The project team


Graham Bennett (sculptor)

Graham Bennett is a Christchurch based artist who has executed a number of large-scale public sculptures, the best known in Christchurch include Reasons for Voyaging (Christchurch Art Gallery gateway sculpture) and the Tribute to Firefighters made from World Trade Centre steel.  Bennett has works in major sculpture parks and collections in New Zealand.  Collaboration, which is integral to his work practice, has led to the exploration of new technologies, the extension of skills, and the pushing of boundaries.  Graham’s experimental approach has seen key temporary installations serve as forerunners to significant new bodies of work; for example, a 20 metre long structure Sea Sky Stone on the Boulder Bank in Nelson, and Latitude installed in the ZAIM Contemporary Art Space in Yokohama. Graham has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a QE2 Arts Council Fellowship and an International Sculpture residency in Seoul, Korea. His art practice of 40 years has involved regular solo exhibitions, including numerous exhibitions in Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea. Participation in many group shows has seen his work exhibited internationally.  For more detail


Eefje Broere (essayist) 

Eefje Broere is a heritage professional from the Netherlands.  Before emigrating to New Zealand in 2016, she worked as a project officer for the heritage foundation Erfgoed Gelderland.  The foundation supports heritage and governmental organizations and companies by consulting on issues such as collections, policy, and marketing, and by helping clients to preserve and share local cultural heritage. She was actively involved in the renowned 2016 international exhibition Hieronymus Bosch-Visions of a genius at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch, The Netherlands.  Eefje holds degrees in cultural anthropology and history from the University of Leiden. She has a particular passion for keeping both tangible and intangible heritage alive, protecting what makes a certain place and its people special, and in this way contributing to the wider community.

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John Freeman-Moir (editor)

John Freeman-Moir recently retired from the University of Canterbury, where he taught in the Faculties of Arts and Education. John is widely published and writes on the visual arts, utopia, and education.  He was formerly a member of Project Zero, the arts, philosophy, and educational research program at Harvard University.

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Nick Gerritsen (events advisor)

Based in the South Island of New Zealand Nick is a catalyst and impact entrepreneur. He loves big ideas – ones that are going to lead to global structural change – and is committed to the culture of innovation, unafraid of operating beyond existing boundaries. He specialises in developing technology propositions from the ground up, and has been one of the leaders promoting New Zealand’s contribution to emerging megatrends such as Clean Technology, the Internet of Things, and GovTech. A Law graduate, Nick and has completed post graduate study at the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership in The Netherlands. During his legal career, he advised leading corporates on intellectual property and later enjoyed a string of successful business ventures, most notably in radio, and software sectors.  He has been a consultant to New Zealand On Air, Radio New Zealand, Te Mangai Paho (the Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency), and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 


Maurice Lye (photographer)

Maurice Lye has been taking photos since the 1970’s. After studying graphic design at Christchurch Technical Institute he worked in the advertising and promotion industry, in both photographic and design roles.  During this period he exhibited photographs and contributed to publications.  A curiosity for the natural and built environment has informed his personal photographic practice. How people affect the environment, the traces they leave, and their response to the biota they co-habit with plants and animals, intrigues him and provides fertile ground for exploration. Currently Maurice is freelancing in Christchurch and he continues to document the often-overlooked nooks and crannies of New Zealand.

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Shelley McMurtrie (ecologist)

Shelley McMurtie is an aquatic ecology scientist with two decades of studying freshwater and estuary ecosystems. In addition to managing the science team at her company EOS Ecology, she has been the ecology lead in key waterway restoration programmes forming a core part of the Christchurch city rebuild, and has led long-term monitoring programmes and ecological investigations. She has authored and edited documents for the restoration and management of urban waterways. Committed not only to taking science into the world’s wild places but also to communicating science to the wider public, Shelley coordinated the largest multidisciplinary expedition to Campbell Island.  She led the Whaka Inaka: Causing Whitebait programme—the most significant initiative of its kind, which provides spawning habitat for inanga and links local communities with their natural treasure. Shelley is passionate about our natural environments and the role humans play as kaitiaki (guardians) of these systems at the interface of land, sea, and sky.


Barbara Speedy (exhibition advisor)

Barbara Speedy is director of The Diversion Gallery, which for 18 years has specialised in contemporary art by nationally prominent New Zealand artists, especially those whose work is underpinned by a philosophy of sustainability and environmental social consciousness.  Formerly a journalist for 20 years, Barbara is also focused on communicating the ideas of our most visionary artists, not only through exhibition but also by promoting wider awareness of their vision through media and connections. She is a communicator of the arts.  Based in Picton, the gallery connects to collectors and followers primarily beyond that region; proof that a strong idea, like an artwork, can transcend boundaries and expectations and link to the wider world.  Her tertiary study embraced the disciplines of science, journalism, and art history which come together best in communicating ideas underpinning artworks by artists who focus on the world's most pressing issues.