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4 May 2023

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Meet your 2023 Springboard award recipients

Seven artists. Seven mentors. A year of impact starts now.

The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi 2023 Springboard recipients have officially been revealed!

Seven artists – each ready to take the plunge into a full-time arts career – with outstanding potential across a diverse range of arts disciplines. Along with a $15,000 gift, each recipient has been matched (with cupid-like consideration!) to a senior artist mentor from the Arts Foundation artist alumni and beyond. Mentors will also receive a $5,000 koha for their time.

The Arts Foundation Springboard packages are 100% funded through personal giving. Huge thanks to these generous arts backers: the Edgar Family, the Todd Trust, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu, Brad Spence and Holly Erskine, Jamie and Ann Selkirk, Philip Carter and some generous Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi supporters.

Meet your 2023 Springboard duos:

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 2022, and an independent selection panel gathered late February 2023 to review the submissions received.

The selection panel, chaired by Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Trustees, Anne Noble and Tanea Heke, included:


Genre: Māori Moving Image, Photography

Tia Barrett is an artist working in moving Image and photography with a kaupapa Māori worldview, having Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, and Ngāti Tamainupō whakapapa. Her current practice centers around celebrating and reconnecting to her wahine Māori identity and her whenua me o ngā tūpuna, healing and expressing her story of overcoming the adversity of colonisation.

Read more here.

Tia will be mentored by 2019 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Louise Pōtiki Bryant.

Louise Pōtiki Bryant is a choreographer, dancer, video artist and film-maker. Her iwi are Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha. She is a founding member and choreographer for Atamira Dance Company, and has choreographed for companies such as The New Zealand Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company and Ōrotokare, Art, Story, Motion. With her practice she aims to honour her whakapapa, mana wahine, and mātauranga Māori, and is dedicated to the creation of works which inspire the care, protection and regeneration of the whenua, moana, and waterways.

This Springboard Award is gifted by The Todd Trust.



Genre: Multi-disciplinary, Visual Arts

With roots in Auckland, and Pelehake Tonga, ‘Uhila Moe Langi Nai is a multi-disciplinary artist. She learnt traditional Tongan crafts and knowledge from her Nena, and her practice focuses on the Tongan koloa tu’ufonua ‘oku ‘iloa ko ia koe ngatu mo e kupesi (collection of women’s wealth, known as tapa cloth and embroidered stencil). She is interested in exploring the history and stories of her ancestors, as well as the knowledge and wisdom embedded in kupesi designs.

Read more here.

'Uhila will be mentored by the brilliant curator, writer, and artist Dr. Andrea Low.

Andrea Low is currently Associate Curator, Contemporary World at Auckland Museum where she co-curated the permanent exhibition Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland. Andrea is a regular contributor of articles and publications that trace histories of Pacific peoples in Tāmaki and the wider Pacific. Prior to working at Auckland Museum, Andrea taught in the Anthropology and Fine Arts departments at the University of Auckland and at AUT in Spatial Design. Andrea has a PhD in Anthropology (Ethnomusicology), an MFA in Sculpture and a BA in English, all from the University of Auckland. Andrea is a council member of The Polynesian Society and Book Review Editor for the Society’s journal:Waka Kuaka JPS. She is also on the advisory board of Marinade: Aotearoa Journal of Moana Art, and a board member for Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery and Artspace Aotearoa.

This Springboard award for Visual Arts is funded by the Edgar family.



Genre: Visual Arts

Madison Kelly is an interdisciplinary visual artist, with Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, and Pākehā whakapapa. Their practice draws from processes of observation and duration, using drawing and field work to explore their connection to the land and ecological kinship. They aim to celebrate accessible, shared attention towards our relations and their histories, both human and nonhuman.

Read more here.

Madison will be mentored by 2016 Arts Foundation Laureate Peter Robinson.

Peter Robinson started his career as a painter and studied sculpture at Ilam School of Fine Arts from 1985-1989. His journey then saw him play a large part in bi-cultural debate through the late 80s and early 90s, becoming renowned for his provocative and controversial treatment of racial issues, ethnicity and identity. However, once Peter had felt this phase of his career had run its course, and for fear of being perpetually type-cast as an identity artist, Peter leapt into new territory and revisited his interest in Post Minimalism and Arte Povera, which he had been drawn to in his first year at Ilam. These movements were to inform the structure, orientation and social impulse of his work throughout the next decade of his career.

