Creativity – Retreat – Restoration

archives 2014


February: Karma Barnes                   

March: Martin Krammer 

April: Laura Pritchett + Kate Jacobson + Will Jacobson

July: Hannah Bearden 

August: Erin Solomon

September: Lina Kuzite                            

October: Jo Jo Orangias                  

November: Kirby Wright + Darcy Wright     

December: Magdalena O’Connor + Amelia Hitchcock


Karma Barnes (NZ) and James Nash (Au) : February  (Piha)
Exhibition ‘Treasured Landscapes’ Protecting Places We Love
Area of practice: Research Findings, Drawings & Montage
Content: Their research explored the notion of ‘Solastalgia’ at the threatened industrialisation of Auckland’s iconic and treasured West Coast through mining and off shore oil drilling.

Karma’s work explores the co-creative field and seeks to create art works & opportunities for people to find connection to themselves and the natural world.
As an Installation artist her practice is informed by formations of the land, it’s palette of natural pigmentation’s & the realizing of art works through collaboration.

Karma Mandala
Karma Barnes

Karma Barnes Post Creative Residency Reflections

Karma came with her partner James Nash a landscape architect, whose work is community collaborative and is regularly exhibited to engage people with the landscape. Drawing was used as a system of research and art making as a way of expression are enduring visual methods for individuals and cultures to connect with treasured landscapes.
There are proposals to industrialise Auckland’s iconic and treasured West Coast through mining and off shore oil drilling that affect not only the ecologies and communities of coastal regions. Piha beach is one such iconic ‘cultural landscape’ to be affected by the threat of drilling proposals, which poses the question…
“How does this knowledge of potential industrialisation and change affect ones perception of Piha before any of the proposed change have happened?”
A Public/community interactive presentation/talk was presented at the end of the residency. We engaged and had dialogue with local people in our research and presented a visual and interactive exploration of the emergent themes connecting into the Black Sand Campaign. With the wider communities help and KASM at the helm, in late june the news was that the EPA had refused consent for the first ever application to mine black sand off the North island’s west coast.


Martin Krammer : March (Austria)
Talk and Walk About
Area of Practice: Sculpture

Martin Krammer lives and works close to Vienna, Austria. He studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology and graduated in 94,
since 94 he has worked as an artist and freelance industrial and furniture designer since 99 also teaching architecture and furniture design at
htl Mödling. (department for applied wood technology and environmental technology).

Martin Krammer Post Creative Residency Reflections
Martin found that apart from setting up a show in an Auckland gallery of the work he had created during his residency, the affect of Earthskin  ‘the place and the peace here, has given me the patience to try new ideas and techniques,” and is still ongoing. ‘Since my time in New Zealand, I sometimes look out the window into the green and have the feeling of being IN nature, nothing more or less, a branch or gap between the leaves, and I love that!’

Martin Kramer - Residency Artwork

Martin Kramer – Residency Artwork


Laura Pritchett: April (USA)
 Talk and Writing Workshop
Area of Practice: Writing
Content: Writing for the Earth: How to skillfully write and publish essays and short stories

Laura Pritchett is a novelist and environmental activist. Her newest novel,  Stars Go Blue, is being released in June 2014 from Counterpoint
Press. Her  previous fiction includes the novel Sky Bridge and the short story  collection Hell’s Bottom, Colorado. Her nonfiction includes
Great Colorado Bear Stories and three edited anthologies: Pulse of the River, Home Land,  and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners,
Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers.

Stars Go Blue: Laura Pritchett
Laura Pritchett Post Creative Residency Reflections
Laura completed her novel as she had hoped for, and is receiving wonderful acclaim for Stars Go Blue.

Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, buffered by the workings of a ranch and the music offered by the landscape and animal life upon it. With an unflinching look into the world of Alzheimer’s, both from the point of view of the afflicted and the caregiver, the novel offers a story of remarkable bravery and enduring devotion, proving that the end of life does not mean the end of love.




