, Pearce’s work channels past events into concrete forms, conflating science’s concern for fact and evidence with the legacies of minimalism and conceptualism.



Julia Holderness

Bauhaus_teapot installation_2

Julia Holderness, installation detail of The Group: home-wares, 2015. Photograph: Richard Orjis

Julia Holderness is an artist based in Christchurch. Her PhD project Ever Present Archiving explores how an installation-based practice might critique assumed forms of collected knowledge, and develops practices of fabrication, approximation and invention to interrogate archives and their construction of art-historical narratives. Focusing particularly on how representations of the past constitute ‘re-presentations’, this project revisits particular epochs in New Zealand’s art history (such as the Christchurch art collective called ‘The Group’, 1927– 1977), and imagines their possible entanglements with international movements (including for example the Bauhaus). In creating narratives that might or might not have existed – encompassing artists, groups, movements, and exhibitions – this project deliberates on the role of fiction in both the collection and interpretation of material histories, and critiques traditionally held divides between art historical scholarship and artistic fabrication. The making of objects and assemblages based on archival fragments becomes part of a practice-led methodology for art-historical investigation that highlights both the productive nature of the archive, and gaps and slippages within the information it stores. In privileging decorative and domestic categories, this practice traces alternative histories of modernism in New Zealand, in a reflexive and subjective research process that contributes to a feminist rethinking of the archive. Developing the idea of what an archive can be, and how it might be arranged and interpreted, the research critiques dominant art-historical structures such as classification systems, and linear, evolutionary narratives and presentations. Through the use of invented personae, artworks and exhibitions, Holderness traces alternative histories of modernism in New Zealand, whilst exploring questions of truth and representation in historiography. This project is concerned with producing a flexible version of the past that is fabricated out of endless copies, reproductions and influences.

Richard Orjis

Wearing Leaves with an Elephant Ear 2017

Wearing Leaves with an Elephant Ear 2017

‘An Island within the City’ is a multidisciplinary, art practice-led exploration, situated at the juncture of emerging queer urban ecological scholarship and contemporary art. Catriona Sandilands defines queer ecology as a loose, interdisciplinary assembly of practices that apply queer theory to disrupt dominant heterosexist and institutional articulations of sexuality and nature, through reimaging evolutionary processes, ecological interactions, and environmental politics.[1] With this particular assembly in mind, the research investigates how the developing terrains of queer theory and contemporary art practice might extend ecological understanding. By adopting, as conceptual starting point, the urban park as a paradoxical island within the city, the project aims to make imaginable a material foothold for queer ecological thought. In pursuit of this foothold, the research explores socio-political conflicts in the context of queer, post colonial, ecological and emancipatory practices within art making—a negotiation that aims to position art as a reparative agent for analysis, critique and change.

A queer ecological methodology is utilised, one whose antiteleological approach seeks from non-linear complexity an openness to adaptive transformation. With this notion of non-linear and open exploration in mind, the practice engages with a variety of artistic methods such as photography, drawing and sculptural projects, alongside the orchestration of social formations (specifically reading and discussion groups), and the curation of alternative archives, publications, and group exhibitions. The artistic output will be situated within traditional contemporary art spaces including studios and galleries, in and alongside, a selection of alternate sites such as parks, libraries and glass houses.

[1] Catriona Sandilands,“Queer Ecology”, Keywords for Environmental Studies. (New York: NYU Press, 2016)


Kathryn McCully

Critical Structural Weakness (series)

Critical Structural Weakness (series)

Performing the DIY museum.

The DIY Museum’s ethos is to perform a responsive museum model that connects with the aspirations of community members to present an annual public programme of events/activities. The DIY Museum also aims to reach parts of the community that may not consider the institutional model that is the traditional public museum/gallery as accessible. Audience will be approached from the perspective of creating a scene that engages publics with projects over a period of time providing greater opportunities to connect throughout the creative process rather than simply engaging with the finished art product. Initially being inspired by the concept of the “museum without walls”, the DIY Museum attempts to work in the gaps – or in those areas not being addressed in the context of museum practice in the region. The DIY Museum is a responsive approach to museum practice that positions the city/region as site and therefore makes use of existing infrastructure to present projects/activities.

