CreativeMornings with Ahi Karunaharan
Friday 29th November, 8:00am - 9:30am
Ahi Karunaharan is an actor, writer and director, with a focus on creating stories that often go untold and amplifying voices that we don’t always hear. “I’m most excited by creatives and practitioners looking to break boxes that they are put into and collaborate with those who don’t get the centre stage often.”
Ahi is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. The winner of the 2018 Bruce Mason Award, Ahi’s writing credits include The Mourning After, Anchorite, The Adventures of Rama, Swabhoomi: Borrowed Earth and Tea which premiered at the Auckland Arts Festival 2018 winning best Overall Production at the Auckland Theatre Awards.
Ahi’s directing credits include Thali for Auckland Fringe Festival, Rudali-The Mourner and Swabhoomi: Borrowed Earth for Prayas Theatre, Should Woulda Coulda for the Here and Now Youth Festival, Northern Glow, First Word Problems and Smoky Quartz Does Turkish for Basement Theatre, A Fine Balance for Auckland Theatre Company, Kollywood Extra for Satellites and Light Vs Dark for for Auckland Live.
“Having been based in Auckland for the last 9 years and watching our creative sector evolve, I’ve been actively growing our South Asian creative community and have learnt the importance of creating our own stories and re-writing our narratives.”
Ahi’s newest work, My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak, is a new major commission by Silo Theatre taking place on the Q Theatre - Rangatira stage from 21 November - 14 December.
Come and join Ahi on the set of My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak at Q Theatre for the last CreativeMornings/Auckland event of 2019. Ahi will be exploring his process of creation while speaking to our global theme, LOST.
CreativeMornings with Adrienne Wong
Friday 27th September, 8:00am - 9:30am
Air New Zealand
“Your muse comes from the deepest parts of your imagination and guides you to new ideas.”
Primarily a painter, Adrienne Wong is intrigued by the juxtaposition of nature and the urban environment and our relationship within it. Locations hold memories and meaning. In her monochromatic paintings and drawings, these locations are devoid of the usual visual cues, suggesting memory and movement within fields of spatial ambiguity.
Adrienne also is a graphic designer and the Executive Director of an in-house communications and brand department. She has an advertising background as an art director and studied visual arts at the University of the Arts London. Her art has been selected for international exhibitions including The Hunting Art Prize, The Lawndale Big Show, and The Celeste Art Prize UK. Her most recent exhibition was a collaboration with Mark Harvey and Artspace Aotearoa at Starkwhite Gallery that acknowledged her family history and early Chinese community on Karangahape Rd, Auckland.
Come and join Adrienne on the 27th of September as she explores the theme MUSE, and the powerful influence of her surroundings.
CreativeMornings with Beth Hill
Friday 30th August, 8:00am - 9:30am
The theme for CreativeMornings August is JUSTICE and joining us to speak is Beth Hill, the Programme Leader of Redemption Arts & Education Services at Northland Region Corrections Facility.
To us, creativity is all about self expression, it is a human right. To us, one of the most important places for creativity is in the justice system of Aotearoa.
Beth Hill is originally from the UK, she is the mother of two sons and winner of the 2018 Arts Access Aotearoa Accolade award. Beth has been making art about otherness, radical empathy and her search to find somewhere she fits in for most of her life.
Six years ago, Beth found herself working inside the walls of NRCF where she surprisingly stopped feeling so much of a square peg! Beth and her team offer access to creative spaces and activities that support the cohort on site to develop self esteem, new ways of communicating, soft skills and a passion for the arts.
Facilitating and developing opportunities for the men on site at NRCF has changed her creative pathway and although she still makes work she now expands her creativity advocating for her prison artists and championing the transformative power of the arts in Corrections.
CreativeMornings with Russell Pickering
Friday 26th July, 8.00am - 9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū
Russell is one of New Zealand’s leading specialists in effective communication, business storytelling and presentation technique. Prior to founding The Pickering Group, Russell ran Auckland based communication skills consultancy SpeakEasy and established himself as an expert trainer, facilitator and coach in the field of business communication skills development. He has helped thousands of people, in some of New Zealand and Australia’s most visible organisations, become more confident and compelling communicators.
Russell thrives in the dynamic intersection of the arts and commerce. Originally training as a professional actor and director, Russell won a Bob Hope Scholarship to study for his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at Meadows School of the Arts (SMU) in the United States. As an actor he has appeared in commercial television, feature film, and on regional theatre stages throughout the US and NZ.
More recently, Russell completed his MBA as part of Auckland University’s NZ Executive programme.
CreativeMornings with Lee Tamahori
Friday 28th June, 8.00am - 9.30am
Lee Tamahori has spent his life creating a world of wonder. The art of directing relies on a combination of life experience and imagination to navigate the day to day operations on set. Something Lee says you can’t be prepared enough for.
Wellington born and raised, Lee’s professional journey started as a boom mic operator. Lee worked his way up the ranks, assisting alongside director Geoff Murphy in the early 80’s. During his run of award-winning commercials and feature films, Lee co-founded Flying Fish production company, as well as keeping a keen eye out for new actors and talent. His feature film debut, Once Were Warriors, cast a spotlight on topics that had never been previously seen on the big screen in a New Zealand context. To the New Zealand film going public, this sparked a new age of storytelling and gave space to reflect on our lives. This film also kickstarted Lee’s voyage through Hollywood blockbusters.
Lee’s life, both personally and professionally, is shaped by contribution. He is fueled by curiosity and wonder and his work speaks to this. Now, having over 30 years experience in filmmaking, Lee will join us to reflect on his creative process and the roots from which new ideas and problem solving grow.
