3 Dec 2023

Arts news for Sunday December 3 2023

From Culture 101, 12:57 pm on 3 December 2023

Time for the arts news now...

Former Gloriavale resident Redeemed Standfast has been charged in the District Court for damaging doors to a deconsecrated pink-painted church in Greymouth. 

Known as Gloria, the church is now owned by poet and artist Sam Duckor Jones who considers it a public artwork and a "temple of non-denominational queer celebration", hosting poetry readings, dance parties and creative arts events. 

The church had previously been the subject of anti-semitic and homophobic grafitti and a burned rainbow flag. 

TVNZ has dis-established 24 general manager roles and created 15 new roles - reducing 9 jobs.

It comes as TVNZ embarks on significant digital investment. With the cuts examples of the big economic and advertising revenue challenges facing the television industry. 

Meanwhile over at company Warner Brothers Discovery - 7pm weekday show The Project signed off for the last time on Friday night.

Following a council funding decision, the annual four day international buskers festival in Nelson will not go ahead this summer.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ali Boswijk has described the decision as "short-sighted" .

Chris Booth sculpture Te Haa o Te Ao (The Breath of the World) dominates entrance to Kerikeri

Photo: RNZ / Peter de Graaf

A controversial climate-change-themed public artwork was unveiled on Friday, welcoming visitors to Kerikeri in the north. 

Te Haa o Te Ao by Chris Booth and Tom Hei Hei, comprises 120 boulders suspended from a 15-metre-high pole, capped by a birds' head sculpture. 

The $500,000 sculpture was commissioned by local hapū Ngāti Rēhia, but respected senior artist Chris Booth says it has been the most trying project he's been involved in, due to social-media-fuelled misinformation and repeated significant vandalism.  

Misinformation seen by RNZ on social media included false claims about who had commissioned the sculpture, how much it cost, falsehoods about the artist and even claims the sculpture was an electronic surveillance tower or a 5G cellphone tower in disguise.   

Peter Jackson's Wētā FX hopes to hire back hundreds of highly skilled engineers who were suddenly made redundant this week from Unity Software.

The American company pulled out of Weta - disestablishing 265 positions just 2 years after Jackson struck a $2.3 billion deal with the US gaming giant - for the digital tools development arm of his business. 

Unity's abrupt departure effectively hands the business back to Wētā FX, including full end-to-end production activities, the Wētā Digital name and trademark.