Ka emiemi expresses the act of being assembled, to be gathered together, and responds to the PQ23 curatorial call to imagine a post-pandemic future through performance design and scenography that attends to and creates moments of connectedness after prolonged experience of isolation. NZPQ23 Ka emiemi has gathered a group of performance designers, live and theatre artists and scenographers  to co-create the Countries/Regions (National) exhibition offering. NZPQ23 National Exhibition explores the collaborative, multi-disciplinary practice of performance designers and artists in Aotearoa New Zealand who work across a range of media, spaces and platforms and acknowledges the presence and importance of collaborative and co-creation approaches to the work of those in this field. 

NZPQ23 is an opportunity for artists/designers who work in similar areas to create something together led by design and art practice. Our making process has been informed by reflection and discussion on the following themes and concerns: 

  • the ways our position within Te Moana Nui a Kiwa reflect our art making practices
  • emerging practices of blended physical and digital space as a modes of creation and presentation
  • the role of performance design and live art practices in addressing power structures and systems


Jesse Austin-Stewart – Sound Designer

Jesse Austin-Stewart (he/him) is a composer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Aotearoa NZ. Jesse is the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Springboard Recipient 2022. He is a composer, sound artist, producer, and academic and is completing his PhD at Massey University exploring issues of accessibility within spatial audio. Jesse creates works that explore ways to make the field of spatial audio more inclusive. He works as a dance composer, collaborating with Footnote New Zealand Dance, Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney, Lauren Langlois, and Kota Yamazaki. In his installation and performance practice he has previous and upcoming local projects at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Auckland Arts Festival, The Performance Arcade, Toi Pōneke, Wellington Museum, Audio Foundation, Pyramid Club, The Engine Room, Aotearoa Audio Arts Festival,  and play_station gallery. Jesse has exhibited in Australia, United States, Czechia, Greece, France, Sweden, Japan, Germany, England, Ireland.

“Much of my work explores the way sound interacts within space, particularly within an installation context. The aesthetic of my work often looks at ways texture can be used to surround the audience, opening and closing spaces.”

Frankie Berge – Art Director / Filmmaker

Frankie Berge is a Pōneke based graduate of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand National Drama School (BPA 2016). Here she discovered an eye for design, and a drive for cinematic art forged from her two loves – Acting and Fine Art. Frankie has been working as a designer, actor and filmmaker across Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke in both established productions and guerilla start ups. Frankie has vast experience working across the Film, TV and TVC sector of Poneke; Art Department credits include two seasons of Wellington Paranormal, Going Going and On set Art Director for Millie Lies Low, Michelle Saville’s debut feature film. In between she has honed her craft and specific voice within self funded guerilla films which has been a great playground for working with minimal resources to accomplish polished and highly potent design and visuals. As a polymath artist Frankie’s work can be seen in cinema and TV, onstage, online or in a gallery.

Charley Draper – Creative Technologist

Charley works across video design for live events, film production and emerging technologies. Recently he has been based in Dubai, working in Al Wasl Plaza at the World Expo 2020 – the world’s largest fixed projection installation. He has produced projection designs for Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand Festival, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, Circa Theatre and Footnote Dance company. His video works have featured in multiple light festivals, as well as represented New Zealand at the Prague Quadrennial (Czech Republic). Charley will annually VJ at festivals including Bay Dreams Festival, One Love Festival and Rhythm & Vines Festival. As a Production Technician for Streamliner Productions he worked for clients including; Coral (Avatar sequels), A24/Apple TV, World of Wearable Arts. Charley formerly worked at Massey University as a Multimedia Technician and has regularly taught Design at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, from where he was a 2015 graduate.

Micheal McCabe – Architectural Designer

Micheal is a Filipino-Pākehā designer and educator based in Tāmaki Makaurau. He lectures at AUT Huri te ao hoahoanga and collaborates with public arts organisations, galleries and theatre companies to create engaging, dynamic and socially engaged work. His most recent work includes ; Twin Cultivation (Rosabel Tan & Cindy Huang, 2022), Twisting, turning, winding: Takatāpui + queer objects (Objectspace), Toro Whakaara (Objectspace & CoCA, 2021-2022), Hīnātore: A Love Story: Ron Te Kawa (Objectspace & CoCA, 2021), Pork & Poll Taxes (Oriental Maidens & Oryza, 2021) Te Whare Kapua (Massive Theatre Company, 2021), Upu (Silo Theatre 2020), Deadweight Loss (Objectspace, 2020), Queer Pavillion (Collaborative Project, 2020), The Blind Date Project (Silo Theatre 2019) and A Fine Balance (Auckland Theatre Company, 2019)

“I have drawn from my practice as an architectural designer and educator to work across conceptual development and project delivery. My computer aided design practices have helped support the collaborative exchange between structure, material and atmospheric performance.”