Kate Jacobson and Will Jacobson : April (Hawaii) (Piha)
Area of Practice: Ceramic Pottery –  naked raku
Content: Will and Kate Jacobson, collaborating potters of 35 years from Hawaii, came to Earthskin
to explore the concept of “flow”. The flow of time, the flow of work, the flow of water, the flow of people, the flow of energy, the flow of ideas; all revealing to an
artist’s life. Pacific Rim island cultures share similarities; deep respect for the land, veneration for trembling blue horizons and quiet reverence for volcanic earth forms.
Through this interchange, the Jacobson’s intend to develop relationships with New Zealand artists and arts organizations to share ideas and inspirations.

Kate and Will Jacobson
Kate and Will Jacobson

Kate and Will Jacobson Post Creative Residency Reflections

Kate and Will, collaborating potters of 35 years, from Hawaii, came to Earthskin to explore the concept of ‘flow,’
which includes the flow of time, of water, of people, energy and the flow of ideas. The beauty they created, and shared, flowed on to classes from Muriwai, to Piha and Wellington. They are also hoping to come back to New Zealand to support ongoing connection for larger collaboratives between Hawaii and New Zealand potters and creative artists.

Kate and Wills Feedback
Earthskin was an ideal place for us to explore the concept of “flow”. The residency, located so close to the ocean’s constant flow of energy and dynamic imagery; was an awe inspiring environment. The eternal waves seeping into the black sand and crashing onto the volcanic rocks informed us of the great sweep of time that the Earth has stood witness. We spent a great deal of time looking at traditional Maori artifacts as well as contemporary
interpretations. Our intention going forward is to contemplate and express this confluence of ecology and
human intention.

Kate and Will - Residency Workshop

Kate and Will – Residency Workshop

Hannah Bearden (USA): July
Area of Practice: Sculpture/Photography

Hannah Bearden -Residency Artwork

Hannah Bearden -Residency Artwork

Erin Solomons (USA- lives in UK): August

Area of Practice: Photography


Lina Kusaite (Lithuania) :
• Area of Practice Illustration, facilitation, coaching (art/life), design
• Speaking Dates:  2014 dates to be notified

The Plant Kingdom Project

• Plant kingdom is a living, socially sustained sculpture in the form of garden. It is
constructed a systematically designed series of workshops for children. Plant
Kingdom gives an opportunity to create a local garden, that inhabits forgotten
local plants in combination with edible flowers and vegetables. It’s a space where
children will discover their neighborhood, history and Eco-social systems. Plant
Kingdom creates a playful public space/Life Lab, as a living laboratory, that
provides a rich context to explore: art, science, math, language and many more.
Plant Kingdom is an art project for children where art, craft and ecology meets.

The Handbook
The whole process will be carefully documented and at the end of the
project “The HandBook” will be created in collaboration with the children. It will
serve as a powerful learning tool for other children to investigate and discover the
much-needed context of the world we live in. “The HandBook” also provides the
opportunity to develop a learning system that children can enhance their
creativity regardless of their geographical and cultural boundaries.

Plant Kingdom is a trans disciplinary, committed art project, that
combines craft techniques, technology and (botanical) art, science, language. The
Plant Kingdom project consists of number of creative workshops that develops in
to the garden/sculpture. The various workshops include: presentation and
exploration of plant guilds and nature surroundings, the design and the drawing of
the ‘plant kingdom’, character development and construction of the plant spiral
based on methods from permaculture.

Joe Joe Orangias (USA, lives in USA and Germany): October
Area of Practice: Photography

Jo Jo Orangias
Area of practice: Drawing, Sculpture & Writing
Content: Joe Joe Orangias worked on a series of drawings, a sculpture and a critical essay for his ongoing project titled
Urning Archives: Decolonizing Public Space. This project looks at the impact of colonial objects, and proposes
transformations to realize more equitable public spaces. These are two examples of the drawings he made while in Muriwai,
which demonstrate his process in thinking and planning the transformation of certain objects. Orangias is researching in
New Zealand with support from an Alumni Traveling Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Joe Joe’s travel fellowship consists of learning about the history of and contemporary Maori art, so he also
seeks Indigenous-non-Indigenous collaboration throughout his year in New Zealand (August 2014 – August 2015).

