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Sugar Loafing Arts Cast: Past Episodes 2018-19

A community arts radio show that challenges the belief that the arts are exclusive.

Airing time: Your choice, on-demand

A community arts radio show that challenges the belief that the arts are exclusive.
The hour-long weekly show, Sugar Loafing Arts Cast, combines interviews, on-site recordings, event recommendations and musical interludes. 
Hosts, Taranaki-based painter David Le Fleming and writer Suraya Sidhu Singh, approach the arts in relatable ways.


Click on the title of an episode to listen

Hidden Realms and the Art of Balance

Skilfully curated around the Kabbalah's Tree of Life, Hidden Realms is on at Percy Thomson Gallery until 19 January, bringing together more than 20 #Taranaki artists. At the opening night, Theosophical Society New Plymouth president Ben Upton reads bronze sculptor Kayla Upton's description of the Tree of Life, its importance and relevance.

Duration: 00:44:21 | Date: 28 December, 2019

Ruth Buchanan

Suraya talks with Ruth Buchanan about how she has approached the Govett-Brewster collection, asking questions about power and examining the history of society through visual arts

Duration: 00:57:17 | Date: 21 December, 2019

Jodi Calkin_Emerging Artist

A realist painter inspired by the natural world, Jodi Calkin is showing work in the Emerging Artists gallery at Access Radio Taranaki 104.4 FM in TopTown Ngāmotu / New Plymouth until the end of December.

Duration: 00:49:54 | Date: 7 December, 2019

Advice on poetry writing, and poetry winners (RH Morrieson Awards 2019)

“Poetry, despite its cute, cotton-socks image, is a tough art form,” says James Brown, judge of the poetry section of the 2019 Ronald Hugh Morrieson awards. In this episode, James' thoughts on how to write a great poem, and the winning poems from this years' awards.

Duration: 00:59:13 | Date: 23 November, 2019

Rubi Riot

Waitara-based painter Rubi Riot fills in the stories behind her colourful, layered paintings and assemblages that vary wildly in style and scale, touching on magic, myth, music, love and house fires.

The second in our series on emerging Taranaki artists.

Duration: 00:52:48 | Date: 16 November, 2019

RH Morrieson Award_Winning Stories

“Writing offers the writer a way of shaping their existence, and passing on value. It helps people identify with others, and shapes a community by voicing hopes, ideals and realities. We are richer for hearing these stories, and our community is richer for gathering them.”

Those are the words of celebrated librarian and organiser of the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Awards, Pam Jones.
In today’s episode, hear this year's winning research article and short stories, with comments and writing tips from judges, Dame Fiona Kidman and Matt Rilkoff.

Duration: 00:59:28 | Date: 9 November, 2019

Emerging Artist Stu Tullett Morris

“(Art is) something that comes so naturally to me that I never question it -- like a lot of people wouldn’t question eating, or going for a walk. It’s something that’s just part of your life,” says artist and musician Stu Tullett Morris. His paintings deliberately entertain naivety, becoming psychedelic, character-filled fests of movement in oil pastel, house paint and other media. Our first in a series focusing on emerging artists in Taranaki.

Duration: 00:52:11 | Date: 2 November, 2019

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku Fiona Clark

Emeritus Professor and legend of Māori Feminist and Takatāpui (~LGBTQ) activism, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, and photographer Fiona Clark, reminisce about the bedsheet protests, rants in the quad, pose-striking and colourful queer characters of their student days at Auckland Uni in the early 1970s. You'll laugh and cry.

Duration: 00:56:37 | Date: 26 October, 2019

Embroidery Playing the Long Game

“In today’s world, with all the pressure that people have… we need to take a step back, and find something slow,” says embroiderer Maree Burnnand. That’s probably why a surprising number of young people -- boys and girls -- are taking up embroidery in 2019. Meanwhile, embroiderers like Maree break the mould. We caught up with some stitchers at the opening of the 'Stitched Treasures' exhibition at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Whakaahurangi / Stratford, and asked about their process, and their patience.

