15 March to 16 March
Fri 8am - Sat 3pm

Te Kiekie Writing Workshop 2024

Photo: Michal Klajban. This image is modified and openly licensed via CC BY 4.0.

Photo: Michal Klajban. This image is modified and openly licensed via CC BY 4.0.

15 March to 16 March. Free entry.

Te Kiekie Writing Workshop 2024 
Friday 15 – Saturday 16 March 2024
Woolshed Creek, Te Kiekie Mt Somers

The Physics Room and Blue Oyster are hosting an overnight art writing workshop at Woolshed Creek Hut in early 2024. Located at the foot of Kā Tiritiri-o-te-moana, the workshop will focus on how we can practise sustained engagement in art writing. It will bring together 12 participants over two days, with a methodology that includes reading, walking, listening and writing.


The impetus for this workshop is to sharpen our senses and the relationships we build as writers by more clearly situating ourselves in the places and communities from which we write: as manuhiri, tangata whenua, tauiwi and allies with a common agenda to work/write in resistance to colonising frameworks. Writing can be a solitary or even lonely activity, and spending time together in this way is a chance to form and consolidate connections.

The workshop will be facilitated by Cassandra Barnett, Nic Low and Matariki Williams. The geography of Te Waipounamu will provide a structure for the workshop. Following whakawhanaunga and breakfast at The Physics Room, the journey begins by traversing Kā Pākihi-whakatekateka-a-Waitaha guided by questions of intentionality: who do we write for? How does our writing manaaki or build critical discourse for the artists we address? This is followed by a three-hour hīkoi around Te Kiekie via Miners Track, before arriving at the hut for an evening session. Altogether, we intend for the workshop to be an opportunity to collectively develop our understanding of art writing practice as a form of thinking driven by purpose, as consequential and political.

About the facilitators

Cassandra Barnett (Raukawa ki Te Kaokaoroa-o-Pātetere, Ngāti Huri, Pākehā) is a writer, artist, māmā and educator. She writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry about indigenous and diasporic aesthetics, environmental personhood and other futures. Her poetry chapbook How | Hao, about forests and AI, was published in 2021. A second, in collaboration with Kelly Joseph, will be published in early 2024. Ki Mua, Ki Muri, a co-edited book with Kura Te Waru-Rewiri about Toioho ki Āpiti school of Māori visual art was published in 2023. Her poetry and short fiction are published in Tupuranga, Te Whē, Ora Nui, RNZ Reading Room, Turbine | Kapohau, Brief, Huia Short Stories, Landfall, Black Marks on the White Page (Penguin Random House, 2017) and others. Her essays can be found in Te Manu Huna a Tāne (Massey University Press, 2020), The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, ATE Journal of Contemporary Māori Art, Counterfutures, South as a State of Mind and many art publications and catalogues.

Nic Low is a writer and arts organiser of Ngāi Tahu Maori and European descent. He whakapapas to Ōraka-Aparima at the bottom of the South Island, and was until recently vice-chair of the Ngāi Tahu Ki Melbourne taurahere group. He and his whānau divide their time between a bush retreat in the Castlemaine National Heritage Park, and Christchurch, NZ. His new book is Uprising, detailing nine walking expeditions into the Ngāi Tahu history of Kā Tiritiri-o-te-moana, New Zealand’s Southern Alps. His first book was Arms Race, a collection of mischievous, polemical short stories. His subjects are wilderness and adventure, technology and power, history and race. Nic’s short fiction, essays and criticism have been published widely in Australia and New Zealand.

Matariki Williams (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti, Taranaki, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) is a doctoral student and freelance curator, writer and editor with a specific interest in ngā toi Māori. She is the co-author of Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance (Te Papa Press, 2019), and co-founder of ATE Journal of Māori Art. She is a widely published arts writer including with frieze, Art in America, The Pantograph Punch, e-Tāngata, ArtZone and The Spinoff. Matariki has held multiple governance roles in the arts sector including with Contemporary HUM, Museums Aotearoa, National Digital Forum, the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and is currently serving on the Judith Binney Trust. She was previously Senior Historian Mātauranga Māori at Manatū Taonga and Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa Tongarewa.

What we will provide

  • Transport from The Physics Room to Te Kiekie Mt Somers/Woolshed Creek car park and back.
  • Accommodation at Woolshed Creek Hut and kai for the duration of the workshop.

What participants will provide

  • Transport to The Physics Room/Ōtautahi CBD. If applying from outside of Ōtautahi, you will be required to cover the costs of your own flights and accommodation beyond the one night at Woolshed Creek Hut. Individuals working in galleries and museums, iwi, hapū and whānau caring for taonga may apply for a National Services Te Paerangi Travel Grant up to $500.
  • Sleeping bag and tramping pack with all items for an overnight stay.
  • Good walking shoes (There is an easy three-hour hīkoi between the carpark and hut. More details here.) 
In partnership with Blue Oyster Art Project Space