Wild Creations is a collaboration between DOC and Creative New Zealand that gives New Zealand artists the chance to be inspired by our unique natural and historic heritage.

Wild Creations | Inspiring conservation experiences.

About the programme

Wild Creations gives artists the chance to experience New Zealand’s unique nature through a variety of conservation experiences.

The programme supports a minimum of two projects and gives artists the opportunity to get into nature through a DOC experience between 14 February 2020 and 14 February 2021. Successful applicants will engage in a conservation experience and create work based on this.

Participants will take part in one of the following types of conservation-related experiences:

  • experience of a place of particular significance to Māori
  • a community group/volunteering/immersion experience
  • an Iwi engagement experience
  • a historic icon site experience
  • a threatened species experience
  • an island experience
  • a coastal experience
  • an urban experience
  • a remote experience.

DOC will work with the selected artists to develop the scope of each experience.

The selected artists will be expected to create new work that reflects and builds on their experience, telling the conservation story and enriching New Zealanders’ lives through connection to our nature and heritage.

Purpose of the programme

The programme will:

  • foster links between the conservation and arts communities
  • provide new ways to connect New Zealanders to conservation
  • promote a wider understanding of conservation values and awareness of conservation issues
  • provide New Zealand artists with opportunities to experience the people, stories and challenges associated with our country's unique natural and historic heritage
  • enable artists to develop arts projects based on conservation experiences.

Project priorities

Projects must demonstrate an awareness of conservation and achieve one, or more, of the following:

  • contributing to the conservation story
  • enriching New Zealanders’ lives through connection to our nature and heritage
  • including a perspective of Mātauranga Māori, iwi engagement or telling the story of places of particular significance to Māori
  • telling the story of historic sites through the artwork.

Apply for funding

For more information and how to apply visit the Creative New Zealand website.

2019 artists and projects

Urban / Environment

Joel Baxendale & Oliver Devlin

Joel and Oliver will create an audio-visual led walk along the Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington harbour) waterfront. Their project aims to disrupt the boundary between urban and natural environments, challenging how we think, act and appreciate these spaces. Audio visual captured at Kapiti Island will be used on the smartphones which will guide the audience on their way. The kaupapa of their work is to explore and re-imagine the historical environment of Whanganui-a-Tara and see and hear how it has been modified by humans over time into the current landscape. 


Terri Te Tau

Kōhuia is a visual art and speculative fiction project exploring how gene editing technologies might be used in conservation and biodiversity loss. Terri Te Tau will investigate the complex relationships between DNA, whakapapa, authenticity and possible interactions for Mātauranga Māori. The project will be conducted at the Pūkaha Forest National Wildlife Centre, a conservation reserve in northern Wairarapa. 

A lens-based exploration into the alpine environments and communities of club ski fields

Bridget Reweti

Visual artist Bridget Reweti will engage with the active alpine communities of Aotearoa / New Zealand's 11 club ski fields, situated on diverse mountains in the North and South Islands. The fields are home to native flora and fauna, some of which species are endemic to only one area. Working alongside club members, Bridget aims to record and highlight the knowledge, passion and connection each club has with alpine areas.  Her work will also aid an understanding of current snow decline and what ‘above the bushline’ may look like in the future.

Previous artists and projects


Jonathan Carson: A research and writing project in Whanganui focusing on the recent change of legal status of the Whanganui River to that of an individual, resulting in an online digital artwork.

Michel Tuffery: A research into pelagic birds at Taiaroa Heads and Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui Stewart Island, resulting in multiple artworks and community engagement projects.

Shelly Simpson: Research and record five ex-mining sites on Stewart Island to create an immersive virtual reality artwork for exhibition around New Zealand.

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