28 Sep 2018
Ruth Woodbury (Ngatī Korokoro, Te Pouka, Ngatī Wharara, Te Hikutu) has been awarded the 2018 Toi Sqwigwialtxw Residency, an exchange with Evergreen State College, in Washington, USA.
An expert weaver whose work has featured locally, nationally and internationally over the last decade, Ruth is also an educator and respected mentor of indigenous artists here and abroad.
“I’m honoured to participate in this opportunity of exchange, sharing and building my kete matauranga of skills and experience in engagement with first nations people from the Pacific Northwest,” she says.
The Sqwigwialtxw residency is jointly supported by Toi Māori Aotearoa, which develops and advocates for Māori art, and by Creative New Zealand. Toi Māori Aotearoa has a longstanding relationship with the Longhouse Education and Cultural Centre, Evergreen State College.
“This exciting opportunity will allow Ruth to collaborate with indigenous American artists, to share our histories, our cultures, and deepen the relationships and networks of indigenous artists of the Pacific Rim. We wish her all the best,” says Toi Māori Aotearoa General Manager, Garry Nicholas.
“We are delighted that such an experienced and dynamic artist will soon take up this residency, and continue the tradition of this well-established and important cultural exchange,” says Creative New Zealand Manager, International, Jude Chambers.
Ruth has a passion for intergenerational knowledge transfer and the activation of Māori cultural practices through cultivation of materials and fabrication of resources. Her dynamic modes of artistic expression include curating and exhibiting, education facilitation and visual arts practice.
Earlier this year Ruth mentored Evergreen State College students for six weeks during their study abroad research trip to Ana Pekapeka Studio in Henderson, Auckland. The residency, which will begin in October, will help Ruth to develop her growing relationship with the college.
In the past Ruth has collaborated with the Kanaka peoples of New Caledonia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, Moriori of the Pacific, Nlaka'pamux Nation, Tlingit, Inupiaq of Alaska, Paiute of California. She will leave for Washington on October 3.
About the Sqwigwialtxw Residency
The Toi Sqwigwialtxw Residency is an exchange between the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and Māori Artists. The residency is managed by Toi Māori Aotearoa and funded by both Creative New Zealand and the Longhouse. It is offered biennially to established artists of Māori descent to attend a residency in North America.
The residency aims to:
- Continue the relationship between Creative New Zealand/Toi Māori and the Evergreen State College that provides cultural exchange and professional development opportunities for Māori artists, Native American artists and cultural leaders associated with the Longhouse Education and Cultural Centre.
- Enhance the knowledge and technical expertise of Native American artists within a given artform.
- Foster inter-cultural exchange that expands knowledge of Māori and Native American arts and cultures.
- Broaden and deepen the relationships and networks of indigenous artists of the Pacific Rim.
- Provide opportunities for the artist-in-residence to network with Native American artists and to learn about their history, culture and arts.
- Provide the artist-in-residence with an opportunity to undertake a practical project of his/her choosing over the period of the residency.
Previous recipients of the Toi Sgwigwialtxw Residency include:
- Lyonel Grant (2014)
- Karl Leonard, senior weaver, carver and performer (2012)
- Henare and Tawera Tahuri, performing artists (2010)
- June Northcroft-Grant, visual artist (2008)
- Dr Takirirangi Smith, master carver (2007)
- Tina Wirihana, master weaver (2005)
Whiria te tangata ka puta he oranga, whiria nga mahi toi ka puta he tino rangatiratanga.
Weaving people promotes well-being, weaving the arts promotes excellence.