Kim Ireland 2024

Living and working in Nelson, Kim Ireland holds a Bachelor of Arts and Media from NMIT, Te Pūkenga, and is currently completing her Master of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University. Her practice is driven by the examination of a fragmented past, and the desire to explore the cultural and social mechanisms that form Aotearoa’s history. Ireland's most recent solo exhibitions include Kei hea a Tiki? (2022) at Refinery ArtSpace, Nelson; 24 (2022) at The Gallery, Nelson; and push/pull (2021) at Ardern, Nelson.  She also had work featured in several collective exhibitions over the past years, including: Triumph of the Heart (2023) at Quiet Dog Gallery, Whakatū; Matatau (2022) at Te Manawa Toi, Palmerston North; and Encounters with Cook (2020) at The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson.

Bena Jackson 2023

Bena Jackson makes sculptures and installations. Her practice considers community actions in public space and urban environments where agency, ingenuity, potential, and tension intersect. Jackson’s recent exhibitions include Castle Mall (2023) at RM Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Camera phone (2021) at play_station space, Te Whānganui-a-Tara Wellington; and Bound in secret knots (2021) with Teresa Collins at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whānganui-a-Tara Wellington.

Susu 2022

Susu 蘇子誠 is a Taiwanese (Han, Min-nan) artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, working in digital fabrication, moving image and installation. They completed their BFA (Hons) at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2022. Susu’s practice looks at how material of languages and memories can be carried and preserved as fragments through acts of travelling, in between environments of national boundaries, terrestrial bodies, the virtual and the physical. Their work has been included in Between the Gift and its Reprisal (2022), Artspace Aotearoa, Tāmaki Makaurau; Music Video (2022), play_station, Pōneke; and (2021), Window Gallery online.

Xi Li 2021

Xi Li (李曦) is an interdisciplinary artist from Harbin, China, based in Tāmaki Makaurau. In 2019, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photo Media from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. In 2021, she received a Master of Fine Arts (First Class Honors) from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. Li's creative practice spans various fields, including films, digital images, sculptures, 3D printings, animations, games, virtual reality, installations, performances, photography and graphic diagrams. She explores subjective and collective experiences, as well as the constitution of fantasies and desires, integrating research frameworks like psychoanalysis, semiotics and postmodernism. Li has exhibited her works in various locations across New Zealand and Australia, including Te Tuhi, Auckland, Pah Homestead, Auckland, and The Physics Room, Christchurch.

Aaron Kong 2020

Aaron Kong completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the University of Canterbury in 2020. Working in sculpture and performance, his practice is concerned with the representation and communication of gender, race and sexuality within digital spaces. He has been a part of several group exhibitions and in 2019 he had a solo exhibition, a/s/l/? at The Casting Room in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Emily Parr 2019

Emily Parr (Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Moana nui a Kiwa, Pākehā) gained a Master of Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology. Parr’s research questions how embodying ancestral connections to the moana might anchor an exploration of indigenous-settler relationships. Utilising a moving-image practice informed by mātauranga Māori, Parr’s work imagines decolonial futures in which we navigate climate crisis through binding our waka together. The jury based their decision on the artist’s commitment to further develop her investigation of intergenerational histories, particularly of land and indigenous-settler relations, integrating the personal with the social in captivating film narratives. The scholarship enabled Parr to travel to her ancestral homelands in order to complete her thesis.

Quishile Charan 2018

The practice of Quishile Charan (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts) is invested in archival research to recover the lost voices of her female ancestors and retell their stories of survival and resilience under colonialism. The jury based their decision on the artist’s commitment to develop her ongoing research of her source material in Fiji. The award supported her to travel to pursue field research in Labasa, Fiji, where she learned local dying skills for her textile works, and accessed archival material on the history of her ancestors’ civil rights resistance. 

Christina Pataialii 2017

Christina Pataialii (Master of Fine Arts, Whitecliffe College of Art & Design) is a painter whose work emerges from inquiry into the dominance of the western canon in the field of painting, and its effect on postcolonial artistic production in regions of complex cultural heritage. Says Te Tuhi Artistic Director Gabriela Salgado, ‘...due to her use of ordinary household materials and large format [Pataialii’s] paintings invite a dance-like relationship with the viewer that impregnates the gallery with the experience of public spaces, where the eye engages with mass media images. Thus her works are close relatives of street art painting but in nestling on the canvas they evoke personal and collective pathos to powerfully render a novel story of painting and the politics of representation.’ Pataialii put her scholarship funds toward the cost of creating large scale paintings in order to complete her studies.