Duration: 00:59:45 | Date: 19 October, 2019

Emerging Artists Exhibition Space at ART

We chat with curator Wayne Morris about a new space in Top Town, Ngāmotu/New Plymouth, dedicated to showing work by emerging artists, and supporting them on their journey with help writing artist statements and biographies, and interviews.

Duration: 00:57:25 | Date: 12 October, 2019

Roger Morris and the Expansive Universe

"This is our one shot. This is it. We’re alive, and struggling to figure out a world around us that’s huge, and complex.”
Deep in the Taranaki countryside, Roger Morris is making prints and paintings addressing some of the most controversial issues of our time -- The Great Conspiracies. But it's not turtles all the way down, we also talk about the complex reputation of drugs and alcohol in the creative process, and the value of boredom.
Includes music by Joni Mitchell, Boards of Canada, Red Snapper, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Duration: 01:00:08 | Date: 28 September, 2019

About SpiegelFest

What's the secret to organising a successful festival? It's not what most people think, says Suzanne Porter of TAFT. We're chatting today about what's on at November's Spiegel Fest, what goes on behind the scenes and how they build great relationships with performers.

Duration: 00:49:19 | Date: 21 September, 2019

Stratford's Best Kept Secret

"For peace of mind I think it's really, really important for people to find something (creative) to do, and to give themselves permission to do it."
Sue Hogan found making crafts lifted her spirits when job-hunting left her feeling frustrated and depressed. She started Verdigris Creative Studio as a gallery and workshop space in Whakaahurangi / Stratford to share her skills, and help others make time for themselves.

Duration: 00:59:32 | Date: 7 September, 2019

National Poetry Day and the Pole of Consent

On National Poetry Day, 23 August, a great crowd gathered at Koru on Devon gallery in Ngāmotu / New Plymouth for the first -- but not the last! -- 'Logo Malarchy' open mic poetry night.
Poets from around the province and the country spoke of road trips, wet cats, saying no, love, death, race, homelessness, online dating and more.

Duration: 00:59:55 | Date: 31 August, 2019

Ans Westra and Adrienne Jansen on Documenting Muslim New Zealanders

Ans Westra in conversation with writer Adrienne Jansen, and Maya Al-Fayyad -- representing the Taranaki Muslim community. They talk about the people in the photographs, how 15 March has changed New Zealand, and how Islamophobia spreads.
Ans Westra grew up in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It was against this backdrop of forced monoculturalism she began to yearn to know more about other cultures. Ultimately, she would come to New Zealand and take world-famous photographs in Māori communities, and those that form the exhibition now on at Percy Thomson Gallery in Whakaahurangi (Stratford) - The Crescent Moon: The Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand.

Duration: 00:57:10 | Date: 24 August, 2019

Body Builders and Highland Dancers, with Fiona Clark

Fiona Clark never throws anything away.
Cuttings, certificates, snapshots and even shoes come together to make Raw Materials -- Clark's exhibition just opened at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre - a veritable treasure trove archive of photography, film, dance, body building and history.

Duration: 00:59:34 | Date: 17 August, 2019

Sugar Loafing on Art Theft

There’s more than one way to steal art.
We look at everything from elaborate art heists like the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery, to forgery, Nazi plunder, misappropriation of cultural artefacts by museums and galleries who sell, but don’t pay up.
You may be surprised to learn how much art crime happens in New Zealand. We delve into some of cases featured in Penelope Jackson’s book, Art thieves, fakers & fraudsters: the New Zealand story.

Duration: 01:00:09 | Date: 3 August, 2019

Koru On Devon With Fay Looney And Linda McFetridge

Fay Looney popped in to Brownson's Jewellers one day to get a string of pearls fixed. A conversation happened and soon, Koru on Devon gallery was moving into that amazing space, just opposite Peggy Gordons. A massive effort involved dozens of local artists lifting, hammering, painting and plastering, but Fay and Linda McFetridge say it's just the beginning of their vision to build the Taranaki arts scene.

