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Meet your 2021 Springboard award recipients

Introducing your 2021 Springboard Award recipients, seven artists, seven mentors, your year starts now.

Our Springboard awardees – seven artists, each at a formative stage of their career, with outstanding potential in a variety of arts disciplines – have officially been selected. Along with a $15,000 gift, they have also been matched (with cupid-like consideration) to a senior artist mentor from our alumni of Arts Foundation Laureates, Icons, New Generation, residency or Fellowship recipients. If we can't find the perfect match within our whānau, we sometimes venture out. Mentors also receive a $5,000 koha for their time.

Meet your 2021 Springboard duos:

  • Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Visual Artist – Hiapo) mentored by 2008 Arts Foundation Laureate Shane Cotton ONZM (Visual Artist)

  • Cian Parker (Writer and performer) mentored by 2000 Arts Foundation Laureate Briar Grace-Smith ONZM (Writer, Actor and Director)

  • Ta’alili – Aloalii Tapu and Tori Manley-Tapu (Dancers and Choreography) mentored by 2011 Arts Foundation Laureate Lemi Ponifasio (Theatre director, Choreographer, Multi-disciplinary Artist)

  • Reuben Jelleyman (Composer) mentored by 2014 Arts Foundation Laureate Ross Harris (Composer)

  • Maisie Chilton (Visual Artist, Poet) mentored by 2005 Arts Foundation Laureate Julia Morison ONZM (Visual Artist)

  • Hōhua Ropate Kurene (Multi-disciplinary Artist) mentored by Dan Ahwa (Creative Director, Viva Magazine, NZ Herald)

  • Larsen Winiata Tito-Taylor (Multi Disciplinary Artist) mentored by Riki Gooch (Drummer, Composer)

What is Springboard all about?

“I feel like it creates a pathway where there isn't one. Normally you kind of just get into the arts and make it up as you go. The biggest value of this mentor-mentee thing is the relationship that you create – which then leads to ripple effects and other stuff. It’s also good for the mentors to see the issues that are still the same and to see where maybe you were, and to be able to offer a way through and be able to say ‘it's all right, this is normal, this is exactly as it should be – and you're going to get through this, you just have to stick at it’.”

– 2006 Arts Foundation Laureate and 2020 Springboard mentor, Oscar Kightley

How were our recipients selected?

Springboard called for nominations in November 2020, and Aotearoa delivered. Our independent selection panel gathered late February 2021 to review the 350 submissions received. The selection panel included:

  • Nigel Borell
  • Briar Grace-Smith
  • Ralph Buck
  • Philip Clarke
  • Karen Grylls
  • Tusiata Avia
  • Steph Walker

Get to know them here.


Iwi: Aotearoa – Ngā Puhi, Tainui. Niue – Alofi, Liku

Genre: Visual Arts - Hiapo

Cora-Allan Wickliffe is a visual artist and traditional maker. After being encouraged by her Niuean grandparents to make hiapo – the Niuean practice of barkcloth painting – she has mobilised generations of Niueans to connect with and experience a previously dormant artform. Using purist hiapo-making methods with materials such as ata bark, mangrove inks and pandanus seeds, she is placing the artform back into the community highlighting the noticeably botanical forms of Niuean Hiapo.

As an AUT graduate with a Masters in Visual Art and Design and a background as a technician and curator, Cora–Allan’s deeply considered practice has caught the attention of major galleries, museums and collectors. Despite this, her work remains firmly rooted in community, and she fluidly moves between institutional and community spaces. Her confident artistic voice translates to a strong presentation of work, and she is already gaining significant momentum in Aotearoa and abroad.

Cora-Allan Wickliffe will be mentored by 2008 Arts Foundation Laureate Shane Cotton ONZM

Shane Cotton’s painting practice examines Māori and Pākehā cultural histories to prompt conversations about nationhood and biculturalism, and he is recognised as one of New Zealand’s best-known contemporary painters.

The Springboard Award for Visual Arts, funded by the Edgar Family.

Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss


Iwi: Ngā Puhi

Genre: Writer and performer

Cian Parker is an active creative practitioner based in Kirikiriroa. In 2018 she founded her own theatre company, Cove Theatre, through which she writes and performs powerful and nuanced stories reflective of the community she grew up in. Cian has already turned heads in the industry, receiving the Ngā Manu Pīrere award at the 2019 Te Waka Toi Awards as well as the 2020 Most Promising Artist at the New Zealand Fringe Awards.

In her work, Cian explores the connection between her Māori whakapapa and her own expressions of identity. Her honest performance style weaves together a real and familiar version of Aotearoa New Zealand, inspired by a strong Kaupapa Māori narrative. Cian’s commitment to telling stories not often given a stage combined with her strong work ethic point to an exciting future ahead.

Cian Parker will be mentored by 2000 Arts Foundation Laureate Briar Grace-Smith ONZM

Briar Grace-Smith is an award-winning writer of plays, scripts and short stories. Most recently she has written, directed and starred in Cousins, a film based off of Patricia Grace-Smith’s iconic novel. It is the third feature film in history to be directed by Māori wāhine.

Ana Scotney


Iwi: Samoa – Solosolo and Saleilna, Falealili

Genre: Dancers and choreographers

Aloalii Tapu and Tori Manley-Tapu are the founders of Ta’alili, an arts company that work with artists who design stage, theatre, dance, film and visual art. Their ethos is based around building a whānau around their works to support the thinking and careers of their artists. Their expertise in dance is presented mainly on stage but have recently taken form in galleries and film. Aloalii, from Ōtara, and Tori, from Titirangi, met while studying contemporary dance at Unitec. The two have since gone on to collaborate on a number of works from LEECHES that premiered at ASB Waterfront Theatre in 2019, to ETENA, their exhibition of dance-films, sculpture and poetry, currently showing at Māngere Arts Centre.

In their work, they explore how perceptions shape communities, reflecting on personal experiences of tension between cultures, systems and stereotypes. Both Aloalii and Tori have a strong drive to build deeper communities in the arts world.

Aloalii Tapu and Tori Manley-Tapu will be mentored by 2011 Arts Foundation Laureate, Lemi Ponifasio

While firmly established within the international avant-garde, Lemi Ponifasio grounds his work within communities and diverse Maori and Oceanic cultures. He explores complex forms of knowledge such as oratory, navigation, architecture, dance, performance, music, ceremony, philosophies, and genealogies as a driving force in emphasizing local-oriented arts, indigenous cultural recovery, language and knowledge, thought and narratives that have been silenced or excluded.

The Springboard Award for Dance, funded by Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes.

Ta’alili – Aloalii Tapu and Tori Manley-Tapu


Iwi: Aotearoa – Ngāti Apa Ki Te Rā Tō, Kāi Tahu, Te Aupōuri. Samoa – Luatuanu'u of Atua District

Genre: Multi-disciplinary

Hōhua Ropate Kurene is a queer, indigenous artist specialising in photography, creative writing and multimedia design. In his work he captures a breadth of Tangata Whenua/Pasifika experiences, establishing new expressions of beauty, fashion and identity within Aotearoa New Zealand and Western Samoa. Whilst much of his work is firmly rooted in his own heritage and history, Hōhua’s unique perspective has already resonated with a variety of artists – resulting in powerful collaborations spanning a range of mediums.

Hōhua is of mixed Samoan, Māori & Afro-European heritage. Born in Porirua, Hōhua was raised in his Father’s village of Luatuanu’u Samoa and later moved to his Mother’s birthplace of Ōtautahi, Aotearoa to complete his schooling. He is now based in Tāmaki Makaurau, where he continues to develop his practice. With his feet firmly planted in a range of disciplines and a unique voice guided by the FAFSWAG Arts Collective, Hōhua is an artist steadily gaining recognition.

Hōhua Ropate Kurene will be mentored by Dan Ahwa

Dan Ahwa is a renowned New Zealand journalist and stylist. Along with being the fashion & creative director for award-winning weekly magazines Viva Magazine and Canvas Magazine, Dan’s written and styling work has been published in various local and international publications specialising in travel, culture, lifestyle, design and style. He is also a trustee for The New Zealand Fashion Museum and has a passion for supporting and showcasing up-and-coming creatives.

