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German artist tells Wairarapa stories

Artist in residence Renate Hahn has been busy interviewing people in Wairarapa. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

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A German artist has used stories from Wairarapa as inspiration for her work while visiting on an artist residency.

Artist Renate Hahn has spent the past two weeks as an artist in residence with NZ Pacific Studio interviewing 11 people from around Wairarapa about their life stories and experiences to explain the place she has visited.

“My plan for the two-week residency was to interview people of the town of Masterton to combine the video with pictures of historical and present times as well as music and texts.

“I shall edit the art video at home and thus express my perspective on my stay in Masterton.”

Hahn was wanting to visit New Zealand for family reasons so applied for a range of residencies.

“I don’t like to travel without working,” she said.

She said when she worked in an area, she got to know more about the people, the place, and the country.

Hahn said the number of artist residences she had done all over the world had a large impact on her development as an artist.

“It’s a big change”, she said, from starting off as a potter and more recently dabbling in performance art.

During her artist residencies she has been able to learn more about people, different cultures, lifestyles, and ways of thinking from the connections she has made in communities.

She said what she did while away was different than what she did at home; she liked to “react” to the place she was visiting and create site-specific work.

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