We also hear about Fay's journey to her celebrated photography career, Fay and Linda's tips on artists to watch, and hear awesome new music from Ché Rogers.

Duration: 01:00:22 | Date: 20 July, 2019

Kayla Upton - Bronze Sculptor

Explore bronze casting, occultism, tarot and the Judaic Kaballah Tree of Life as we interview New Plymouth-based artist and polymath Kayla Upton. Not to be missed.

Duration: 00:59:02 | Date: 13 July, 2019

Redecorating Taranaki

Medals, trophies, merits, stars and bars... there's lots of 'decorations' (awards), but is there one for the person, and the mahi, you value most?

The Redecorating Taranaki project asks about the people and the acts of love, kindness, humility, humour, empathy -- anything! -- you think deserve to be recognised. Ideas will inspire 10 new pieces of contemporary memorability to be part of Puke Ariki's collection.

Sam and Jen, of The Jewel and the Jeweller, talk more about the project in our latest episode.

Duration: 00:58:13 | Date: 29 June, 2019

Ronald Hugh Morrieson Awards 2019

Writers and poets, listen in for tips from the judges of this year's Ronald Hugh Morrieson awards, passed on by organiser Pam Jones of #SouthTaranaki Libraries. We also read a beautiful, sad story from one of last year's winners that you'll really want to hear.

Duration: 00:58:53 | Date: 22 June, 2019

Having Your Own Open Studio

Artists who had an open studio as part of the Taranaki Arts Trail this weekend just been, have shared their tips or thoughts, e.g. what they learned, how they prepared

Duration: 01:00:11 | Date: 15 June, 2019

Taranaki Arts Trail

The Taranaki Arts Trail 2019: Interviews with three artists, Jeanette Benton, Misun Kim and Joshua Sands - Artist, who all had exhibitions or open studios over the Arts Trail weekend.

Duration: 00:58:26 | Date: 8 June, 2019

Rohan Wealleans

Rohan Wealleans - keeper of the sisyphus

Duration: 00:59:24 | Date: 1 June, 2019

Janine Randerson, Weather Artist

Duration: 00:59:26 | Date: 25 May, 2019

Vicarious art_Musings

In today's episode of Sugar Loafing Arts Cast, we vicariously muse on a range of artists, including
- London based duo, Miss Bugs
- Miroslaw Balka from Poland
- New York performance artist Claire Zakiewicz

Duration: 00:58:00 | Date: 18 May, 2019

Whare Kahurangi Pukeariki

Puke Ariki curator Chanelle Carrick takes us on a tour of the Whare Kahurangi exhibition, marking 100 years since the museum opened.
It looks at some of the big questions museums face. What should they collect? What shouldn't they? Should conservators open a sealed collection of papers marked 'private'? Should taonga Māori (Māori art and valued objects) be returned to iwi? Do the people of Taranaki really need a stuffed Canadian badger?

Duration: 00:57:37 | Date: 4 May, 2019

Nicolas Paris

"In Nicolás Paris’s exhibition What connects us at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth, sudden gardens appear beneath floorboards and take the place of stairs. Huge logs of driftwood charge through the air as if carried by unseen water..."

In this episode we interview Colombian artist and artist in residence at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre, Nicolás Paris. We discuss his public programme here in Taranaki, working with schools, teachers and his philosophical investigations into the learning process, nature, art and contemporary life.

Duration: 01:00:02 | Date: 26 April, 2019

Paul X Walsh on Street Art

The Sugar Loafers talk with stand-out street artist Paul X Walsh about the process of creating those large-scale paintings, Paul's journey into the art form and what you need to give it a go.

Duration: 00:59:15 | Date: 20 April, 2019

What Is Your Go To Art?

Dave asks strangers on #NewPlymouth's #CoastalWalkway about their recent art experiences. Really interesting answers!

Duration: 01:00:11 | Date: 13 April, 2019

Who Was Joyce Young?

Joyce was a Taranaki ceramic, paint and pastel artist who tirelessly taught, supported and promoted other artists -- a linchpin of the arts community.
We interview Joyce's son Ralph, daughter-in-law Sue and grandson Geoffrey on her life, creative processes and inspirations.

