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12:16  Human rights lawyer Mervin Singham uses art as release

A key figure in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and in Faith-based Care helps to make sense of the stories of pain and anger through his art.

Executive Director Mervin Singham used the same release valve while in lockdown last year, and has just produced a book and accompanying art exhibition called my covid-19 bubble NARRATIVES.

The Malaysian-born, Human Rights lawyer, public servant and artist says he doesn't paint what is beautiful but simply what is.    And his brightly-coloured canvases can disturb people.

Lynn Freeman asks Mervin what place art held in his childhood.

my covid-19 bubble NARRATIVES by Mervin Singham opens at Exhibitions Gallery in Welllington on March 11, and the book of the same name will be launched then too.

12:30  Prize-winning Dunedin playwright Emily Duncan

Murray Lynch (Playmarket) and Emily Duncan Photo Philip Merry

Murray Lynch (Playmarket) and Emily Duncan Photo Philip Merry Photo: supplied

Shocking, lacerating and wicked - that's how the judges of this year's Adam New Zealand Play Award describe the winning script  & Sons by Dunedin writer Emily Duncan.

She also took out the award for Best Play by a Woman Playwright and the McNaughton South Island Play Award.

Just four months ago Emily received the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award, which recognises professional success in the career of the writer.

Emily's the co-founder of Dunedin-based Prospect Park Productions that's got a theatre show and a podcast on the go. 

She talks with Lynn Freeman about & Sons.  It's a verbal sparring match between Sandra, about to retire from her job in administration at a shoe factory, and Ed, who's taken over the business from his father.  

The runner-up for the Adam New Zealand Play Award was Katy Wolfe's The Haka Party Incident, which we featured in last week's Standing Room Only.

12:43  Pioneering Kiwi nature photographer Olaf Petersen  

A collection of tens of thousands of photographs by Kiwi photographer and photojournalist Olaf Petersen is one of five new additions to the New Zealand Memory of the World Register.

Most of Olaf's 50-thousand photographs - give or take - were taken between the 1930s to the 1980s.  Many are of Auckland's West Coast beaches and birdlife over that time.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum's Pictorial Curator Shaun Higgins knows the collection better than most.  In fact he's writing a book about Olaf Peterson whom he sees as Aotearoa New Zealand's pre-eminent 20th century nature photographer.

Lynn Freeman asks Shaun why it matters so much to have Olaf's collection inscribed on the UNESCO-New Zealand Memory of the World Register.


1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews the documentary Five Came Back.  He also looks at Supernova, The Food Club and Never Too Late.


1:31   Poet/musician Nadia Freeman leads a new Asian Music Network

Nadia Freeman as Miss Leading

Nadia Freeman as Miss Leading Photo: supplied

Helping Asian musicians to get more recognition - and more gigs - is the aim of the new Wellington Asian Music Network.

Co-founder is poet, singer and electronic music producer Nadia Freeman, who performs as Miss Leading.

Nadia describes her style as combining happy melodic beats with depressing poetry!  She's returned home after living and performing in the UK for several years.

While in managed isolation she worked on a multi-sensory show Eat These Words that's about to premiere at the New Zealand Fringe in the Capital.    It promises a tasty combination of poetry, music - and food.

Lynn Freeman asks Nadia Freeman why the need for the Wellington Asian Musicians Network.

Eat These Words opens March 11th at the Pyramid Club in Wellington as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival.

1:45  The Porirua Arts Trail - dropping in on the region's artists

It happens just once every two years - the chance to see Porirua's artists in action, in their workshops and studios.

The Friends of Pātaka organise the Porirua Arts Trail, and this year around sixty have signed up.

Alongside the many established artists and craftspeople in the area north of Wellington will be newcomers, including students from Whitireia Polytechnic.

Lynn Freeman headed there to meet three expert artists in their fields.  There's Moses Viliamu who's researching Tokelaun tattoos, and Kohai Grace who's with the Toi Poutama Weaving Collective.  It also sees the return of multi- media artist, Michel Tuffery, who explained why he was so keen to get involved in the arts trail again.

