12 May 2024

Restructures at Penguin, a women's only exhbition & Ria Hall for mayor: Arts News 12 May

From Culture 101, 3:10 pm on 12 May 2024


Penguin Random House is undergoing a restructure - with two of the most recognisable local publishers in New Zealand leaving. 

Head of publishing Claire Murdoch and non-fiction publisher Rachel Eadie will leave in the coming months.

The Spinoff is reporting another eight roles have been cut. 

Last August - authors around the country were shocked to hear 3 senior staff were being made redundant - including long standing and highly regarded fiction editor - Harriet Allan. At that time, Claire Murdoch added the oversight of the fiction list to her responsibilities.

Penguin Random House is the largest book publisher in the country. 

In an effort to keep its women-only exhibition alive, Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is considering turning it into a toilet — or a bible study.

Those are just two of six legal exemptions that would allow the private art museum to bar men from accessing the Ladies Lounge -  an exhibition by artist and curator Kirsha Kaechele.

Last month, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) ruled that the installation must admit all paying visitors going forward.

Now the museum is seeking to challenge the order - on the grounds the ruling does not recognise how the Ladies Lounge promotes equal opportunity. 

The exhibition which offers exclusive access to some of the museum’s most sought-after artworks - features luxurious green curtains and male butlers serving champagne - was conceived as a subversion of Tasmania’s historical exclusion of women from specific spaces such as public bars. 

It's been a big week for talented singer songwriter Ria Hall.

As well as declaring her intention to run for Mayor of Tauranga, she’s sharing her personal story in a powerful work. 

The singer confirmed her mayoralty ambitions on social media saying she will commit to Tauranga becoming known as the city of arts and culture - where tourism and business communities can thrive. 

An inclusive community, housing growth and future proofing the environment are also key elements in her approach for local office. 

Hall has also opened up on parenting in a new documentary - It Takes A Kainga - which explores the alarming mental health disparities faced by Māori mothers in Aotearoa.

It puts the spotlight on the statistic that Māori mothers are 3.35 times more likely to die during pregnancy due to suicide.

The short film garnered more than 365,000 views in the first 24 hours after being released on Hall’s social media channels. 

Sam Morrison, artist and founder (with others) of Whau the People has died at the age of 43 from cancer. 

Whau the People is a community arts initiative in Avondale, Auckland and started a decade ago. 

As well as contributing to community arts, Sam had been working  with Auckland City Mission in the community housing space.

A 20 year old from Wellington has been given half a million dollars to write, draw and animate a web series based on his family.

And he's doing it all from the bedroom of his Mount Cook flat, where he lives with two other students from Massey University.

This year, Charlie Faulks will graduate with a Bachelor of Screen Arts with more than four years of experience in the industry.

"Everyone drew when they were little - I just never stopped," he says. 

"But, professionally, I started over lockdown, and I would have been, I don't know, pretty young.

"I started on Fiverr, which is kind of like freelance services, doing character design.

"Since then, I've been able to move off of there, and... go off my own back, which has been so nice."

Characters from Bloke of the Apocalypse

Faulks has been designing characters for TV shows all over the world, including the US and the UK.

But now it is his turn to design characters for himself, with his animated horror-comedy web series, Bloke of the Apocalypse, about a father, Bloke, and his son, Oliver, who discover a zombie apocalypse on their farm in rural New Zealand.

The first three episodes have been uploaded to YouTube, with the rest of the season being released in September or October next year.