Duration: 01:00:00 | Date: 30 March, 2019


The Sugar Loafers (Dave and Suraya) reflect on Womad 2019. They describe the whole thing for folks who've never been, share music from the artists they especially enjoyed and give you their Top 10 Tips for an awesome Womad.

Duration: 00:57:35 | Date: 23 March, 2019

The Creative Process

Duration: 01:00:05 | Date: 16 March, 2019


In today's show we're excited to showcase local Taranaki tech wizards 'Playcycle', Che Rogers and Peter Heard. We visit their studio in New Plymouth and get an in-depth tour of their rigs and musical dynamics. We talk about their experiences within the New Zealand festival scene and their #experimentalvideo work and collaborations with #videoartists such as Dwayne Duthie.

Duration: 00:59:35 | Date: 9 March, 2019

Why Watercolour? with Joni Murphy

A chat with watercolour artist and teacher Joni Murphy about why watercolours are an amazing medium, and how you can get started.

Duration: 00:59:29 | Date: 2 March, 2019

Paul Hutchinson Volker Hawighorst

A walk around Paul Hutchinson's exhibition "Back up" Koru on Devon.
Volker Hawighorst's Best Before exhibition, also at Koru on Devon. Hear how Volker got hold of thousands of tags, and how he's been inspired by John Coltrane, prime numbers and more.

Duration: 00:59:29 | Date: 23 February, 2019

Dave in Studio

Dave Le Fleming shares some thoughts in his studio about painting and his forth coming exhibition in Wellington, Original Myth

Duration: 00:59:52 | Date: 9 February, 2019

Karen Standke

Interview with Melbourne-based NZ-Australian-German landscape artist Karen Standke. She speaks about how her stunning landscapes explore environmental and political issues.

Duration: 01:03:42 | Date: 2 February, 2019

Tapestry, Witchcraft - Polly Lind

We chat with Wellington-based, Taranaki-raised modern applique tapestry artist Polly about:
- The slippery slope from practising witchcraft to textile art
- How not to make shorty pyjamas
- Geriatric cat care
- Decolonisation, appropriation and paganism
- How ‘Indie art’ finds its audience.
With music from Florence and the Machine, Grace VanderWaal, Tori Amos and The Bats.

Duration: 01:02:23 | Date: 26 January, 2019


Art inspired by LGBTQ+ life in New Plymouth in the 1990s
We interview Shannon Novak, whose exhibition 17 years reflects on growing up gay in New Plymouth in the 80s and 90s. We follow the story through the art, talking about religion, the social role of cruising spots, recording LGBTQ+ history and how the internet changed everything.

We also talk with photographer Fiona Clark about her photographs documenting New Plymouth's LGBTQ+ history, especially 47 St Aubyn Street, home of support groups and magical parties.

Duration: 01:01:46 | Date: 19 January, 2019

Art Education in NZ

What was art at school like for you? Did it build your confidence in your own creativity and inspire you to explore arts more? Or did it make you feel the arts were only for a few special, talented people?

David Le Fleming tracks down his high school art teacher Sue Artner to find out what was behind the art education that made such an impact on him.

Duration: 01:03:39 | Date: 12 January, 2019

I am Woman

You'll be guided through the stunning I Am Woman exhibition at Percy Thomson Gallery by curator Rhonda Bunyan and hear from painter Fern Petrie in depth about her paintings. I Am Woman marks 125 years if women's suffrage in New Zealand, and we talk about why exhibitions like this help tell important and often little-told stories, new and old.

Duration: 01:04:49 | Date: 22 December, 2018


It's about improvised music and features:
- an interview with Berlin-based innovator Taishi Nagasaka,
- 9-year-old neighbour Madeline reflects on her first jamming experience
- live jam recordings and some other great music
- 8 tips for an awesome jam
- Dave's cool typewriter samples

Duration: 01:01:04 | Date: 15 December, 2018