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Events & Exhibitions, Opportunities & Proposals

(Artist) Life School: Professional Practice Panel – Sustainable Making and Conscious Practice


The role of the Artist is often understood as one of response, critique and teasing out ideas to help make sense of the world we inhabit. In the age of climate crisis and the urgent need for political, social, and cultural action and change, sustainability and conscious practice comes even more to the fore.

We need to increasingly think about resources and our impact on the environment, but also how we can keep on being artists. Sustainability goes beyond recycling materials and mindfulness – how do we maintain ourselves as healthy humans entangled within the world?

In this professional practice panel, we will hear from a range of artists for whom sustainability is a key concern in their work. They will discuss their methods, materials and philosophies and how this impacts their practice. What practices do we keep and what are we better off composting? What can be changed? The panel will also touch on social-cultural sustainability and self-sustainability in a world rife with burn out for creatives.

Chaired by Dr. Olivia Webb, we will hear from Steven Junil Park, Naomi van den Broek, Di Lucas and Ciaran Fox.


Di Lucas ONZM

Practicing as a landscape architect for 50 years, Di celebrates our landscapes at all scales, both terrestrial and marine. She recognises landscape is about the past, the present and the future, and interweaves nature and culture. Based in the Central City for 35 years, she works throughout Aotearoa NZ, primarily for communities and iwi seeking sustainable solutions.  www.lucas-associates.co.nz

Ciaran Fox (he/him) is a published poet, MC, photographer and former film production professional. In 2023 his first collection of poetry They Crackle in the Rain was released through The Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press. It was runner-up in the inaugural John O’Connor First Book of Poetry Award. Ciaran helped found Catalyst, a literary arts journal in 2003 and has hosted the regular poetry open mic since then, holding space for people, young and old, to find their voice and a community for their writing. He has worked in health promotion and activism for many years and been with the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand since 2008. He was part of the multi-disciplinary team that developed the award-winning, post-disaster mental wellbeing campaign All Right? (2012-20). He brings a public mental health and critical psychology lens to the work of improving whole-of-population mental health. Ciaran is interested in the role of culture and social capital in wellbeing, and how to improve it through creativity, place-making and play, as well as formal practice. Literally, how art makes us well.

Naomi van den Broek is a creative person living and working in Ōtuatahi Christchurch. By day she’s a professional bossy britches and problem solver managing UC’s campus at the Arts Centre. By night she performs (as Naomi Ferguson), writes, makes things using fibre and threads, laughs/claps loudly in audiences for other people’s work, and generally doesn’t feel fully alive unless the day has involved some creativity. She also likes to read, eat, cook, ride her bike and talk.

Olivia Webb

Olivia Webb is an artist and musician of Dutch-Pākehā descent based in Ōtautahi. She loves working with others and is most interested in questions about how we might better live together. Her recent artworks explore identity and belonging through participatory projects which foreground practices of listening. Olivia’s projects often utilise the human voice, particularly in song, as well as performance, video, multi-channel sound, and composition. Olivia has a Ph.D. in Art + Design (AUT).

Steven Junil Park

Steven Junil Park (he/they) is a queer Korean-born artist based in Ōtautahi working under the label 6×4 where he produces all manner of functional objects, with a focus on clothing. He produces these one-off pieces from recycled, repurposed, or vintage materials, using the medium of clothing to address questions of identity and the human experience. His practice is heavily process-based, where materials come alive while being worked to create a language for communion with the intangible. He sees the tacit knowledge that comes from craft practice as a way to understand what it means to be a person.


(Artist) Life School brings together contemporary artists to further develop professional skills, and sets out to answer the curly questions around maintaining a practice out in the world. Ideal for recent graduates and emerging artists, each workshop will host an industry professional to discuss the realities of making, funding and showing your work. This series is supported by Toi Ōtautahi.



Toi Auaha is located at 5 Worcester Boulevard, opposite Bunsen Cafe.

Talk starts 6pm, doors open 5.30pm.

Accessible entrance from Rolleston Avenue


Free to attend



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