I live in Wellington New Zealand, on a hillside overlooking a beach. I write in the morning and garden in the afternoon. Or go to the movies.
In 2017, I am working towards a major exhibition to celebrate poet Heather McPherson (1942-2016) who founded the legendary Spiral collectives. A Women’s Suffrage 125th Celebration project, This Joyous, Chaotic Place will open at Mokopōpaki, a kaupapa Māori gallery in Auckland, in February 2018.
For the last decade I’ve also focused on women’s filmmaking, working towards gender equity in film.
I started with Wellywood Woman ‘For Women Who Make Movies & For the People Who Love Them. Globally’. The name is a joke and the work’s always been serious and with a smile. I love Aotearoa New Zealand and my work for positive change for women filmmakers here.
I now have a strong international reputation, too, see for example Matthew Hammett Knott’s article about me on Indiewire, here– Heroines of Cinema: Why Don’t More Women Make Movies? Marian Evans on Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice. And I love the pleasures and surprises that come from a global audience and being part of an activist community; this year our action over filmmaker mothers with children being excluded from Cannes was very satisfying, with coverage in the Hollywood Reporter, among others.
I have a group of publications on Medium because it’s so visually satisfying. Alongside Wellywood Woman posts, these include Spiral Collectives and Dispatches: Northern Nigeria (in support of the Lovatt Foundation that houses and educates orphans from the ongoing conflicts there).
Sometimes I publish work in other people’s books and on other people’s sites, like Women & Hollywood, Indiewire, Muriel Rukeyser Living Archive. My latest favorite is a post on the Commonwealth Writers site, with this image of the Complex Female Protagonist cap I had made, thanks to the Bluestocking Series.
Some references to work that I’ve published in books and on other sites are on my LinkedIn profile.
For most of my adult life I’ve worked as a cultural activist, in projects like the legendary-in-New Zealand collectives Kidsarus 2 (award-winning picture books), Spiral (Keri Hulme’s Booker prize-winning the bone people – always lower case – among other publications) and the Women’s Gallery.
Usually I also write for the page, the stage and the screen. But I’ve been distracted 2015-2017, by changes to the historic area where I live. Lots of heartache and research, written about at length, in This is the House that Joe Built and Saving St Gerard’s *&* Joe’s Place?.
I have an LLM (with Distinction) from the University of Otago, and PhD in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington (where I won the David Carson-Parker Embassy Scriptwriting Award for my MA feature script and held a Women in Leadership Scholarship for the PhD). I’ve been admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court of New Zealand.
Here’s more about some of my work, often collaborative.
I grow flowers that are safe for bees. Neonics and Roundup are a problem in New Zealand. And I follow bee-keeping practices around the world.
I also garden on a public zigzag close to home. That story’s here.
This project uses @7R4SM on Twitter.
A stage play and a radio play inspired by the life and work of renowned U.S. poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980). A huge learning experience, with themes that echo some of those in Development-the-movie.
I was a single mother for a long time. It was a risky occupation. This free book builds on my experiences and incorporates stories single mothers told me. My @7R4SM Twitter account was originally for this book.
A restaurant, three women and a boy. And a gay ex-All Black.
An unfinished novella adapted from a screenplay. Longing to get back to it.
Where I experiment now and then, as with my first comic, Mouse, started at a short-and-exciting Graphic Novel course taken by Dylan Horrocks.
The Poppy Seller
A short film about World War II pilot Bruce Cunningham, in post-production.
I’m proud I wrote the script for this short animation, very proud of the ‘Breathe, Think, Do’ concept I invented and of the lyrics for the Breathe Think Do song. Thanks to Mandy Hager for the story that I worked from.
Feature length documentary, with a 15-minute excerpt at the link.
An historical website of women’s films and filmmakers, from the eponymous film festival (2003).
A site of work by New Zealand lesbian artists, to accompany my Lesbian Landscapes: A Little Oral History, an essay published in 2001.
The Women’s Gallery
In 1980, Anna Keir, Bridie Lonie and I founded the Women’s Gallery Inc, which continued to 1984. This Mothers catalogue is from an exhibition that Anna Keir and I co-ordinated there. It toured public galleries in New Zealand, with associated programmes wherever it went.
Later, Bridie Lonie, Tilly Lloyd and I produced this book, still sometimes used as a text at secondary and tertiary level.
I partially updated A Women’s Picture Book: 25 Women Artists of Aotearoa New Zealand here. I suspect many of the 15-year old links are now dead. But if you’re interested in New Zealand women artists, click on the images at the Cilla McQueen link, developed before she became New Zealand’s poet laureate (2009-2011). This image comes from her Cobalt.
I’m on Pinterest in two places–
- as a writer, a New Zealander, a bee fan, a gardener, a keen researcher of topics like vaginal mesh and tiny houses.
- as Wellywood Woman – chokka with boards on women’s storytelling, with an emphasis on women in film, including a well-used women’s film festival board and a board about women’s crowdfunding campaigns. And more! On topics like Keeping An Eye on The Washing, Mother Films & Breast Films, Earthquake Stories.
Filmed projects, including some of Christine White‘s compositions for Throat of These Hours.
‘Aphros’ is the name of a 48 Hours competition group I was part of. We made Interrogating Tinkerbell, a short film about anxiety that also responded to Hinemoana Baker‘s poem, Tinkerbell. Also a research project for Throat of These Hours, Interrogating Tinkerbell is quietly showing now-and-then at selected festivals.
Bits and pieces here, including footage of Keri Hulme’s the bone people winning the Booker Prize.
You can contact me at wellywoodwoman, gmail dot com.
(last updated August 2017)