Hōhua Ropate Kurene


Genre: Composer

Reuben Jelleyman is a New Zealand composer, currently based in Paris where he studies at CNSMDP under Gérard Pesson. His works have been played by Ensemble Intercontemporain, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand) and many more.

After graduating in 2016 from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music and Victoria University of Wellington in music and physics, Reuben has gone on to gain national and international recognition as an innovative and exciting creative. Along with composing he has produced multimedia installations and multichannel electronic works, as well as performing as a percussionist, organist, and conductor. He was also the creator and director of PORTALS, a music project in Wellington city hosting contemporary music events outside of concert hall spaces.

Reuben Jelleyman will be mentored by 2014 Arts Foundation Laureate, Ross Harris

Ross Harris has written more than two hundred compositions including opera, symphonic music, chamber music, klezmer and electronic music. He has been a finalist in the prestigious SOUNZ Contemporary Award more times than any other New Zealand composer and won the award four times.

Reuben Jelleyman


Iwi: Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua, Tainui

Genre: Multidisciplinary Artist

WhyFi. is the sonic moniker of Larsen Winiata Tito-Taylor (of Ngā Puhi/Ngāti Whātua/Tainui descent) – a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Over the course of ten days during a national lockdown in Aotearoa, Larsen co-ordinated, produced, mixed and mastered the album Keep your Distance by Virtual Shadow Ensemble – bringing together a who’s who of young New Zealand jazz, spoken word and electronic music artists, championing connection in a time of great upheaval for creative communities.

In his music, Larsen often creates with a ‘stream of consciousness’ approach, recording songs in the first take and resisting definition and boundaries. From an early interest in drawing, Larsen went on to discover Garageband on his mum’s laptop and an affinity for music production and creativity was born. Following on from formative experiences through The Grow Room (an influential creative collective and space formerly based on K Road, Tāmaki Makaurau) Larsen went on to explore concepts, ancestral philosophies and sonic approaches that would inform the inception of Noa Records - a collective record label venture primarily focussed on providing an alternative platform for Māori/Pasifika/indigenous artists to express through and from. Today, he cites his primary influence as his friends – a circle of creators that inform and shape each other’s work - and ancestors of blood and spirit – whether through whānau and chiefs, or sonic ancestors inspiring soul expression such as Sun Ra.

Larsen Winiata Tito-Taylor will be mentored by Riki Gooch

Riki Gooch (Patuharakeke/Ngāti Wai/Ngāti Mahanga Hourua) has been an intricate part of the Wellington and national music scene for nearly two decades - as a drummer and founding member of Trinity Roots, orchestral art behemoth Eru Dangerspiel and Orchestra of Spheres. Having collaborated with the likes of Jeff Henderson, Bic Runga, Ria Hall, Alistair Fraser, and Mara TK, his repertoire is brave and boundless, ranging from electronic music, film and television scores, to large improvised ensembles and solo performance.T

The Springboard award for contemporary music or performance, funded by The Leighs Family.

Larsen Winiata Tito-Taylor


Genre: Visual Artist, Poet

Maisie Chilton is a Waihōpai born, Pōneke based artist, poet and teacher. As a self-taught creative, she uses mahi toi as a means to address, process and heal the physical and mental tension caused by disability and repressed trauma. She is the co-editor and production manager of Salty, an art-poetry zine focusing on the introspective process of healing and self-reflection, and has been widely published.

Maisie’s work speaks about other-ness – holding space for a range of experiences by exploring tensions in her own personal history. In her upcoming exhibition, Where Does It Hurt?, she uses art as therapy to unpack repressed trauma caused by sexual assault – a creative response that will undoubtably resonate with many across Aotearoa.

Maisie Chilton will be mentored by 2005 Arts Foundation Laureate Julia Morison ONZM

Julia Morison is an astonishing contemporary visual artist working across a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and installation. Based in Ōtautahi, Julia has exhibited extensively within New Zealand and internationally and has been the recipient of many key awards, grants and residencies.

Maisie Chilton