Get to know your Effigy and Temple Leads

Sep 30, 2019

Helping Hand by Nico Woodward, 2016


Kiwiburn is such a creative community! The designs for both the Effigy and the Temple have been chosen, the details of which will be revealed on the Paddock. Meanwhile, we’ve spoken to the visionaries behind these creations to learn a little more about them and their art. 

Congratulations on your submission being chosen. Tell us a little about yourself: 

Jeanne (Effigy): “My first Kiwiburn was in 2009 as a lonely traveler, and I became known to the larger Kiwiburn community when my pink tutu and tool belt got lifted into the air by a forklift to assist the erection of the Effigy and the artwork “Cows with Guns” in 2011. I have worn many hats (and tutus) in the Kiwiburn community since: as a builder of art projects, Theme Camps, an aerial dome, and 2IC Operations Manager. Outside the festival, I am a rigger, lighting tech, house truck builder, project manager, yoga teacher, and most importantly, mother of two beautiful boys.”

Nico (Temple): “I’ve been to six Kiwiburns starting in 2011. I’ve brought three big art projects to Kiwiburn; The Pallabyrinth in 2013, the Effigy in 2015, and the Helping hand in 2016. I’ve been out of the country for three years living in North America, so it’s been a while since my last Kiwiburn. I’m a nurse by training, but moonlight in building big art. I mostly use recycled/scavenged/found materials. I have a philosophy with my projects that I don’t see trash, just art that hasn’t been built yet. I love building art projects collectively, seeing an idea blossom and come to life through the culmination of the work and ideas of a group of people.” 

What inspired your design and had you apply for Kiwiburn 2020?

Jeanne: “I struggled quite a bit with the transition to motherhood, as many people do – I felt like I was constantly trying to disprove what it traditionally means to be a woman and mum. My drive for this art is the power of women and dispelling the expectations of society.” 

Nico: “I wanted to look at the way humanity is turning the world upside down. The temple of the future is going to be a visual representation of what’s happening and will happen to us and the planet. I wanted to return to using my favourite materials; pallets, demolition timber and bamboo. Using the skills and experiences from my projects in North America to further develop the range of possibilities of these materials back home in Aotearoa. I also felt like three years was a long enough self imposed exile from Kiwiburn, time to rejoin the fray.”

Without giving anything away, how do you think your creation will suit the theme of Eclectic Decade?

Jeanne: “This next decade will make or break our species, planet, and future – we are on the precipice of change, whether we embrace it or not. And perhaps it is time we look to the femine to lead with their abundant strength and compassion.” 

Nico: “The next ten years are going to be pivotal for us as a species, alongside everything else living on this planet. The Temple of the Future is a look at a dystopian future that is not so far away. Climate change and human altered landscapes will have central themes in and around this structure. But like everything, nothing is exactly as it seems. There will be fear, denial, hope and action. And that’s just in the next 10 years.” 

What are you looking forward to the most with this experience?

Jeanne: “Collaborating with awesome people, building something (hopefully) inspiring, and getting back on the Paddock!”

Nico: “Building, learning, and teaching with a group of awesome humans to co create something bigger and more magical than any one of us could do alone.”

What do you think (at this early stage) might be your biggest challenge?

Jeanne: “Figuring out how it will burn and fall in a good amount of time.”

Nico: “Finding build space to prefab sections. Also readjusting to the New Zealand sun. It’s been a hot minute.”

And finally, what does building the Effigy or Temple mean to you? 

Jeanne: “Facing and conquering the ever-present challenge of balancing work and family life while showing others that anything is possible with the help of community.”

Nico: “I’ve built the Effigy before, I’ve brought other big art projects to Kiwiburn. Once I’ve built the Temple, I can retire from big art projects. Regain a normal sleeping and eating cycle, and do something else…

It’s also an opportunity to push the boundaries of what’s possible, both in a build sense as well as in a concept. With the Temple, it’s possible to have a conversation with and by the community. Allowing for a different level of interaction than say with the Effigy or other art pieces.”

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