Hana Pera Aoake.

Hana Pera Aoake (Ngati Hinerangi, Ngati Mahuta, Tainui) has been awarded the New Zealand curator-in-residence for Delfina Foundation’s Spring 2024 Residency season. Hana will work alongside Metroland Cultures in Brent as well as pursue her own research between April and July 2024.

The residency is the result of a partnership between the Delfina Foundation,Metroland Cultures and Te Tuhi Contemporary Arts Trust. The British Council Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific supports Hana’s residency through our Connections Through Culture grant programme, alongside Kent Gardner and Creative New Zealand.

Hana Pera Aoake is a Māori artist, writer, teacher and curator. Based in Kawerau, Hana is a mum of a cheeky two year old and works as the museum curator at the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum, and as a part time lecturer at University of Canterbury in art history and co-organises Kei te pai press with Morgan Godfery. Hana’s practice hinges on ways to share ideas, knowledge and resources in accessible ways to benefit her rural community, and in building connections to larger, globalised struggles.

During their time in London, Hana hopes to share and learn more about how art spaces can work with different communities to facilitate different conversations and exchanges. Hana is interested in how spaces like Metroland operate as an in-between space that bring different communities within the borough of Brent together.

Natasha Beckman, Director, British Council, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific said “We are delighted to be supporting this residency as one of the nine projects from Aotearoa supported by the British Council’s ‘Connections Through Culture’ grants programme, which is designed to nurture fresh cultural partnerships. It is wonderful to be working with such a highly regarded London-based residency partner as the Delfina Foundation and we are equally excited about the possibilities that may evolve from Hana’s engagement with community-based practice at Metroland Cultures and in turn what that may bring back to local rural communities in Aotearoa outside of the main centres.”

On being awarded the residency, Hana said: “I'm very humbled and excited for this opportunity to share and learn in a city as dynamic as London. It will be the longest time I've spent away from my two-year-old so I'm very nervous but feel privileged and grateful to my whānau for allowing me to take this opportunity! I am keen to bring what I learn home to enrich my community and practice. Thankyou xx”

Following Hana’s acceptance of the residency, Delfina Foundation said: “We are really delighted that this collaboration with the inspirational partners of Metroland and Te Tuhi is continuing this year thanks to the support of Kent Gardner, Creative New Zealand and the British Council.

We are looking forward to welcoming Hana to London in April and are keen to learn about their work and experiences and anticipate that their exchange and engagement with their co-residents at Delfina Foundation and the community in Brent will be extremely generative.”

Lois Stonock, Founder and Director of Metroland Cultures, commented: “We can’t wait to welcome Hana to Metroland Cultures - and to Brent . Our work sits at the intersection of art and community and we aim to test and pioneer new ways for artists and community groups to work together. We are looking forward to learning from Hana and their approach with their communities in New Zealand.

We’re very grateful to Kent Gardner, Creative New Zealand and the British Council for their support to enable this international exchange centred on community practice. It is a rare opportunity to take a practice that focuses its roots locally into an international conversation.”

About the residency:

The residency offers opportunities to gain training, skills and experience, while embedded in the curatorial workings of Metroland Cultures for 3 days/week. Metroland Cultures’ programme sits at the intersection of art and community, testing and pioneering new approaches that centre partnerships, strategies and approaches for community and artist collaboration. The residency will provide unique professional development opportunities related to exhibition organization, project management, artist liaison support, research and public programming. 

For the balance of the week, the successful applicant will pursue their own research through a bespoke programme delivered by Delfina Foundation as part of their ‘open’ Spring 2023 residency season. This programme will include guided visits to museums, galleries, non-profits, artist-run spaces and studios, as well as trips to institutions outside London; opportunities to meet and engage with artists, curators, academics and researchers through organised presentations, studio visits, events and meals; and professional development activities including: presentations and crits, portfolio reviews, and mentoring activities. Situated within Delfina Foundation, the resident will also benefit from career growth, mentorship as well as peer-to-peer exchange with other practitioners in residence.

About Hana Pera Aoake

Hana has published widely including with Granta, It’s freezing in LA, Overland, and Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art. Hana published their first book of poetry and prose, a bathful of Kawakawa and hot water with Compound Press in 2020. Recent projects include: participating in the Digital Fellowship Programme 2024 with Creative Australia and Creative New Zealand; I saw the mountain erupt (2023), Mason’s screen, commissioned by WCC and Circuit moving image; Folded memory with Taarn Scott, an exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery (2023-24), curated by Sophie Thorn and Susan Ballard; and they were a finalist in the Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Prize (2023).

About Delfina Foundation

Based in the heart of London, Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming.

Founded in 2007, and with residencies at the core of their work, Delfina Foundation creates opportunities for emerging and established artists, curators and writers to reflect on what they do, position their practice within relevant global discourse, create career-defining research and commissions, and network with colleagues. Delfina Foundation forge international collaborations to build shared platforms to incubate, to present and to discuss common practices and themes.

About Metroland Cultures

Metroland Cultures is an arts charity based in and serving the London Borough of Brent. Metroland Cultures' vision is that Brent is known globally for its arts and culture, and its people and communities are recognised and celebrated for shaping it. Their mission is to build, share and support art and culture in Brent: supporting communities to amplify stories of Brent life, and working with artists to tell new stories.

Four building blocks inform Metroland Cultures’ approach:

1.      We start with Brent people and celebrate what’s already here. Our work is grounded in the stories, needs and histories of people. We listen, learn and act with our community. A big part of Brent cultural life is people doing it for themselves. We find ways to support people who are doing this.

2.      We connect artists with communities. We bring artists and grassroots organisations together, to hold conversations about what the borough needs, and use art to make it happen.

3.      We stand for social justice. We make space for difficult conversations, and work towards dismantling inequality anywhere we find it including at Metroland. We want everyone to be able to access the culture we make.

4.      We’re on the side of the future. Brent has one of the youngest populations in London so our work has to equip young people with the skills and confidence that they have the right to make art and culture.

Metroland Cultures’ intention is for the programme to sit at the intersection of art and community, testing and pioneering new approaches that centre partnerships, strategies and approaches for community and artist collaboration. They do this through music and visual arts with an annual festival, young people’s programme and artist development programme. At the heart of everything is a culture of learning, development and transparency with their constituencies.  

About Te Tuhi

Te Tuhi is a leading platform for contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a programme consciously and continually shaped towards rigorous, adventurous, and socially engaged artistic experimentation. Alongside the gallery in Pakuranga, Te Tuhi studios offers artists spaces to work in Parnell, adjacent to the Parnell Project Space, an exhibition, performance and event space located on the platform at Parnell Station, Tāmaki Makaurau. Te Tuhi also works extensively with multiple communities in East Auckland.