The Porirua Arts Trail takes place on March 13 and 14.  

2:06 The Laugh Track -  Marty Bright

Marty Bright

Marty Bright Photo: supplied

Many of the recent guests on the Laugh Track have been fringe artists, Instagram celebrities, satirists, panelists and podcast auteurs.  So it's nice to welcome that rare thing these days, an actual comedian - Australian Marty Bright!

Marty's been everywhere, to coin a phrase, from the Melbourne Comedy Festival to gigs in LA, New York and Las Vegas.

This last year he's performed in dozens of towns all over New Zealand.  Simon Morris asks Marty how different it is playing in Las Vegas to New Plymouth.  

Marty Bright's picks include Sebastian Maniscalco, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin James and Colin Quinn.

Marty will be curating the comedy stage at Earthbeat, at Kaipara on March 17.   He'll also be touring the with comedy show "Fresh Four" in Hamilton on March 26 and Rotorua on the 27th.

2:27  Laurie Steer - not your average ceramics

From adorable dead mouse bowls to ridiculously tiny-handled and hyper-spiritual "zombie buddha mugs", Mt Maunganui-based ceramicist Laurie Steer has a lot of fun in his studio.

At the moment he's putting the finishing touches to a dinner service from hell, where bowls leak, plates spill, and there are menacing spikes and knobs in places you certainly don't expect.

It's called The Abundance of Water and it's going on show at the Tauranga Art Gallery, where Laurie hopes it will provoke conversations about consumption and excess.

As Laurie Steer tells Lynn Freeman, he worked for several years with the late Barry Brickell at his renowned pottery in the Coromandel.   Both artists shared an irreverent approach to ceramics:

The Abundance of Water is revealed at the Tauranga Art Gallery on March 12.


2:38  Animalismo Teatro - from Uruguay with love

Ending up in New Zealand when the lockdown hit, two members of a Uruguayan theatre company described their situation as "luckily stranded"!

Now they're preparing to show Kiwis their physical theatre work called Habbuk.  It's about a world in chaos, where two people find sanctuary in a fantasy world they create.

Both actors from Animalismo Teatro came here to perform the show a year ago.  Their producer Nati Pereira had already moved to Auckland.

Thanks to Covid, Habbuk had been mothballed...til now.

Lynn Freeman talks to actor Sofía Rivero, producer Nati Pereira, and to the company's New Zealand collaborator Sophie Lindsay.

Habbuk premieres at Bats in Wellington on March 12, then heads to Auckland's Q Theatre - Covid willing - later in the month.

2:47  Architect Roger Walker's new love - painting

When he found an abandoned canvas and acrylic paints during last year's lockdown, it changed the focus of noted Wellington architect Roger Walker.  

Now he's turning his hand to painting vividly-coloured art to hang on walls, rather than designing the walls themselves.

Roger's about to put them on show.  At the age of 78, The Art of the Architect is his first ever solo art exhibition.

Unsurprisingly, there are architectural references in many of the paintings, including in a series called "12 Tiny Houses".

Roger Walker tolks with Lynn Freeman about the connection between his architectural drawing and his acrylic paintings.

The Art of the Architect opens at Wellington's Thistle Hall on March 9.


3:06 Drama at 3 - Wild Dogs Under My Skirt by Tusiata Avia

Bill Manhire once said of poet Tusiata Avia 'She's one of the most exciting new writers to have come along in recent years. Her work does what the work of major writers is supposed to do: it enlarges the way you see the world.' 

We now present this recording of the original stage play, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt.  The play is Avia's poetry delivered through the incredible talents of an all-female cast of six. 

A WARNING that the language and references in the play are sometimes very robust.   The play deals with physical and sexual abuse, and contains some possibly offensive material that may not be suitable for all listeners.  

This is essentially a verse play, so the choices around what to include have been made in the interests of preserving the original verse and the genuine voice of the writer.  But listener discretion is strongly advised.