Check out her website for more details


Olivia Webb


Olivia Webb, Scale, 2015 (performance documentation)

Olivia Webb’s sound oriented art practice centres on the human voice, particularly through a-cappella song, as a way of revealing and ushering forth silent traditions and experiences embodied in space and place. Originally from Christchurch, Webb studied Fine Arts at Massey University in Wellington while training as a classical soprano singer. She specializes in early music and 17th-19th Century choral music, and combines her experience as a singer with various time-based art forms including performance and multi-channel sound installations. She is currently completing her Masters in Performance and Media Arts at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, NZ.

John Vea


John Vea, 29.09.2009 Tribute to Samoa,American Samoa and Tonga, 2013, Video Still

John Vea works with sculpture, video and performance art. He is happy to share his practice with you in person through talanoa.







Christina Houghton

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Weathering the Whau 2015

Christina Houghton is a dance artist based in West Auckland. Her performance work spans across the disciplines of choreography, ecology and art in relation to climate change and survival. She has and MCPA in dance studies from Auckland University and is currently researching for a PhD at AUT, Auckland.




Elliot Collins

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“Painting today. I think I painted today. I hope I did. I think of painting today. And in that sad sort of hopeless way, that thought might just be the best painting I’ve ever made. Painting today must be what On Kawara thinks about. I wonder if I’ll ever go off On. Some days I try and think about how to get around painting. Is that what Julian Dashper means when he makes a round painting? I think his paintings think back. I think that maybe painting today has the ability to change its mind. But maybe that forfeits my ability to change mine. Ian Jervis said that “methodology is to artists, what ornithology is to birds”. I think we were talking about painting and he paraphrased. He’s also said that painting is big in New York. I’ve never been but he seemed convinced so I went with it. I work during the day so I think about painting tonight. When I’m painting at night I think of the people who are holding each other. Not obnoxiously, but in a reassuring way, like how little children hold broken sparrows. I think about painting as I exhale. Things become so clear. I’m afraid to inhale. I return to the fog. Painting today is full of fear. But I think it might be the good kind. Painters today give thanks, to those before, who did it better. Painting today is like looking into the sun that leaves spots on your retina.”



Lucy Meyle



I am an artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. I am about to begin my provisional year of my PhD at AUT.

You can email me at




Minus Theatre

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Founded on February 2014


: Always open

Minus Theatre Research Group is an experimental theatre practice and artistic research project started by Simon Taylor at Auckland University of Technology



Ziggy Lever

Driving down Scott Road looking for weeds 2015 (video still)

Ziggy Lever is an artist based in Tāmaki Mākaurau, Aotearoa. He is currently undertaking a practice led PHD at AUT University of Technology, where he graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons First Class). His current practice pays particular attention to expanded documentary practices and social co-operation, at times working collaboratively with other artists. Ziggy Lever is the administrator of the Art and Performance Research Group est. 2014.

Ruth Myers


Being Made 2014

Ruth is an artist and tutor at Southern Institute of Technology in Invercargill. She has a Masters in Art and Design from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and is currently working on her doctoral thesis in the School of Art and Design at AUT. Her PhD project explores encountering the disciplining and gesturing body as shared performance in early film and contemporary video art. Ruth is particularly focused on the temporalities of display where the present tense, and modes of interruption, situates participants in forms of shared performance.

Layne Waerea


An unsuccessful attempt at chasing fog Instruction: To chase fog from a neighbouring farm.

Layne Waerea is an Auckland based artist whose practice involves carrying out performance art interventions in public spaces. These interventions seek to question, challenge and even exploit social and legal ambiguities in the public social.

