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This week on Standing Room Only, ten new Arts Laureates were announced by the Arts Foundation.  Lynn Freeman talks to two of them - photographer Solomon Mortimer, and dancer/choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant.  Heritage New Zealand has a new enthusiasm - wallpaper - and they want your help.  Writer Renee Liang has turned anecdotes from her Dalmatian in-laws into a children's play, while UK expat Sandra Arnold's new novel stretches from the Christchurch earthquakes back almost three centuries.  And Melissa Boardman's bird paintings are informed by her equally meticulous photography.

Also on the show, comedian/actress Emma Newborn talks dogs and carpets on the Laugh Track, we remember the late actor Ray Henwood, starring in Roger Hall's Book Ends as the Drama at 3, and At The Movies looks at Blinded by the Light, inspiring today's music theme, the music of Bruce Springsteen. 



12:36  New Arts Laureates announced

Solomon Mortimer

Solomon Mortimer Photo: supplied

Louise Potiki Bryant

Louise Potiki Bryant Photo: supplied

After big changes at the Arts Foundation and an absence of new Arts Laureates for more than a year, ten were announced last night.

Along with the title comes 25-thousand dollars.

Lynn Freeman talks to two of the new Laureates.  Photographer Solomon Mortimer has received the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, and Ngāi Tahu choreographer, dancer, and video artist - also a founding member of Atamira Dance - Louise Potiki Bryant also earned an award, her second from the Arts Foundation.

1:10 At The Movies

This week Simon Morris reviews the films Blinded by the light, 2040 and Angel as fallen.

1:31 100 years of Whanganui's Sarjeant Gallery

It's an indication of the affection with which the Sarjeant Art Gallery is held in Whanganui that the city is celebrating its centenary with a great big party to which everyone's invited.

There'll be speeches, choral performances, and a major exhibition at Sarjeant on the Quay called Turn of the Century:  New Persepctives on 100 Years of Collecting and Exhibiting.

Lynn Freeman talks with Greg Anderson, who's been the Sarjeant Gallery's director for the past 12 years.  She also talks to glass artist Leanne Williams from Crystal Chain Gang, that's been commissioned  to create a dramatic chandelier for the exhibition and ultimately to hang in the gallery.   Right now the historic gallery is currently closed for substantial earthquake strengthening and an extension.  So is that going to spoil the party starting on Friday? 

1:46  Preserving heritage wallpaper

If you're renovating your home, and it pre-dates 1980, keep an eye out for the original wallpaper - if it hasn't been stripped off or painted over.

Heritage New Zealand is preserving heritage wallpapers used in homes here, and there are a few gaps in the collection.

More than 2000 pieces and rolls of wallpaper dating from the 1840s to the 1970s are carefully preserved in Auckland. Some are no more than fragments.  Lynn Freeman talks with Amy Gaimster from Heritage New Zealand.

2:06 The Laugh Track - comedian/playwright Emma Newborn

Emma Newborn

Emma Newborn Photo: supplied

Emma Newborn may not be a household name yet in the big city, but out on the farm it's a little different.

She's part of a duo, along with Emilia Dunbar, that's been touring rural New Zealand for 6 years, going to people's private farms, and transforming woolsheds into theatres.

They have two shows - The Bitches' Box and Sons of Bitches - perhaps we should point out Emma and Emilia play farm dogs!

Now Emma is branching out in a show called Coral - a sellout at the recent International Comedy Festival.  She offers insights into the World Of Carpet, and shares them with Simon Morris on the Laugh Track.

Emma Newborn's picks include  the sketch show Smack the pony and Shooting stars, Tig Notaro and the movie Singin' in the rain.

2:26 Renee Liang's family stories inspire a play about early Dalmatian settlers 

The oral histories of Dalmation settlers in West Auckland were the starting point for the new play by Renee Liang.

The award winning playwright's husband is from Croatia and she's spent a lot of time at the local Dalmatian club, listening to peoples' stories.

Renee's  about to premiere Sofija's Garden - a children's play informed by those stories and based on a Croatian fairy tale - as part of the Going West Festival in Auckland. 

Much of her earlier work explored her Chinese heritage, but, she tells Lynn Freeman, she quickly found parallels in the Croatian oral histories she listened to.

Sofija's Garden premieres on Saturday at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Auckland.  It's part of both the Going West and Koanga Festivals.


2:39 Sandra Arnold's novel The ash, the well and the bluebell

Sandra Arnold

Sandra Arnold Photo: supplied

No caption

Photo: supplied

In her third novel The ash, the well and the bluebell, Canterbury writer Sandra Arnold tells a story that spans three centuries.

It starts very close to home, in Christchurch on the day of the February 2011 earthquake. Lily and her daughter Charlie are in the city.   When Charlie dies of her injuries, her mother is grief stricken.

Lily makes the decision to return to England, her homeland, to scatter her daughter's ashes.

But she also has secrets to face about her own childhood - including the fate of her friend Israel, who was among the many children sent to Australasia in the 1950s.  Lynn Freeman asks Sandra Arnold whether she had doubts opening with a subject as raw as the Christchurch earthquakes.

The ash, the well & the bluebell is published by Makaro Press.

2:48 Melissa Boardman transfers bird photos to meticulous paintings

She can capture detailed photographs of native birds in a split second, but Wellington illustrator Melissa Boardman then spends hours drawing and painting the birds on canvas, using those images as reference 

Melissa's got two exhibitions coming up celebrating the capital's birds - one at Parliament as part of a group show and the other at the Zealandia sanctuary.

That's where she spends much of her time, camera in hand, outside of her Wilton studio.  And that's where we met to talk about her approach to illustration.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Book Ends by Roger Hall

Today we honour the much-loved actor, Ray Henwood, who died in Wellington last Monday, aged 82.

A proud Welshman, Henwood has been in the cast of hundreds of radio, TV and stage productions since his arrival in New Zealand more than 50 years ago.  His name was associated with the string of successful Roger Hall plays, from Glide Time in the 1970's to Last Legs  - his 2016  bitter-sweet drama set in a retirement home.

Ray Henwood stars in his most recent Roger Hall radio play: Book Ends.

Music played in this show

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Blinded by the light
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Greetings from Asbury Park
Label: Columbia
Played at: 12.32

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Dancing in the Dark
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Born in the USA
Label: Columbia
Played at: 12.58

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Pink Cadillac
Composer: Springsteen
Album: 18 tracks
Label: Columbia
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Streets of Philadelphia
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Greatest hits
Label: Columbia
Played at: 1.46

Artist: Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band
Song: Darkness on the edge of town
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Live
Label: Columbia
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Born in the USA
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Born in the USA
Label: Columbia
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: I'm on fire
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Born in the USA
Label: Columbia
Played at: 2.37

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Song: Born to run
Composer: Springsteen
Album: Born to run
Label: Columbia
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Manfred Mann
Song: Blinded by the light
Composer: Springsteen
Album: The roaring silence
Label: Petbrook
Played at: 3.58