Spark 05 Speaker profiles and background information.

Chimene Del La Varis  
Chimene del la Varis was born in Surrey, England in 1963. She lives in Hamilton and has two sons of Tainui descent (Ngati Mahuta/Ngati Whawhakia). In June 2004 she graduated from Wintec with a National Diploma of Journalism and has spent the past year working at the Waikato Times as Maori Affairs reporter, specializing in the coverage of Tainui tribal issues. Most recently, Chimene has written features for the Waikato Times retrospective on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the tribe’s $170 million raupatu settlement. Chimene holds a Bachelor of Arts in Italian and Spanish (Auckland, 1988) and a Diploma of Drama (Auckland, 1995). She has recently been invited to join Radio New Zealand’s Auckland newsroom as Maori Issues reporter. ChimeneDelLaVaris
Chris Chetland  
Chris “Baitercell” Chetland is label boss for indie imprint KOG which have spurned such talent as Concord Dawn and paved the way for other dance independents in NZ. Since the days of the Amiga 500 computer, Chris has been writing dance music with a heavy breakbeat influence. For the last 9 years he has been honing his craft and developing his widely respected mastering ears which have given birth to the slickest, loudest and most bass-heavy productions to come out of NZ. Chris has worked on or with almost all of Aotearoa’s premiere rock, hip hop and dance acts, such as The D4, Gramsci, Shapeshifter, P Money, Scribe, Pacific Heights, Chong Nee and the list goes on and on….
Daniel Malone  
Daniel Malone has degrees in Art History and Fine Arts from Auckland University and over the past ten years he has exhibited and travelled in various places including Australia, Asia, Europe, Central America and the United States of America. Daniel works in any media including performance, sculpture, writing, sound, video, collage and installation. During 2002 he spent six months in Beijing studying Mandarin. Daniel’s father was born of Cherokee descent.
Dave Baxter (graduate)  
Dave Baxter originally started work at Kog on an internship from Wintec [where he won the composition award in 2004]. His abilities and super relaxed manner made him an obvious choice to first work as an assistant and he quickly showed that he could hold his own at a really high level. He is part of the newly developed beat farm project with Chris Chetland and Chong Nee.  
Deborah Challinor  
Waikato writer and historian Deborah Challinor's first book, Grey Ghosts (1998), was based on her Ph.D thesis on New Zealand Vietnam veterans. Who'll Stop the Rain? followed in 2000, plus a short regional history, Pictures from the Past: Waikato. Tamar, Deborah's first novel, was also published in 2000, followed by the sequel White Feathers (2003) and Blue Smoke (2004), all bestsellers. Her latest novel Union Belle, based on the Waikato miners' strike in 1951, was at number one for several months this year. Deborah has also lectured at Waikato University (NZ Wars), and written for the Waikato Times as a columnist and a feature writer. She has just completed a novel set in Paihia in 1840, is now working on a fictionalised account of the 1947 Ballantyne's fire, and preparing to write a history of Huntly. DeborahChallinor
Eugene Hansen  
Ngati Mahuta, Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui. Eugene is a lecturer at Massey University, School of Fine Arts, Wellington. He is also a co-director of SHOW, an artist-run project space in central Wellington. Eugene employs a variety of media and strategies including pop object sculpture, live video and audio performance, and high-end digital print technology. These strategies are normally deployed concurrently as elements of multimedia installation. Primarily Eugene’s work is concerned with the relationships established between contemporary cultural production and the current post-colonial condition of Aotearoa. His work often explores how contemporary cultural production is made collaboratively. He gained a Master of Fine Art Degree, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 1998 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, 1992. EugeneHansen
Heather Galbraith  
Heather Galbraith is the newly appointed Senior Curator at City Gallery Wellington. Prior to this she was the inaugural Director of St. Paul St. at AUT. Heather returned to New Zealand in 2004 following twelve years in the UK. In 1996-97 she undertook an MA in Contemporary Visual Arts Curation at Goldsmiths’ College, and then worked for seven years as Exhibitions Organiser at London’s Camden Arts Centre. Projects there included exhibitions, artist’s residencies, off-site events and publications by Sophie Calle, Marlene Dumas, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Simon Starling, Doris Salcedo, Simon Periton, Lois Weinberger, Christopher Wool, Cerith Wyn Evans, Len Lye, and Francis Upritchard. Prior to this she worked for The Landscape Foundation, which situates itself in the fertile territory between architecture, landscape architecture, visual art practice and geography. Heather graduated with a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University in 1991.
Jay Wahid  
Jairsino (Jay) Wahid is the Business Manager for Mai Music and Mai Publishing.  
