Rose Kirkup

About Me


I’m a…

I work with artists, and communities to breathe life into creative space. Together we craft characters and build worlds for them to inhabit, to then share with audiences.

Rose Kirkup

how do we make sure everybody can see themselves represented in the stories we’re sharing on stage and the screen

Rose Kirkup



where i’m from

I grew up in the Akatarawa Valley in Upper Hutt with Scottish and English ancestry. My family were some of the first people to colonise the Hutt Valley.

The youngest of five children I attended Catholic education and Church for my formative years, with the parish being a focus for the family.

The home which was shared with my maternal grandparents, was constantly open to family and friends who needed respite, support, and community. Hosting countless celebrations, hangi, hui, and memorials over the past 60 years where I learned about mānakitanga and the power of bringing people together.

My parents work in education and social work where acts of service are at the core of their daily life, this largely influenced my working style, especially in how they relate to marginalised people.

My connection with Te Ao Māori was seeded at Ōrongomai Marae as a child and was deepened by attending Toi Whakaari where I met and began working with amazing Māori and Pacific artists. This transformed how I see the world, I became committed to using my privilege as a pākehā artist to question all institutionalisation in the fight to decolonise all people and systems.