9 Jun 2024

Arts news: A double whammy, Kings arts honours and Pito One

From Culture 101, 3:10 pm on 9 June 2024


After 20 years, Auckland music venues The Wine Cellar and Whammy Backroom will combine to form a new venue, Double Whammy.

Located on Karangahape Road - down the stairs in St Kevin’s Arcade, the venues have hosted the likes of Marlon Williams and The Beths as well as many up and comers. 

Double Whammy will increase capacity to 400 to500 people.

The old Wine Cellar will be reborn as Whammy’s Public Bar while the current Whammy Bar will remain as is. 

The last shows at Whammy Backroom and Wine Cellar will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of August and the new venue will open on the 17th of August. 

Public consultation has opened on a proposal to change the spelling of Petone to Pito One. 

The proposal has been made by the Wellington Tenths Trust and the Palmerston North Māori Reserve Trust with support from Hutt City Council, regional iwi groups and to Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board.

The name refers to the burial of pito - an umbilical cord - in the one - the sand - as a symbolic tethering of a newborn to the land - their place to stand and an expression of continuous occupation.

The Geographic Board is now looking to hear from the wider community before any final decisions are made.

Simon Richardson's portrait of artist Fiona Pardington

Simon Richardson's portrait of artist Fiona Pardington Photo: supplied

Dunedin-based artist Simon Richardson has been announced as a finalist for Australasia’s prestigious portraiture award, the Archibald Prize in Sydney, with a painting of renowned New Zealand photographer Fiona Pardington.

Richardson is only one of 10 New Zealand artists who have been shortlisted for the Archibald Prize in its more than 100-year history. 

Only one Kiwi, Martin Ball, has ever won an associated award.

King’s Birthday saw the acknowledgement of some significant figures who are often behind the scenes. 

Māori art curator Megan Tamati Quennell - currently co-curating the prestigious Sharjah Bienniale for 2025 in the United Arab Emirates -  became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

Sculptor Tanya Ashken, and theatre directors Anapela Polataivao and Lisa Warrington each became Officers of the Order of Merit.

The Pōneke Wellington performing arts community have been rocked by the sudden death of one of their great advocates for emerging performing artists, Sally Thorburn. Thorburn passed away unexpectedly in Kyoto while travelling recently.

Among her many roles, Sally Thorburn sat on the Board at Theatreview for many years, administered the Emerging Artists Trust and was a key figure in Summer Shakespeare.

Another loss in Te Whanganui-a-Tara is designer and art director Eion Abernathy, known for his support of many art projects including the early development of the recently opened  new Mahara Gallery in Waikanae. 

Dunedin-based book publisher Exisle Publishing has launched an international Children’s Publishing Academy aimed at supporting budding children’s book authors. 

The Children’s Publishing Academy provides a forum where authors can have the opportunity to learn from a leading children’s publishing professional as well as from other published authors.

At the Academy, writers are invited to exercise their creativity to come up with a compelling pitch that makes publishers pay attention.

Also announced this week were the finalists in the 2024 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

The shortlist highlights the best books for young readers, with picture books, junior fiction novels and young adult fiction. 

175 submissions were reduced to a shortlist of 28 titles. 

The winners will be announced Wednesday 14 August.

The Scottish woman who claims to be the inspiration for the stalker character on the Netflix show Baby Reindeer  is suing the platform for 182 million dollars. 

Fiona Harvey alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and violations of her right of publicity, according to court documents.

The documents say Harvey’s life has been ruined and lies include that Harvey is a twice convicted stalker who went to prison for five years. 

At the start of the show - there’s a graphic that says “this is a true story.”

Netflix has yet to comment or respond on the lawsuit.