Creative Mercury Bay and Arts on Tour proudly presents Aperture - The Life and Work of Ans Westra, a creative and innovative one-woman play starring actor and director Martine Baanvinger.
This is a unique opportunity to learn about NZ Arts Foundation Icon photographer, Ans Westra, who led a successful career capturing the essence of the people of Aotearoa. Fascinated by Māori culture in particular, she created an intimate and uniquely historical documentation of Māori life. Her first publications, including the controversial ‘Washday at the pa’, offered insight into the Māori way of life in rural Aotearoa at a time of urbanisation.
We invite members of the public to join us at the Coghill Theatre to experience DramaLAB’s visually stunning and intimate portrait of Ans, focusing on her childhood in The Netherlands, her immigration journey to New Zealand and the start of her photography career in the 1960’s.
– Creative Mercury Bay Chair, Anusha Bhana
Where to get tickets for the show
When: Saturday 10 July, 7pm
Where: Coghill Theatre, Whitianga
Performance Length: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Tickets: Adults $25 | Youth 18 and under $10. On sale on Friday 18 June, available from Mercury Bay Pharmacy and online at Eventbrite (go to the related link below for the link to buy tickets).
Arts on Tour NZ
Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand as well as support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Interislander, Otago Community Trust, Rata Foundation and the Southern Trust. AOTNZ liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.
Notes from the Director
This performance is about the life and work of Ans Westra and is made with permission, collaboration and involvement of Ans Westra and her family. It follows her from birth, during war time in The Netherlands, her immigration from The Netherlands to New Zealand where she was reunited with her father. And where she started a career as a photographer in the 1960's. She photographed Māori mostly in rural settings in 1960's throughout the whole of Aotearoa. The performance doesn't go past the end of the 1960's and the work shown is only work from the 1960's.
Westra has since gifted her entire collection to the New Zealand National Library. So the photographs of Māori shown in this performance are out in the public arena. It is a representation of Māori in Aotearoa at that time so not traced back to individual iwi. Ans Westra received permission from her subjects (Māori and non-Māori i) to take these photographs and her work has been published in many different publications, exhibitions etc...
This performance is not about a particular iwi, it is about Ans Westra. Her interest in Māori culture is shown in this performance as Māori has been her main subject of interest in the period. Iwi that are directly connected to the shown images are not consulted in the creation of the performance.
Westra's work is a celebration of Māori culture in the 1960s. She is one of the very few photographers of Māori around that time in history. She has captured that era (and many more after that) and has gifted it to the nation.
About the director
Martine Baavinger (Director) is trained at the Theatre Academy in Amsterdam. She is the founder of DramaLAB and creates performances in a direct, transparent and intimate way. Martine invites her audiences to enter a space of innovation and simplicity that calls in emotional involvement with the story and the actor. The audience becomes part of the journey. This combined with physical theatre influences leads to unique creations where both drama and comedy are often equally present. Martine loves exploring a creative approach to lighting, sound, digital imagery, transformation of set and costume.
About Creative Mercury Bay
Creative Mercury Bay (CMB) is a Whitianga-based charitable arts trust formed in 2012 to meet the growing need for performing arts events, workshops and infrastructure in the Mercury Bay area. Our core purpose is to develop and nurture enjoyment, participation and education in the performing arts and contribute towards building a sustainable performing arts infrastructure in our community. We do this through the facilitation of an annual programme of performing arts events; a combination of producing our own events and booking touring events to perform in Mercury Bay. We think it's important that our remote region gets to enjoy good quality performing arts, without having to travel to the big city centres.
Our team is made up of three trustees, two sub-committee members, three professional advisors and four patrons, who all volunteer their time and skills to Creative Mercury Bay. We also employ a part time Events Administrator, a part-time Marketing Coordinator, plus various arts contractors to help us stage events throughout the year. We are strong advocates for the role the performing arts play in being powerful weavers of community connection, generating a sense of belonging, and producing community vibrancy.
Brought to you by
This show is brought to you by Creative Mercury Bay with support from Trust Waikato, All About Whitianga, Mercury Bay Pharmacy, CFM Coromandel and the Mercury Bay Informer.