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Lou Sanson


Lou has an incredible career in conservation, including time as the Director General of the Department of Conservation, and Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand, alongside decades of leadership in significant environmental roles from Fiordland to the Subantartic Islands.

During this time, Lou has played an active role in supporting young and prominent artists, including establishing the Artists to Antarctica Programme in 1990, taking over 30 prominent artists to Antarctica (where Bill Hammond got the inspiration for his bird paintings!).

He also re-established Wild Creations – a partnership between Creative New Zealand and DOC – which enables emerging and prominent artists to engage in nature with opportunities to live in remote national parks and wildlands.

Lou's mother is an artist, still active in Hokitika where Lou grew up. Lou is thrilled to be part of the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi, and looks to connecting the value of nature with the New Zealand arts community.