New Artist in Residence Announced

2016 Auckland Council Artist in Residence announced


From Auckland Council

Theatre artist wins residency

Theatre artist Kate Parker has been selected as the 2016 Auckland Regional Parks Artist in Residence. Kate will move into a cliff top bungalow overlooking Anawhata beach in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, for eight weeks from mid-October.

Kate is renowned for her creativity in the theatre sphere as an actor, designer and maker, and as a director.  She will bring that experience and skill to her residency project – creating 3D paper worlds inspired by the park surrounding her.

These sculptural pieces will feature characters and creatures in snapshots of time. To extend the life and accessibility of this work, Kate intends to animate and film her paper creations.

The paper sculptures will be exhibited at the Arataki Visitor Centre. Arataki will also host an artist’s talk by Kate, where she will explain her process and practice and offer a paper sculpture workshop.

Sandra Coney, Chair of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and a residency selection panel member, says Kate’s impressive career and handcrafted work convinced the panel to choose their first theatrical person in residence.

“In the past Kate has mostly collaborated with others to manifest her ideas. At Anawhata she will have the freedom and space to create her own work ‘fed’ by park living.”

“The beauty of the artist in residence programme is that the artist is completely surrounded by and immersed in nature and has endless opportunity to explore and create. The settings are a world apart from the artist’s everyday life and the residencies often stimulate a phase of prolific art making.”

Kate has had a stellar career creating an eclectic range of works often crafted by her own hand. Her work has variously been described as “mesmerising”, “enthralling”, “inventive” and “exquisite”.


Raised and educated in Northland, Kate extended her dramatic training, graduating from the John Bolton School in Melbourne. She was a co-founder and an artistic director of Red Leap Theatre from 2008 to 2015. Red Leap Theatre created the acclaimed and award winning theatrical adaption of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and the company garnered impressive reviews for The Butcher’s Daughter, Paper Sky, and SEA. The theatre’s latest production, Dust Pilgrim, is currently touring New Zealand.


Recognition of Kate’s contribution to New Zealand theatre came in 2010 with a New Generation Arts Laureate from the Arts Foundation of NZ.

Having lived for 10 years in Woodlands Park, Titirangi, and Green Bay Kate considers herself as a ‘westie’ at heart and says she’s very excited by this new opportunity.

To see outcomes from previous park artists, including a video about last year’s Artist in Residence, photographic artist Conor Clarke, visit the Artists in Residence page



About Kate

About the residency

  • The regional parks residency enables a selected artist to live and work in a park house or bach for eight weeks
  • New work created by the artist in response to this experience is later shared with the park visitors and the public
  • The Auckland regional parks residency is awarded annually
  • The site for the residency changes each year
  • Residency work is returned to the place it was made
  • Applications for the 2017 residency open in December 2016
  • The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is only 40 minutes from the heart of Auckland and offers 40,000 acres of rainforest and rugged coastline, 250km of walking tracks, and some breathtaking scenery



Kate Parker at work Source: Auckland Council
Kate Parker at work
Source: Auckland Council
Theatre artist Kate Parker at Anawhata in the Waitakere Ranges Source: Auckland Council
Theatre artist Kate Parker at Anawhata in the Waitakere Ranges
Source: Auckland Council