Deborah Rundle 2020

Tāmaki Makaurau artist Deborah Rundle was the 2020 recipient of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park UK Residency Award. Rundle self-identifies as queer, feminist, Pākehā/Tangata Tiriti, and says that her “multiple selves inform a practice which principally utilises text in order to investigate the ways in which power plays out in the social and political domain.”

Applications for the residency were shortlisted by independent curator Vera Mey. Yorkshire Sculpture Park made the final selection from a shortlist of six. Mey said of Rundle’s application, “Deborah Rundle presented a well-researched proposal which aims to investigate the intriguing history of Ann Ellis who in 1875 led a group of 9000 women and men on strike action in Dewsbury, just eight miles from where Yorkshire Sculpture Park is now situated.”

Rundle has proposed a commemoration of sorts of the women’s strike committee and of Ann Ellis, through artworks that link actions from the past with contemporary issues and actors. Rundle explained, “In this project, I hope to call up the past to reappear as a reminder of the failings of the present. As today’s workers navigate their way in the field of labour, especially in the light of the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the climate emergency, it is clear that things should not continue as they are.”

Deborah Rundle graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland with a Master of Fine Arts in 2017. In addition to her personal art practice, she is a member of the artist collective Public Share, which employs a socially and politically engaged art practice, and is a member of the artist run space RM. Rundle’s practice focusses on language as a means to explore power relations. She has a particular interest in the machinations of late capitalism.

Dates for the residency will be confirmed when travel is possible, and in the meantime YSP will work with Rundle to prepare for the opportunity.

Darcell Apelu 2019

Darcell Apelu is an artist of Niuean and New Zealand European descent who completed her Master of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology in 2013. The Mount Maunganui-raised artist works across moving image, sound, performance and installation. Her practice is informed by her experiences as an afakasi female; she uses her body as a way to address this ‘otherness’.

Apelu is also a highly regarded international competitive woodchopper, which has a subtle presence her practice. In the new performance piece, New Zealand Axemen’s Association: Women’s Sub Committee President, 2014, the artist uses her skills to strike out against assumptions about her identity.

YSP Deputy Curator, Damon Jackson-Waldock said, “We selected Darcell as she is exploring interesting themes of identity and thought she would make the most of the residency by sharing new ideas with our visitors in Yorkshire. Investing in young and emerging artists internationally has always been at the heart of what YSP does, offering opportunities for them to reflect and move forward with their practice.”

During her residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in September 2019, Apelu further researched her family tree. She had the opportunity to travel around Yorkshire and London, and with additional funding from Creative New Zealand was able to visit Venice and Paris. 

Visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s page about Darcell Apelu here. 

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