Terri Ripeka Crawford (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Ngai Tuhoe) – Dance Artist

Terri is a New Zealand based practitioner, choreographer, and facilitator of contemporised Māori song and dance. She has worked nationally and internationally in many capacities with choreographers and artists. Major project is the development of Goddess, a Dance Opera in te Reo Māori. In 2000, Terri worked with choreographer Alejandro Ronciera in the creation of Aboriginal dance opera Bones (Banff Centre) for the Arts CA. Dancer with Lemi Ponifasio’s Mau Dance Theatre at Paradise, Venice Biennale 2003; Ocean Inside the Body Papeete 2003; Requiem New Crowned Hope Festival 2006; London International Festival of the Arts 2007; Mostly Mozart Festival, New York 2008, NZ Arts Fest 2020. Terri has facilitated Wānanga Te Rea – Performance Innovations Platform 2004 under Te Ope o Rehua, Toi Māori Aotearoa. From 2001–2010, Terri was a lecturer at University of Waikato, School of Māori and Pacific Development focused on contemporary Māori dance technique, choreography, and allied art forms.

Hannah Smith – Theatre Deviser / Designer

Hannah is a Te Whanganui-a-tara based creator, director, designer and producer who grew up in Ōtepoti (Dunedin). She started making up plays with her friends as a child, and she has never stopped. She has an honours degree in English and Theatre from Victoria University of Wellington. She received a nomination for Most Promising Director at the 2011 Wellington Theatre Awards, and received the same award in 2013 for The Road That Wasn’t There. She has a background in puppetry and paper-art, and her work with Trick of the Light has been performed around Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the UK, USA, Canada and South Africa.

“For the last decade I have been running a theatre company making original works and touring them around Aotearoa and the world. I love light and shadow, both literally, and tonally – and have really enjoyed exploring the serious side and finding the levity in this project.  One of my favourite things about theatre is the collaborative nature of the practise and that has been forefront through out this process.”

Paula van Beek – Artist / Arts Educator

Paula van Beek is a performance maker passionate about exploring new forms for creative work. Her practice incorporates theatre and live art strategies with a focus on emergent technologies and interdisciplinary collaborations. She has worked widely in the performing arts sector in Australia and Aotearoa in performance, dramaturgy and design to make works in car parks, theatres, hallways, galleries, riverbanks and online. She founded award-winning theatre company Open Book and worked as Programme Manager at BATS Theatre in the early 2000s. Paula has a BA in Theatre and Film from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University, a Graduate Diploma in Animateuring from VCA School of Performing Arts, Melbourne University, and a MFA from RMIT, Melbourne. She teaches in the Stage and Screen programme at Te Auaha in Wellington. Recent projects include a livestreamed event in collaboration with Wētā FX and the remount of  Audio Tour in Performance Arcade’s ‘best of’ 10-year anniversary festival in 2021.

“I am always looking for new frames and forms for arts projects. With a background in performance making and lighting design I apply my diverse skills in dramaturgy and image making to create and collaborate on live art outcomes. From conceptual conversations to learning about compressed air systems I have found intersections with my co-creators to collide and extend our working practices.” 

Nick Zwart – Installation Artist / Woodworker

Nick is based in Lyttelton, NZ. He recently completed his MFA and is a co-founder of The Stoot, an artist-led studio space, workshop and gallery. His woodwork utilises features embedded in reclaimed material to inform shape and function. His installations are a celebration of process and the act of making.

“My practice is informed by an interest in performative mechanics and woodworking. These passions are informed by the conceptual, structural and material investigations into these materials and our shifting relationships to them.”

Meg Rollandi (Curator)

Meg is a multi-award winning performance designer, live art and performance maker based in Aotearoa. She is a Senior Lecturer in Spatial Design at Massey University, and is the NZ National Curator for PQ23. Her creative practice is interdisciplinary and collaborative, engaging with queer theory, design-led devising processes and mediated live performance. Meg’s work has toured NZ, Australia, Europe and Asia. Highlights include Production Designer of Year (WTA 2021), co-creation of Terrapolis, multi-award winning Standard Acts, and Working on My Night Moves by Julia Croft & Nisha Madhan (winner, Total Theatre Award 2019 Edinburgh) at Melbourne Rising 2022 and Now 20 Festival London 2020. She has exhibited in the NZ National Exhibition, curated the NZ Emerging Designers exhibition at The Prague Quadrennial 2019 and was selected for Arts House Melbourne’s TPS Nomad residency 2018. She has presented work in the NZ Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, Performance Arcade and received multiple STAB commissions.

Stuart Foster (Commissioner)

Stuart is a Spatial Designer and Senior Lecturer in Spatial Design at Massey University. He works with a range of digital technologies that perform as mediators between people, space and place. Presented in public and/or site-specific environments, his practice is focused on the communication of cultural and social connectedness through the innovative use of digital technology, interdisciplinary aesthetics and ritual performance that transgress geographic distance while maintaining the integrity of cultural significance and meaning. Stuart’s creative works and collaborations have been presented in multiple exhibitions and festivals, including the Pictures in Motion exhibition Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2016), Switzerland, European Heritage Days, Abbaye de Noirlac, France (2016), NZPQ, Prague, Czech Republic (2011-19), Astrolabe Whakaterenga Singapore National Museum (2020). Stuart had key roles as a Spatial Designer for the Massey University marae project opened in March 2021(Te Rau Karamu Marae).