Introducing our Wikipedians
Mackenzie Paton and Bridget Reweti are our Wikipedians in Residence this summer.
Earlier this week we posted about our summer project, in which we're aiming to add 100 biographies of New Zealand craft artists to Wikipedia.
Today we're introducing our two Wikipedians in Residence, who will be sharing their progress on the project here on the blog over the next two months
Wikipedia has been a good friend to me, gently explaining things I was too shy to ask about.
My schooling in art history culminated in a masters of Māori Visual Arts through Toi Oho ki Āpiti at Te Pūtahi-ā-Toi, Massey University’s Palmerston North Campus. We learnt about the painted histories of Te Kooti, the adoption of steel chisles by Rukupo and how the introduction of coloured wool would of made the tāniko boarders of your kaitaka totally blingin’. In recent years, as I tentaivley checked out the non-Māori art scene, I would quietly slip away from an opening crowd to ask Wikipedia about structualism, post-structualism and if Dada was a person, a movement or just a made-up word.
Last week Courtney asked if I would like to join Mackenzie in researching and writing Wikipedia pages for 100 New Zealands craft and applied art practicioners. Yes, please! A perfect fit for summer with my current Dowse position as the CNZ/Blumhardt Curatorial Intern.
In my very first lecture at Vic University, where I’m finishing up a BA in History and Art History, we were told that a visit to Wikipedia would earn us a one-way ticket to Palmerston North. That really says a lot more than I’m willing to unpack!
Since starting this project a week or so ago, I’ve had a real crash course in the world of Wikipedia, and it’s exciting to learn about the workings of a very valuable (and largely accurate) resource. I know how tricky it is to find anything on the net about so many treasured New Zealand artists. Part of this project, as Courtney put it, is to seek resources scattered all over the web - and in libraries - and gather them together in one place. We’re in the research stage at the moment, so I’m nestled in The Dowse library with a few stacks of books getting more and more familiar with the names and shapes that define these incredible people. I feel so lucky to be able to spend the next few months learning about their lives and work and channeling that knowledge into something highly accessible and exciting. It’s a big learning curve, so game on!
Our thanks again
To Ngā Taonga a Hine-te-iwa-iwa A Treasury of New Zealand Craft Resources, the trust that is generously supporting this project. The exquisite carving above is a taonga by Rangi Kipa, made for Ngā Taonga a Hine-te-iwa-iwa, that they have recently placed at The Dowse.