Come join us on the 28th of June as Lee explores the WONDER that generates new ideas, and how this is translated into everyday life.
CreativeMornings with Rau Hoskins
Friday 31st May, 8.00am - 9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū
The creative practice of this month’s speaker is shaped through deep reflection and turns our attention to the environment around us. What do we care about? What do we take for granted? Would we miss it if it disappeared? How do cross-cultural conversation in Aotearoa answer the question of what do we PRESERVE?
Rau Hoskins, Ngāti Hau, Ngāpuhi, BArch, MArch(Hons), Pae Matua Ngā Aho is a director of designTRIBE architects, Rau has over 25 years’ experience working with Māori community-based design projects and has for the past 20 years specialised in the design of Māori educational institutions in the wider Auckland area. He has worked extensively as an urban and cultural design consultant, as well as in iwi liaison capacities on a range of large public projects where he has co-developed the Te Aranga design principles with Tāmaki mana whenua.
Rau sits on the Ministerial Advisory Group to the Minister of Housing, is active in Māori housing advocacy and papakāinga design projects as well as sitting on the Auckland Council Urban Design, Public Arts Advisory and Heritage Advisory Panels. Rau teaches part-time at the Unitec Department of Architecture and has been active in researching both traditional and hybrid Māori dwelling construction techniques. He presented the 13-part TV series Whare Māori, which won the AFTA for best information programme at the 2012 Aotearoa Film and Television Awards.
CreativeMornings with Kolokesa Mahina-Tuai & Barbara Afitu
Friday 26th April, 8.00am-9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū
“We had the same eyes, with the same vision.”
This moment of collaboration between super rad humans, Kolokesa Mahina-Tuai and Barbara Afitu, gave birth to their creative community consultancy Lagi Maama. Honouring the voice of their Tongan and Samoan ancestors, Lagi Maama is the vehicle for Kesa and Barb to lead from the heart, as navigators, connectors, and champions of community. With a background in curatorship, arts advocacy and community engagement, and a passion for critiquing terminology, Kesa and Barb are bringing to CreativeMornings their gentle but provocative style of talanoa to deep dive into our theme, INCLUSIVE.
Things will be a little bit different this month – same time, same place, different format. Kesa and Barb intend to hold space for us to come together as a community, explore the power structures that lie in this month’s theme, and leave us feeling connected with a sense of belonging.
If your jam is learning and creating knowledge together, then come and be a part of the awesome!
CreativeMornings with Michael Lakeman
Friday 29th March, 8.00am-9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū
We reckon saving the planet is creativity at its finest and it is our honour to welcome actual live creative scientist genius type human, Michael Lakeman, to the CreativeMornings whānau!
Water is the main source of all life. It is the lifeblood element that makes up 60% of our bodies. Now that he is home from years in US Michael is committed to sharing his passion for water and the regenerative and renewable resources of nature so that Aotearoa can truly thrive. This is not science class, this is life lessons 101 - expect the unexpected, and be ready for some Real Talk about how creatives can join the evolution.
Michael has spent his entire professional career carving out a space where creativity, science and commerce meet. For over ten years he has been a central figure in global efforts to bring sustainable aviation biofuels to market. He has served numerous organisations as an advisor and consultant including chairing the Steering Committee of the US Department of Energy’s peer review of their entire $2B BioEnergy Technology portfolio. Michael is also deeply committed to training and education and was a founding director of the Algae Foundation, a non-profit focused on STEM outreach and education.
Academically, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Washington, Seattle, and attained his Bachelor’s degree of Science in Biological Chemistry from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
CreativeMornings with Kristine Crabb
Friday 1st March, 8.00am-9.30am
The Basement Theatre
Kristine Crabb is a gentle powerhouse of creativity. She is led by her intuition and integrity, and her eponymous label, Miss Crabb, possesses a loyal fanbase that most creatives can only dream about.
For almost 15 years elegant and unique Miss Crabb pieces have been worn by women all over New Zealand and the world, with our prime minister Jacinda Ardern being a dedicated wearer. Kristine’s journey has been incredible and inspirational, beginning with Rip Shit and Bust in 2001 on K Road and growing into Miss Crabb on Ponsonby Road in 2004.
Kristine describes Miss Crabb as ‘much more than a fashion label, it’s an art project, a state of mind and a ‘culty’ family; I have had three children along the way which has added another dimension to things.’ This multiverse that Kristine inhabits grew another dimension when it was announced that on 31 March 2019 Miss Crabb would be closing its doors for the last time, taking the out-of-it creative force of Miss Crabb in a whole new direction.
Come hear about how you find SYMMETRY between creativity and commerce, motherhood and work, and get an insight into how to stay true to yourself as a creative.
CreativeMornings with Wayne Pick
Friday 26th October, 8.00am-9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū
There’s no two ways about it, Wayne Pick is an honest-to-goodness superstar. He is to the Executive Creative Director role what Richie McCaw is to the No.8 jersey. Wayne Pick is a standout, a champion, and has repped hard for NZ on the international stage. And he’s also a really good guy.
With over 25 years of global experience connecting some of the world’s biggest brands with their customers, Wayne has worked at leading agencies in the USA, UK, Singapore, South Africa, and New Zealand. He has won in excess of 100 international awards (OMG) and is a sought member of jury panels at ad awards and festivals.
This year Wayne made the move from ECD and CX champion at Colenso BBDO to setting up his own agency, &Pick. It is our absolute delight to have Wayne come and lay down some truths and connect with our community as this month’s CreativeMorningsAKL speaker. We are fans!