Kirby & Darcy Wright: November
medium: writing

Magdalena O’Connor & Amelia Hitchcock : December
Talk: Magdalena O’Connor & Amelia Hitchcock

Mad Designs - Magdalena O'Connor & Amelia Hitchcock

Mad Designs – Magdalena O’Connor & Amelia Hitchcock



From Spring into Summer Sun 2014-2015

Outside our window new neighbours, moved in. Hidden between two branches of our ping two blackbirds worked to create a safe haven and cared so diligently for their two nestlings. My partner Simon and I, keenly treasured together their comings and goings.

Overnight their world and ours changed, as the wild winds broke the branch that housed them and we tried fruitlessly to bring their tiny girl and boy bodies back into warmth and life.

The deep quiet of shared loss has created a personal shifting of our consciousness, re-affirming the sacredness and the fragility of all life and nature as the heart of our being. It also renewed our commitment to challenge the current human worldview.

We need to change our habits and our stories of a lifetime. This is an internal as well as an external change, a commitment to natures cause, as servant and leader at the same time.

As David Hockney said,
“When there is any threat to our landscape, we should all stop being so polite; stand up and speak out more! ”

The creative arts naturally fosters, a direct experience of interconnectedness and interdependence with the land and with all sentient beings whether human or not.

The catalyst for shifting the collective consciousness involves simple tools of an artist and gardener; of eye, hand and heart in communion, so we are open and part of the real celebration of life. This inner shifting facilitates an extraordinary potential to influence the larger whole.

 “This hour in history needs a dedicated (and widening) circle of transformed non-conformists…The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment
of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a non-conforming minority…Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted”   

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Or more simply put, from Bertand Russell
“All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

So pick up your tools, and begin to grow the changes and craft a shared future, and new imaginings for the coming year.
‘What resonates, replicates.’

Muriwai Earthskin

There has been an alteration for the December Artist residency as Irina Baldini is not coming, instead we will be welcoming Magdalena O’Connor and Amelia Hitchcock two talented body painters.

Finally the Muriwai Earthskin team would like to express their joy for this year having had so many wonderful creative artists and local people sharing artist’s experiences.
And from me, I also want to thank Veronique Desmet our Muriwai Earthskin Manager, for her organization and communication, her fine company and council. Thanks also to Gerry Henley who ably cares for the house and residents over winter.  And finally to Dhyana Beaumont who helps me with web site editing and wise words.

Kindest Wishes for the New Year,
Nancy King, Earthskin

2014 : Matariki at Earthskin

This is the second season of the year for residencies at Muriwai, with more wonderful people arriving, and talks and workshops for us to be part of. In New Zealand, as the seven brightest stars of the Pleiades, become visible in our night sky again, a Matariki New Year celebration begins. Matariki is the Maori name for the star cluster. This illumination also brings a need to take time for deep contemplation, and expression of gratitude to everything and everyone, who has, and does, enrich our lives.

Hand in hand with the open sky thinking, we look to the possibilities this new Matariki year could bring. Feeding the ground of our future with a personal commitment, as we do the land in autumn and winter, to ‘make the earth glad’ by focusing on how gifts at the core of our being (from our seed) can be unlocked and integrated in a fresh way. Then with our own natural rhythm alive in its beauty we can bring and build a common-unity together, to not only balance our lives, but our earths as well.

Great ideas and seeds are born small, but if they are alive they will grow, and flourish.
‘The more people involved, the bigger the transformational journeys are.’ Wendell Berry.

Two things have changed this year and are proving interesting. The time available for having residents at the house has increased at Muriwai, from six months to at least nine months, and this feels very right! Added to this, for the first time, Veronique Desmet, our Manager/Co-creator for Muriwai Earthskin, has been onsite while residencies are taking place, with her housed in the yurt and quietly busy on the land.