James Lynch  
James Lynch was born and grew up in Reservoir a 1950’s northern suburb of Melbourne.  He never really knew what he wanted to do but studied fine art painting at the Victorian College of the Arts where he now sometimes teaches.  He works across various media including drawing, installation, painting and animation.  He is a member of the collaborative group Damp, rubik (a curatorial and publishing project), TCB gallery and is a contributing editor of Natural Selection (  His early work frequently used painted and hand-drawn trompe l’oeil effects to emphasize the constructed nature of our everyday lives and fantasies.  Most recently he has created a series of artworks and animations based on a real collection of people’s dreams in which he has appeared.  His work mediates our often conflicted and ambivalent relationships with the other.  His work is held in private collections in Belgium, Italy, Los Angeles, Mexico, Netherlands, Paris, Sweden and Australia.  He is represented by Uplands Gallery Melbourne, Mori Gallery Sydney and Galerie Frank Paris. JamesLynch
Jenny Gillam  
Jenny is a lecturer at Massey University, School of Fine Arts, Wellington. She is also a co-director of SHOW, an artist-run project space in central Wellington. Jenny is an exhibiting artist using photographic and digital means to explore perceptions and expectations about reality. She employs strategies of collecting, collating, editing and re-presenting existing bodies of imagery. She is interested in how found images are as much about their subject matter as the intentions of the original image maker (or what we imagine those intentions to be). Employing digital technology as her primary means of production, Jenny’s installations are a reflection on the complex relationships people hold with their environment. She gained a Master of Fine Art Degree, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 1999 and a Diploma of Photography, Carrington Polytechnic, 1993. JennyGilliam
Joshua Davis  
Joshua Davis is a New York based artist, designer, and technologist producing both public and private work for companies, collectors, and institutions.  Using technology and computers as a medium since 1995, he has exhibited interactive works at the Tate Modern (London), the Ars Electronica (Austria), the Design Museum (London), le Centre Pompidou (France), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), PS.1 Moma (New York), and many others.  His site, praystation, was the winner of the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in the category “Net Excellence,” the highest honor in international net art and design.  He is a professional designer and creative thinker, and spreads his time among working with clients, travelling the world speaking at conferences and workshops about his inspirations and motivations, building his own creative projects, and teaching as a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  For further information, check out his website: joshDavis
Lara Bowen  
Lara Bowen has a diverse background as a Producer for multimedia, events, visual arts and film. After studying Fine Arts and a BA at the University of Canterbury, Lara was appointed Director of Artspace in 1993. She then went on to work in film and event production before her appointment as a Senior Producer at Terabyte Interactive, where she led the production team. After a brief stint at McCann Ericsson in the UK, Lara was appointed as Executive Producer for the Interactive department of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand bringing her to Wellington. Lara has played a key role in work for clients such as The Retirement Commission's ‘sorted’ website, New Zealand's Army recruitment programmes online and many other clients including Telecom, Westpac and New Zealand Dairy Foods. Lara is currently the Account Director for Toyota New Zealand, based in the Auckland Saatchi office.
Leah King-Smith  
In the early 1990’s Leah King-Smith’s work was brought to international prominence with the exhibition of a series of ten large-scale photographs titled Patterns of Connection. Leah will present an overview of her practice, includeing Patterns of Connection (1992), Beyond Capture (2004) and Liminal Interstices (2005). The discussion will cover issues of identity, history, psychology, temporality and multidimensionality that are evidenced in the analogue, digital, still and time-based aspects of her work. Leah King-Smith has a black Aboriginal mother and a white Australian father, and whilst she feels her Aboriginality is a large contributing factor to her creative motivation, her cultural blend has fostered human principles of resolution and mediation. Leah King-Smith has a Bachelor and a Masters degree in fine art photography and currently is a doctoral candidate at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
Leigh Van Der Stoep  
Leigh van der Stoep was born in Pretoria, South Africa where she lived and studied to the age of 20. In 2002 she enrolled in a Bachelor of Technology in Journalism at the Technikon of Pretoria but relocated to New Zealand at the end of 2003 before she could complete her degree.  Living in Auckland with her family, she completed a diploma in Travel Writing and Photography through the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies. Shortly after completing this diploma she enrolled in the National Diploma of Journalism at the Waikato Institute of Technology - a course which she completed in June 2005.  While completing her studies, she held a part-time position with Go Auto Magazine in Auckland as a writer and photographer. As part of her work experience, she worked on the Waikato Times, the NZ Herald and briefly on the Taupo Times.  Named top student in her 2004/2005 National Diploma class, she now holds a full-time position with the North Shore Times in Auckland as a reporter. LeighVanDerStoep
Michael Redman  
Details Pending.  
