“Henderson may be the end of the world for some, but Corban Estate Arts Centre has created something slightly miraculous west of the CBD. The Centre is a destination in itself and I would be happy to visit it every month to see what is new. Full marks to them for creating a place with artistic endeavour above cultural snobbery.”
Little known fact: one of Auckland's best cultural experiences is in suburban Henderson - 13 kilometres west of Auckland's CBD - on the way out towards the Waitakere ranges. It's a place well worth seeking out, a hub of artistic energy and talent, and for those of us who are in on the secret - a welcome respite from the white-cube gallery world of New Zealand art.
Corban Estate Arts Centre is, to be honest, a bit of a gem. Beautifully nestled within the old Corban Estate with its historic wine buildings and parklike grounds, it's a remarkably peaceful place (if you discount the infrequent ding-ding-ding-ding of the train crossing) and offers so much more than expected.
The centre itself looks a bit like a farm, with a big old homestead house surrounded by old white-painted corrugated tin sheds scattered haphazardly around the place. It's quite charming. But within is an unexpected mixture of gallery spaces, artist studios, performance space and all kinds of things going on. Tours are available, just ask.
35 artists work full-time on site.
There's a cluster of studios suitable and affordable for artists who have recently graduated. And larger studios for more established artists. World renowned dance company Atamira is onsite, as is Red Leap Theatre, Mixit, the Pacifica Arts Centre and Crescendo Trust.
"While we're all individuals, collectively we share a strong ethos of pitching-in and helping one another out. This attitude fosters a sense of community and warmth, which extends to the people who visit the estate."
MARTIN SUTCLIFFE, Director of Corban Estate Arts Centre
Katie Smith, studio artist and tutor
Katie Smith has had a busy 2017 so far at Corban Estate. As well as her regular contributions to our programme of classes, she recently co-curated one of our most popular shows of the year: Embedded, a survey of contemporary fabric art. While the studios have a wealth of sculptors and painters, we're glad to have Katie's perspective as a contemporary craft artist, and her dedication to sharing her skills through teaching. These holidays Katie is offering two children's classes, and returns with her ever-popular fabric printing weekend workshop in September
When David Atai and Marcus Powell of Crescendo Trust arrived at Corban Estate they added a whole new dimension to the estate -- and not just their rockstar status! As a programme mentoring young musicians, Crescendo Trust has turned the Cellar into a dynamic creative space, nourishing up and coming careers in the studio, as well as showcasing them in the monthly Jam Cellars and through their radio station Rawkus Radio.
David McCracken, in his studio
Walking around the estate you might spot a couple of large iron sculptures--the work of resident artist and superstar David McCracken. David shares a studio with Anton Parsons, and both moved here in 2016.
Curator Cora-Allan Wickliffe
Cora-Allan is a multidisciplinary artist and curator of Māori and Niue descent (Ngāpuhi / Tainui and Alofi / Liku) who is originally from Waitakere. Her practice often explores and examines the constructed identities of indigenous people, finding new ways to provide platforms of education through audience engagement and accessibility.