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Sugar Loafing Arts Cast

Sugar Loafing Arts Cast showcases the diversity of arts in Taranaki and beyond. Hosted by Mikaela Nyman

Airing time: Saturdays, 11am

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

Sugar Loafing Arts Cast showcases the diversity of arts in Taranaki and beyond. Host Mikaela Nyman interviews artists, creative makers, writers and curators, and delves into art ideas and mediums, discussing a wide range of themes, such as decolonisation in New Zealand and Pacific art and literature, how to find inspiration, and the beauty of collaboration with other creative souls across art disciplines.

The fundamental idea of this podcast is to showcase arts and creativity and to inspire. Do you have a creative passion or want to share your ideas? Feel free to contact Mikaela on [email protected]


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To download the latest episode: Click on the kiwifruit to go to the Sugar Loafing Arts Cast show page on the site:   download this show here

Click on the title of an episode to listen

Alice Cowdrey

Textile artist Alice Cowdrey specialises in needle felting and runs workshops under her Folk Felt name. Her work tells stories that draw on her Eastern European ancestry, myth, spirituality and queerness.

Duration: 00:56:16 | Date: 3 June, 2023

Janet Price - Disability Art

Disability Arts question the limitations society puts on people’s bodies and minds. Janet Price talks about equitable access, her advocacy for disabled artists and how to get artists and galleries to consider how they display their work to make art accessible for as many as possible in our community.

Duration: 00:55:17 | Date: 27 May, 2023

Marilyn Rea-Menzies

Marilyn Rea-Menzies is an amazing tapestry, painting, drawing and mixed-media artist. Her work has been commissioned for Government House. She is currently showing work at the blue studio gallery in Opunake; the exhibition ‘Extinction is Forever’ ends on 29 May.

Duration: 00:55:20 | Date: 20 May, 2023

Alice Te Punga Somerville

Alice (Te Āti Awa, Taranaki) is a scholar, writer and a finalist in the Ockham Book Awards with her first poetry collection Always Italicise: How to Write While Colonised. Alice shares insights into her journey and an unpublished poem especially written for Taranaki.

Duration: 57:32 | Date: 13 May, 2023

Alastair Ross and Film Festivals

Films and the upcoming film festivals at the Len Lye Cinema are the focus this week. Mikaela talks to cinema programmer Alastair Ross about the difference between arthouse films and blockbusters, and what makes a film memorable and Alastair shares some favourite music - with a film angle, of course.

Duration: 00:58:19 | Date: 6 May, 2023

Rachel Buchanan

Historian Dr Rachel Buchanan (Te Ātiawa, Taranaki) talks about Te Motunui Epa, a finalist in the Ockham Book Awards for illustrated non-fiction. Carved between 1750 and 1820, buried in a Taranaki swamp, illegally sold and smuggled offshore in 1972 - the story of the five epa features kidnapping, ransom payment and high-level politics that changed international law on the protection and repatriation of stolen cultural treasures.

Duration: 00:50:02 | Date: 29 April, 2023

Cherol Filbee

Hāwera artist and marionette maker Cherol Filbee shares all the tricks of the trade and the joy that goes into making marionettes and performing with ‘The Interluders’ at the Hāwera Repertory.

Duration: 00:53:34 | Date: 22 April, 2023

Lesley Dowding

Lesley Dowding is the Artspace artist in April. She talks about how her love for stage craft, photography and stained glass windows has influenced her current exhibition.

Duration: 00:43:52 | Date: 15 April, 2023

Paul Rangiwahia

Artist and well-being advocate Paul Rangiwahia uses words and images to manage his personal wellbeing. He talks about investing in yourself and his latest resources.

Duration: 00:50:22 | Date: 8 April, 2023

WOMAD Poetry Slam

This week’s Sugar Loafing Arts Cast is a WOMAD Poetry Slam special! Mikaela talks to local poets Anne Bayliss and Warren Smart in the lead-up to WOMAD. Warren ended up in the final two against Paekākāriki poet Kerry Dalton. Poet Laureate Chris Tse offers some useful tips and advice on what he is looking for in poetry, both spoken and in print.

Duration: 00:45:47 | Date: 1 April, 2023

Helen McLorinan & Kerilyn Douwes

When does a hobby become a job? Helen McLorinan Artist and Kerilyn Douwes talk about time management, pricing art, consistency of income and how their visual arts practice in painting and pewter has evolved.

Duration: 00:58:30 | Date: 25 March, 2023

Frances Rookes & Mikaela Nyman

Michelle Bent talks to the March ARTspace artists Frances Rookes and Mikaela Nyman about their joint exhibition of 2D prints and 3D knitted wire bodies, about things hidden within, body shaming, loss and the shadows they carry around - or, in this case, put on the wall.

Duration: 00:58:38 | Date: 18 March, 2023

Parihaka Biochar Event

Huhana Smith and Monique Jansen from the artists collective Te Waituhi ā Nuku: Drawing Ecologies and Phil Stevens from Slow Farm talk about biochar as a practical and creative response to climate change at a biochar burning event at Parihaka māra.

Duration: 00:41:09 | Date: 11 March, 2023

Heidi Griffin

Heidi Griffin, Chair of the Taranaki Arts Trail, gives us the ins and outs of the Taranaki Arts Trail which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Deadline for registering: 31 March.

Duration: 00:53:59 | Date: 4 March, 2023

Dave 'Tex' Smith

Dave ‘Tex’ Smith talks about innovation and collaboration, his digital art, building on indigenous story-telling, turning museums inside out and a new type of social media platform.

Duration: 00:56:23 | Date: 25 February, 2023

Ruha Fifita

Ruha Fifita talks about the extensive research and collaboration that goes into making tapa art on a large scale. Ruha’s work ‘Lototō’ can be seen in Te Au: Liquid Constituencies at Govett Brewster Art Gallery and in the spectacular retrospective Robin White: Te Whanaketanga | Something is Happening Here in Auckland. She is the Curatorial Assistant for Pacific Art at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Duration: 00:58:07 | Date: 18 February, 2023

Jennifer Corbett

Jennifer Corbett is the February ARTspace artist. She talks about coming back to art as an adult, her Tourist Birds illustrations for her children’s books, and running after-school art classes in Waverley and Patea.

Duration: 00:54:26 | Date: 11 February, 2023


Printmaking is the focus for this week. Mikaela talks to Dimphy de Vaan, Mark Raymer and Michaela Stoneman about Print Council Aotearoa NZ and the publication of PROOF – Two decades of printmaking in Aotearoa.

Duration: 00:50:47 | Date: 4 February, 2023

Laura Campbell and Getting Exhibition Ready

Laura Campbell, Director of Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford, talks with Mikaela about the practicalities involved in presenting art and getting exhibition ready, as well as the duty of care for both artists and gallery.

Duration: 00:56:22 | Date: 28 January, 2023

Te Kupenga Stone Carving

Acclaimed sculptors Renate Verbrugge and Jocelyn Pratt talk about this year’s Te Kupenga Stone Sculpture Symposium and their process for transforming hard andesite into playful, sensuous sculptures that defy gravity.

Duration: 00:59:29 | Date: 21 January, 2023

Marita Green Potter

Mikaela talks with potter Marita Green about pricing work and attaching value to art and craft. Pricing is a big challenge for many creative people, but an integral part of being a full-time artist.

Duration: 1:00:16 | Date: 14 January, 2023