Nadine Christensen  
Over the last ten years artist Nadine Christensen has been key figure in the Melbourne artistic community. She is a founding member of the highly influential Clubsproject and held major exhibitions last year at ACCA Melbourne and CCAS Canberra . She exhibits regularly at Kaliman Gallery Sydney and Uplands Melbourne and has been closely involved with numerous artist run spaces such as 1st Floor, Lovers and Stripp amongst others. Her work uses painting, drawing, furnishings, outdated crafts and technologies to reflect upon the structures of perception and comprehension.  Through a subtle play of genre and sustained observations new frontiers and narratives are made possible. and

onedotzero is a visionary UK-based hybrid events and production company operating in the domain of digital moving image. The vital force and driving impulse of onedotzero, wow + flutter is the pioneering home for new creative expression exploring motion graphics, animations, enhanced digital and short experimental works. wow + flutter presents a compilation programme of graphic fuelled work from innovators in the fields of animation, graphics and abstract experimentation. This compilation charts and reports the development of desktop graphic filmmaking, across a wide range of disciplines spanning architecture, fashion, illustration, graphic design, music and beyond. It showcases new creatives to acclaimed industry talent, with the works continuing to present new approaches to graphic storytelling and future visual trends in motion. 80 minutes screening. Please visit onedotzero here: onedotzero
Paul Carter  
In Material Thinking author/artist Paul Carter describes how ideas are turned into creative works and how, in turn, these ‘local inventions’ contribute to general knowledge. He finds the difference of creative research in the attention it pays to acts of local invention, and discusses the role ‘strong collaboration’ can play in reposing questions of social purpose and historical identity bound up with becoming at that place. Paul re-presents and illustrates these ideas and invites discussion. Paul is the author of many books, including Repressed Spaces (2003), The Lie of the Land (1996) and The Road to Botany Bay (1987). His public artwork Nearamnew (a collaboration with Lab architecture studio) is throughout the plaza of Federation Square, Melbourne.
Rachael Lennard  
Rachael Lennard, 24, is chief sub-editor at the Daily Post newspaper in Rotorua. After graduating from Wintec, doing a stint as a reporter with the South Waikato News in Tokoroa, and running a commercial website for the Outdoorsman Headquarters in Rotorua, Rachael moved to a subbing position with the Post. Singled out early on as a rising star with APN, she quickly took on extra responsibilities, and took charge of the subs bench after just 18 months in the job. As chief sub Rachael runs the subs bench, overseeing production of the news, sport and feature sections. With a keen interest in design matters, Rachael controls the layout of the pages while also managing the copy tasting and copy editing processes. Rachael is heavily involved in the ongoing development and improvements to the newspaper. RachaelLennard
Rebecca Cannon  
Rebecca Cannon is an Australian new media artist, curator and producer. Her award-winning videos and animations have screened at major festivals worldwide, including Transmediale. Her current creative projects include the research and development of an interactive animation that realistically responds to the presence of viewers. She curates, an online archive of artistic computer game modifications, and is curating the upcoming exhibition Cult Classic – the major visual arts component of the 2004 Next Wave Festival. She is also producing the DVD compilation Neopoetry which brings together young Australian writers with media artists.  Rebecca says: “In my spare time I write about artists making games. I also curate many-media exhibitions, produce video compilations, research opensource CMS' and produce my own machinima and other digital media artworks.  For professional work I am a User Interface Architect for applications being deployed to wired and wireless technologies. Projects which I would like people to contribute to can be found at” RebeccaCannon
Rob Garrett  
Rob Garrett is a senior manager with Creative New Zealand, and heads a team which administers project funding, provides art form advice and works with the arts sector to identify development needs, opportunities and strategies. During 2004-05 he is Sponsoring Manager for New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale 2005 working alongside Commissioner Greg Burke in leading the Biennale project, the fundamental practice. He was formerly a Government-appointed member of the Arts Council’s governing body; Head of the Dunedin School of Art; and founder of the School’s contemporary art theory programme. Garrett was foundation Chairman of the Otago Festival of the Arts Trust; and foundation trustee on the Higher Trust in Dunedin. He is an artist and art writer and has degrees in Fine Arts (Auckland) and Art History (Otago) and a background in education, arts advocacy and arts management.
