Te Tuhi curatorial internship

The Te Tuhi curatorial internship is a full time, 18-month, paid training position for an emerging art curator in Aotearoa New Zealand. The internship provides the opportunity for someone with a demonstrable commitment to developing their curatorial practice to gain significant work experience in the sector, while being paid the living wage.

Te Tuhi’s curatorial internship opportunity responds to a lack of opportunities within Aotearoa New Zealand for professional curatorial development.

The aim of this internship is to provide a significant paid opportunity for an early stage curator to learn and develop their practice through experimentation and hands-on practice over a sustained period. The intern has the opportunity to work in an environment supported by an established team, while developing their individual curatorial voice in a space that stands independent from Te Tuhi’s main programming.

Parnell Project Space

Parnell Project Space is located at Parnell Station, next to Te Tuhi Studios. Through Parnell Project Space and the studios, Te Tuhi aims to support contemporary artists who have an interest in experimental and social practices, providing an environment in which artists and the curatorial intern can develop their practices and expand their networks.  As part of this, Parnell Project Space provides a venue to host public facing programmes, including exhibitions and events that engage with Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s diverse communities.

Te Tuhi aims to use this space to contribute to a vibrant arts and cultural community in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, through principles of collaboration, experimentation and inclusiveness, engaging with the wider arts sector and the general public.

Current Curatorial Intern: Felixe Laing 2022 – 2023

Felixe Laing is a curator and writer who is facilitating the Chez Derriere programme. She has worked across the arts sector in Aotearoa, recently at The Dowse Art Museum where she developed a five-part speaker series for their 50th anniversary programme. She has written for a variety of Aotearoa publications, such as Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, The Art Paper and, Vernacular. She graduated with a BFA (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts UoA in 2016 and a Master of Museum and Heritage from Victoria University of Wellington (Distinction) in 2021.

The name Chez Derriere references Felixe’s family history of her parents as restaurateurs. Chez Derriere in its literal French translation describes ‘a place of business or home at the behind’. The name refers to its physical location in the back of Parnell but also as a space for experimentation and emerging practice.

Felixe is interested in collaborative approaches, writing as practice and playful and performative practices. Her connection and interest in food culture underpin her curatorial thinking.

The need

With a strategic focus on supporting curatorial research that is locally engaged, regionally responsive and internationally ambitious, Te Tuhi is committed to developing the curatorial capacity within Aotearoa New Zealand to engage with the local and global conversations in contemporary art. Te Tuhi actively seeks to provide opportunities for the development of Aotearoa New Zealand's curators at all levels of their careers. Further, the informal national network of art gallery directors has identified curatorial professional development as the most important professional development need of the sector. 

There are very limited opportunities within Aotearoa New Zealand for curators to develop their practices. Tertiary institutions offer select curatorial-oriented papers within other qualifications, but there are presently no undergraduate or postgraduate degrees with a specific focus on curatorial practice in contemporary visual arts. Emerging curators may choose to go overseas to further their education in curatorial practice. Most internship and entry level curatorial posts in Aotearoa New Zealand provide opportunities to learn from established professionals by shadowing and assisting but have limited scope for applied practice. 

As a result of these conditions, the contemporary art sector loses home-grown talent to overseas opportunities, and many curatorial positions in significant institutions go to international candidates.  The aim of this internship is to provide a significant opportunity for an early stage curator to develop a practice, in an environment supported by an established team, with the space to develop their own individual voice and the opportunity to experiment and learn from hands-on practice over a significant period of time.

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