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.
how do we make sure everybody can see themselves represented in the stories we’re sharing on stage and the screen
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.
I build processes, rehearsals, workshops, film sets, and production spaces that are free of judgment, fear, and prejudice.
I strive to find the inner talents of the people I work with, celebrating how thier gifts can become a collective force for change and beauty.
I work in crip-time because I live with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoria disorder) having a hormone health issue means that my process is less about being in a rehearsal room for 8 hours a day. I feel it's more about using the energy when we have it, looking at how we can integrate artistic thought and practice into the everyday.
Trusting that the art will be ready when it is time to share it with the greater world. Resting and connecting to water when preparing to creative magic, is integral to the sustainable future of our practice and counter to the overly competitive nature of our capitalist society.
I work as a connector activator, in communities, art spaces, film sets, and theatre. Often empowering marginalised people to share their stories. As an artist I am constantly searching for ways that break the board, burning it to the ground through radical inclusion, conscious allyship, and exploring the powerful silent parts of myself that can process all the noise.
I am very privileged to have collaborated with some of Aoetearoas’ most stunning Artists and makers. I feel my gift is elevating others to embrace their true internal power, beauty, and mana. Asking how can we plant seeds that will feed the children of the next millennia? We all have the power to activate others and to be activated through the power of the human heart. Our internal light is at constant war with the current social condition, we need to devote our spirits to cultivating portals for humanity to recharge in the beauty of art.
© 2022 Rose Kirkup.