Rosemary Mcleod  
Satirist and cartoonist Rosemary McLeod was a regular contributor to the Listener magazine in the 1970s and was responsible for some of the best cartoons of the period. She now writes a column for the Sunday Star Times, and has recently written the book “Thrift to Fantasy: Home Textile Crafts of the 1930s-1950s”. Initially, McLeod's interest grew from a personal attachment to a number of objects: shoe bags, tea-trolley cloths and crocheted blankets made by the women in her family. These she inherited or more often rescued. To these pieces, she has added works by other anonymous Kiwi women from her mother and grandmother's generation, purchased from church shops. In 2002, part of McLeod's collection was exhibited at the ever-innovative Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, under the name "Thrift to Fantasy". RosemaryMcCleod
Sally Morgan  
Sally J Morgan is a performance and installation artist now settled in Wellington. She has exhibited and performed internationally, and has had pieces selected to represent British performance art at the ICA in London and the International Live Art Festival in Fribourg, Switzerland. Her A Life in Diagrams series was described by critics as ‘exquisitely articulated,’ and the Arts Council of Great Britain considered that it represented some of the ‘best of current British Performance Art practice’. She also studied at postgraduate at level Ruskin College Oxford under the influential social historian Raphael Samuel, and has published widely on art theory and cultural history. She has been Professor of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington Campus, since 2001, and is now Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Creative Arts..
Shuchi Kothari  

Shuchi Kothari is a screenplay writer who works in the film industries in New Zealand, USA, and India.

Shuchi's first feature screenplay Portside Out, won her the James Michener Post graduate Fellowship in Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. In Texas she was also commissioned to write Paperweight, an adaption of Bert Kruger Smith's novel An Odyssey of Grief, and later, Naked Rain, for Wadia Movietone, (New York/Mumbai). Her feature screenplay Apron Strings (co-written with Dianne Taylor) was awarded the Bright Ideas Grant from the New Zealand Film Commission. She also wrote and presented the broadcast documentary A Taste of Place: Stories of Food and Longing for Television New Zealand.  Shuchi came to New Zealand to teach in the Department of Film, Television, and Media Studies at the University of Auckland where she is currently a senior lecturer.
Stewart Harris  
Stewart Harris is an established and award-winning New Zealand interior designer specialising in hotel design. He also designs interiors for residential, commercial, hospitality, marine, and theatres. Stewart works for Martin Hughes Architecture Interiors, a 32 year old design practice in Auckland, where he has worked on design projects in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Rarotonga, Dubai. He was previously the corporate designer for Hilton International Hotel group, based in the UK. Stewart is involved in all aspects of design: conceptual, documentation, procurement, specification writing, styling, landscaping, and graphics. Recipient of the Designers Institute of New Zealand premier award, and the 2000 Stringer award for Metropolis Hotel in Auckland, his recent projects also include the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Lobby, Auckland and The Spire Boutique Hotel, Queenstown. StweartHarris
Tim Walker  
Tim is The Director, Museums in Hutt City. This involves oversight of the City’s 2 museums – The Dowse and The Petone Settlers Museum. He has been the Director of The Dowse since 1998. In that time The Dowse has developed innovative projects looking at creativity across a range of media and sectors - including hip hop, the role of design in transforming the value of New Zealand manufacturing, mental health initiatives and the decorative arts and design. During 2004-05 he was invited to speak to national museum conferences in the USA, Australia and New Zealand about the award-winning creative business model adopted by The Dowse. Previously Tim worked as Curator (Fine Arts) at the Waikato Museum of Art and History in Hamilton and was Senior Art Curator at The National Art Gallery/Te Papa for 10 years. He has a BA and MA in Art History from the University of Auckland.
Victor Stent  
Victor Stent is General Manager of Mai Music which is a subsidiary of Ngati Whatua owned Mai Media Limited. 'The kaupapa of Mai Music is the discovery, nurturing and development of local talent' says Stent. He has successfully produced albums by Katchafire, The Dubios Bros, Maori singer/song writer Whirimako Black and many more. Victor previously spent 5 years as Managing Director of Polygram NZ and 5 years as Operations & Marketing Director for Virgin Retail Asia/Pacific.  
Wayne Barrar  
Wayne Barrar is the Director of Photography at Massey University School of Fine Arts in Wellington. His extended photographic projects have been exhibited in New Zealand as well as the US, Norway and Canada. Most recently his work has been included in Prospect 2004, Wellington City Gallery and Toi TePapa, Art of the Nation at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand. He has been awarded a number of international artist residencies and grants. A survey book of his work, Shifting Nature, was published by the University of Otago Press in 2001. At Spark 05, he will be discussing the evolution of his various projects leading to his current investigation of the commodification and adaptation of underground space.