As a woman of Maori (Te Arawa, Ngati Kahungunu) and New Zealand Pakeha descent, with experience practising and lecturing in law, Layne relies on this socio- cultural and legal knowledge to (re)consider the way she operates in the everyday; and how this information can be used to not only challenge but also benefit from any ambiguities of these social or legal norms. These interventions can respond to the current political and cultural news or a significant anniversary or seasonal event. Evidence of these actions is usually recorded to video or still image and despite having the potential to incriminate, is then (re)presented in a public gallery or online.

Layne is currently enrolled in a PhD at AUT University where the main focus of her practice-based research is to see how these performance art interventions can allow us to consider what role te Tiriti o Waitangi can play in the future of Aotearoa. Layne is also the founding member of The Chasing Fog Club (Est. 2014)

Alex Plumb


Ivy Blue

This moving-image art project explores psychological dimensions of the social, sexual, and spatial interactions that pervade everyday life. Through a reorientation of the spectator’s encounter with images of the mundane, the project attempts to amplify questions about the psychological interplay between the subject depicted, the site of performance, and how the work unfolds in interaction with the viewer. By working in the space between the ideal, the real, and the fantastical, an ambiguous other emerges. The work investigates a different type of rhythm – one that un-notices the everyday act, whilst drawing out the psychic dimensions that surround it. By amplifying this rhythm, the work aims for a moment of silent rupture: a moment that continuously fails to arrive, and is continuously diverted. This on-going promise of imminent rupture creates unease about how a familiar space has become unfamiliar – some ‘other’ space.


Anthony Cribb

Born. Pukekohe New Zealand 1979
Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi
Lives/Works. Auckland, New Zealand



XX/03/2015–28/03/2015 (VARIABLE-SPAN-VARIABLE), ST PAUL ST Gallery, Auckland (2015)

Anthony Cribb is an artist from Auckland, New Zealand. As a working method his projects look to respond to the social environment of where they are to be sited, provoking variances in form, scale and concept from work to work. However, a binding thread between these projects is provided by a sedimentary process – where modes, ideas, and techniques that occur over the course of a work are accumulated, collected and archived, coming forth to express themselves in subsequent works. He is currently working on a PhD.


Suzi Gorodi


This PhD project explores questions of liveness, site, and locale through a performance and media arts practice belonging to prosthetic technologies. As such, the project investigates performance, and its encounter through video as inextricably bound up with a questioning of the “essence” of the prosthetic. From such a perspective, my project opens up debates about subject/object dichotomies, intentionality, and spectatorship, as a prosthetic life emerges to reveal a liveness that challenges our experience. In other words, prosthetic relations suggest that my existence already belongs with an entirety of world. From this standpoint: liveness can involve being taken by an uncanny revealing through fleeting moments in the constitution of a world that is prosthetics; site is a temporal place of my being; and locale is only locale through something I do that opens up intervals of space.

My art practice engages the prosthetic as a means of vision that resists the instrumental as cause that habitually falls away into forgetfulness. The exegesis employs Martin Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology, Being and Time, (and other texts), to explore how technē belongs with poiēsis as a primal bringing-forthof something in itself, and the making of something by means of a relationship to another. What is significant here is not that something is, or is not, a prosthetic (device), but what using it makes me think about the human condition. In short, I employ prosthetic relations (camera rigs, periscopes, projectors, harnesses and so forth), to uncover a time and place that might open our temporal being to a world by questioning a ground of understanding based on cause and effect. In this manner, my project suggests that our prosthetic relations carry a possibility of revealing a belonging with world through ways of questioning how we look and encounter the “essence” of technology.

Four chapters discuss my exploration of prosthetic relations from a diverse body of perspectives:through a “play of forces” brought forth by poiēsis and affect; the modes in which my founding mood or attunement is revealed through temporality; my meetings with self that expose a primordial homelessness belonging to the uncanny; and finally, how my “liveness” is revealed through a belonging to prosthetic relations.


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