Hannah Valentine 2016

Hannah Valentine (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts) has exhibited at a number of galleries across Auckland, and her work Subservience to Ends 1.2, 2012, was included in the Made Active Performance series at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Valentine's sculpture and performance-based practice explores how bodies have been infiltrated by virtual images. Te Tuhi Senior Curator Bruce E. Phillips wrote, ‘Hannah has an intriguing practice that explores the haptic and kinetic aspect of being human in contrast to the computer aided virtual experiences that dominate much of our daily lives. Through sculptural installations, performances and intimate objects her work encourages us to take pause and grow an awareness of touch, materiality and bodily presence’.

Katrina Beekhuis 2015

Katrina Beekhuis' (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts) multi-disciplinary practice encompasses sculpture, painting, photography and design. Te Tuhi's curatorial team stated, ‘often mimicking everyday objects, Katrina Beekhuis' exquisitely crafted artworks create a powerful sense of the uncanny that is unparalleled in comparison to artists that have adopted similar approaches. Her work also has a compelling engagement with art history that remains humble and yet poignant’. 

Charlotte Drayton 2014

Charlotte Drayton (Master of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology) has recently exhibited in Artspace Aotearoa, Papakura Art Gallery, ST PAUL St Gallery and Te Tuhi. Her practice investigates how architecture influences our habitation of space and place. 2014 judges James McCarthy and Bruce E. Phillips commented, ‘Charlotte has developed a compelling practice and is operating at a high degree of criticality. Through her work she references the overarching socioeconomic issues of the built environment but with a restraint that invites visitor curiosity and slow contemplation’. 

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila 2013

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (Master of Performance and Media Art, Auckland University of Technology) investigates notions of voicelessness through experiments that test the social barriers between bodies and space. ‘Uhila has exhibited and performed in arts festivals and galleries throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, including the Performance Arcade (Auckland and Wellington, 2011-12), Te Tuhi (2012), and Gus Fisher Gallery (2013). In 2011 ‘Uhila was awarded the Auckland Fringe Festival's Best Visual Arts Prize for his performance Pigs in the yard at Māngere Arts Centre. The selection panel, James McCarthy and Bruce E. Phillips, noted, ‘Kalisolaite demonstrated a depth of motivation and conceptual integrity in his growing body of performance work. His work is humble in approach but powerful in its reception’.

Blaine Western 2012

Blaine Western (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts) was selected as the sixth recipient of the Iris Fisher Scholarship by James McCarthy and Bruce E. Phillips. Western has exhibited at split/fountain, Snake Pit, Artspace Aotearoa and Dunedin Public Art Gallery. His research investigates the relationship between the built environment/architecture and social histories, in the work of New Zealand architect John Scott in particular. Western explains, ‘My practice is concerned with comparing ideas of the regional, indigenous and the specific to the intentions of modernism and the current expansion of globalisation’.

Louise Menzies 2011

Louise Menzies (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts) is an artist whose work explores the discursive possibilities of the individual gesture, through the mediums of film and print. Menzies is the fifth recipient of the Iris Fisher Scholarship, judged by James McCarthy and Bruce E. Phillips, who commented, ‘Louise is an intriguing artist who brings personal and little known social histories into currency through conceptual and research based practice. There is an elegant conceptual rigor to her practice, which combines film, photography and text’. 

Anthony Cribb 2010

Anthony Cribb (Master of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology) was selected as the 2010 Iris Fisher Scholar by a panel comprising James McCarthy, Stephen Cleland and Peter Shand. Te Tuhi's Executive Director James McCarthy reported, ‘We are thrilled that that scholarship has been awarded to such a talented artist and to a student of another of our city's highly regarded art institutions, reflecting the calibre of art students in postgraduate study’.

Jeremy Leatinu'u 2009

Jeremy Leatinu'u (Manukau School of Visual Arts) was selected by a panel comprising Emma Bugden, James McCarthy and Stephen Cleland. The panel described Jeremy's work, which explores the concept of ownership and human occupation of property, as conceptually unique and articulate. 

Boris Dornbusch 2008

German-born artist Boris Dornbusch was selected as the second recipient of the annual Iris Fisher Scholarship by Emma Bugden, Cam McCracken and Stephen Fisher. Dornbusch's work explores social histories, and questions definitions of the individual within popular culture. He draws from a broad range of media, from pre-existing video footage sourced online to theatrical props from nightclubs. 

Erica van Zon 2007

The inaugural Iris Fisher Scholarship was awarded to Erica van Zon (Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts). van Zon was selected by Cam McCracken, Emma Bugden and Dominic Fuchs. The panel described van Zon’s work as ‘playful and quirky, with an assured use of space and innovative reclaiming of materials and methods of making traditionally seen as craft’. van Zon’s Masters project drew on Hollywood and film imagery to explore ideas of fakery or trickery.

For more information about the Iris Fisher Scholarship and how to apply, click here