Given that creativity also requires solitude, feedback from residents is very positive. Veronique has proven to be a weaver of a very finely attuned fabric, which maintains that spaciousness and quietness, within this profoundly felt landscape.
She also offers the support of nutritive shared conversations, and connection with the local community to extend residents thinking and their being ‘in place.’

This shared comfort of knowing people are there to help out, and all the sensory noise we take for granted being absent in the house, has as one of our residents noted ‘added time and space for unnecessary noise to fall away.’
Then, all that is left to do is

‘uncenter our minds from ourselves, unhumanise our views a little
and become confident as the rock and ocean we were made from.’

The artists who have received a residency this year are:

Karma Barnes :                     http:/
Martin Krammer :      
Laura Pritchett :          
Kate and Will Jacobson :
Hannah Bearden :      
Erin Solomon :            
Lina Kuzite :                 
Jo Jo Orangias :          
Kirby and Darcy Wright :
Magdalena O’Connor & Amelia Hitchcock:

Earthskin: Sustainable Communities Annual Scholarships
This Matariki period also celebrates six newly trained Permaculture Design Course students who have each completed
an Earthskin Scholarship, and are now ready to go into community with their skills. This learning was held at Te Moata
in the Coromandel, and Innermost Community Gardens in Wellington (where Earthskin successfully supported the
bioremediation of D.D.T. and heavy metaled removal with mycor-remediation of the earth, before we could put in
a food forest and gardens for the future).

2014 : Earthskin In Muriwai Community
A year of inspiration and shared richness!

The freshness of this New Year brings fourteen extraordinary artist residents to Earthskin.

This year also opens a new door for Earthskin with the emergence of the option to share a month with another resident either
to work together, or work along side each other to forge an adventure of unforeseen capacities and collaborations.

The artist as a collaborator, echoes through EcoART practice and Earthskins principle intent.
“Collaboration” means working together with one or more people to achieve something. The etymology of the word is “to labour together”.
When it comes to issues, concerns and problems as large and as complex as those taken on in EcoART practice, the only approach must be
collaborative and interdisciplinary – indeed, most initiators of these works find themselves naturally in collaboration. Often, one of the best
aspects of working together is the dawning awareness of the mutability and fuzziness of disciplinary boundaries.

Those who do this work arrive at it for different reasons, but primarily they do it out of love, passion and care for a world in crisis. We throw
ourselves into saving the remaining non-human-world, as well as ourselves and the habitat we share. That so many dedicated, creative,
curious and accomplished people should seek out one another to share their skills and the common ground of concern for an endangered
world is both astonishing and humbling. This work and those who do it ask us to think, to feel, and to begin the work of change both
within ourselves and in our everyday acts in the world.”

Instead of art as a commodity it begins to fill a social role. A place with unpredictable outcomes where unrelated forms, creatives, and new
creation collides to energise and become part of the beauty that Joanna Macey calls “The Great Turning” and Thomas Berry deems to be the
“great work of our time” Ken Wilber also suggests that this “intergralism” is part of our next big developmental steps toward a very real change
of perception and understanding, conveying a sense of shared responsibility to human kind and to all living beings.

This is the shared art of ecological transformation of us as beings, where the art of change becomes the work, of shared process, and the
experience of the work is the experience of place. Earthskin’s intent is specifically to utilize the power of this creativity as an important part of
the instrinsic joy, beauty and deep gratitude we need to communicate into the world, not just focusing on the awful despair and utter
powerlessness we feel about our collapsing ecosystems, though these are also vital to communicate and feel, but art supporting a social shift
toward real community that embraces and is connected into the land, not by forcing things onto people, but by fostering the lateral and rich
source of creative art, that allows powerful messages of change and (thru personal and shared) responsibility to be available to grow a full culture.
“We need an art that transcends the distanced formality of aesthetics and dares to respond to the cries of the world.”
Suzi Gablik