La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) is the world’s largest and most prestigious international contemporary art exhibition. Creative New Zealand has been supporting contemporary New Zealand artists to exhibit at the Biennale since 2011. Te Papa engaged Cognition to help ‘put some air under the wings’ of the Biennale, in order to draw national and international attention to New Zealand’s past exhibitions and to herald the 2017 artist Lisa Reihana and her groundbreaking digital artwork, Emissaries.
Cognition was engaged to conceptualise and create a digital learning resource that would provide students and teachers with the opportunity to explore Lisa Reihana’s Emissaries, and delve into the history of past New Zealand artists who have exhibited at this prestigious event. This involved working closely with staff at Te Papa, the Auckland Art Gallery, Creative New Zealand, and the artist herself. Other key stakeholders were the art teachers who will use this resource. The workshop that kicked off the development process was critical to the creation of a website that will engage and inspire teachers and students.
In partnership with staff at Te Papa, Cognition created a website aimed at years 9–13 teachers and students. This resource provides multimedia and curriculum-driven teaching units for the Visual Arts and Social Sciences learning areas. Students can watch interviews with the artist and the New Zealand team in Venice and investigate New Zealand’s previous exhibitions at the Venice Biennale. The website went live on 16 June 2017 and has been receiving positive feedback from the artistic and teaching communities.
“The Venice Biennale resource has gone live today, and looks wonderful. The commissioner of the Venice Biennale was raving about it to the Te Papa Board last week. Great joint project!” – Dale Bailey, Director of Collections, Research and Learning, Te Papa Tongarewa “I just want to congratulate you on a fantastic job done on the Lisa Reihana resource. It’s phenomenal. I haven’t made my way through its entirety because there’s just so much depth, but undoubtedly it is a world-leading resource for arts education. I plan to share it with colleagues in the British Association of Art Historians and with colleagues in New Zealand.” – Clare Chamberlain, Head of Arts, Carmel College, Auckland