The Springboard Wai-Toi–Moroki award, funded by Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu.



Genre: Film, Theatre, Photography

Freya Silas Finch is a Jewish, Eastern European, and Pākehā artist, with a practice spanning film, theatre and photography. Themselves queer and trans, they aim to tell stories by and for trans and non-binary people in a way that is subversive, original and deeply human. Freya is currently learning to write and direct films as a participant in the film intensive A Wave in The Ocean with Artistic Director Dame Jane Campion (2022 Arts Foundation Icon).

Read more here.

Freya will be mentored by 2019 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Solomon Mortimer.

Solomon Mortimer was born in Auckland in 1991. Since 2012 he has been regularly exhibiting both nationally and abroad and has prints held in public collections including Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Sir George Grey, James Wallace and Auckland University. In 2015, his publication F.16 G3 20/25/30 won the inaugural New Zealand Photo Book of the Year self-published prize. Solomon holds a Masters of Fine Arts with first class honours from Elam School of Fine Arts and is represented by Anna Miles Gallery in Auckland.

The Springboard Award for Film, gifted by Ann and Jamie Selkirk.



Genre: Choreography

Amit Noy is a dance-based performing artist and choreographer, growing up in Kailua, Hawai’i and Te Whanganui a Tara with Latine and Israeli parents. His practice often involves his family: both performing and writing together. He is interested in weaving explorations of being and information into movement, navigating how to be alive in the world and creating an experience of impropriety, ritual, and ambivalence.

Read more here.

Amit will be mentored by 2021 Arts Foundation Laureate Lemi Ponifasio.

Lemi Ponifasio is acclaimed internationally for his radical approach to theatre, activism, and collaboration with communities. While firmly established within the international avant-garde, Ponifasio grounds his work within communities and diverse Maori and Oceanic cultures, exploring 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.

This Springboard award is gifted by Brad & Holly Spence.



Genre: Visual Arts, Ceramics

Hailing from Cheongju city Korea and now based in Tāmaki Makaurau, 박성환 Sung Hwan Bobby Park is a mixed media visual artist, primarily working in ceramics. Having self-taught ceramics and art making in 2016, he has been a part of numerous national exhibitions in contemporary ceramic practice. His latest solo exhibition ‘BTM Complete in Reflection’ explored queer experiences in the Korean Military with ceramic bullet-proof helmets.

Read more here.

Sung will be mentored by 2015 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Lisa Walker ONZM.

Widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s most influential contemporary jewellers, Lisa Walker has received numerous New Zealand and international awards. Her work has been acquired for major public and private collections both in New Zealand and overseas. Her most prominent international recognition, further cementing her influential role in international contemporary jewellery, was receiving the Dutch Francoise van den Bosch Award in 2009. Viewed as the leading jewellery award in the world, this reflects a very significant recognition of an artist’s work.

This Springboard Award for Visual Arts is gifted by the Edgar family.



Genre: Multi-disciplinary

Jaycee Tanuvasa is a multi-disciplinary artist of fa’afafine, femme queen & trans experience. She is a pioneer of the Aotearoa Ballroom vogue scene and Mother to the House of Iman, with a practice deeply grounded in young, queer, brown life. Her work includes performing arts, film, and creative direction, with autonomy, story sovereignty, community, and collaboration at the heart.

Read more here.

Jaycee will be mentored by 2021 Arts Foundation Laureate Nina Nawalowalo ONZM.

Artistic Director and Co-founder of Wellington-based theatre company The Conch, Nina Nawalowalo ONZM is a performer, mentor and teacher who has presented at over 40 international festivals, including the London International Mime Festival, British Festival of Visual Theatre, and the Moscow Arts Festival. She is passionately committed to bringing untold stories into the light, and for using theatre as a vehicle to affect social change.

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


About the Arts Foundation

Backing artists to make their mark. The Arts Foundation was established in 1998 to honour extraordinary New Zealand artists.