The invitation

Dear …………………………


(artist, friend or friend of artists / Whitireia NZ tutor, student or past student / Handshaker, exHandshaker or person otherwise associated with the Handshake project / member of Occupation: Artist or The See Here)

My apologies for the group email, but I have an idea for a sweet secret project, and time is of the essence.

I am writing to you because you have an association with Vivien Atkinson, or because you may simply wish to be involved in a wildly extravagant gesture…

You may be aware that for several years Vivien has contributed her time and energy to Whitireia’s BAppA Visual Arts programme and to the wider art and jewellery community.

Vivien and Whitireia

Viv graduated from Whitireia’s BA jewellery programme in 2007. With that study and her prior BFA from Massey and MFA from RMIT she had a thorough understanding of the course’s contemporary Fine Art context and could see what she could add. Since then she has continued her involvement with the Visual Arts department through a series of fellowships and residencies which have enabled her to support and enrich the offerings of the teaching team.

Her contributions include:

  • developing and delivering lectures, especially contextual practice/conceptual studio
  • sharing her extensive art knowledge in tutorials and seminars
  • relief coverage, enabling tutors to fulfill research requirements
  • participating in formatives and feedback sessions
  • one-to-one mentoring and student support
  • providing a continuing source of inspiration through the pursuit of her own profound practice

Vivien and the broader stage

Viv is an unstintingly generous host. By opening up her home she has enabled many out-of-town and international artists to present at conferences and teach at masterclasses in Wellington without incurring prohibitive accommodation costs. Sometimes this has involved simultaneous multiple visitors, for a week at a time.

Other contributions of time and energy have included:

  • member of organising committee and invited presenter, Jemposium, Wellington 2013
  • advisory role, mentee support and invited speaker in the Handshake programme
  • JemTalk, invited speaker, Wellington 2015
  • Co-founding member of The See Here and Occupation: Artist

Let’s acknowledge Vivien’s commitment to our community

My idea is this:

We who have benefitted from Viv’s input over the years secretly create an instant Private Collection, by each gifting a piece of our work (can be an existing piece, or specially made, it’s up to you).

The Whitireia Amumni show opens at Pataka on 10 November, and at some point in the opening event the Dean of the faculty says a few words then –  ta da! – we reveal an a m a z i n g collection of work, which Viv gets to take home with her at the end of the evening….

We’ll document the project, photographing work as it comes in and recording the ‘reveal’, to create an online catalogue.

Participation is of course entirely voluntary, and it really is the thought that counts; I know everyone is busy. If you have zero time you can still join in with a personal message of thanks.

If you’re keen, please email with a YES in the subject line, and I’ll add you to the email list. If not, no worries; simply send a NO and I promise not to pester.

I have tried to include everyone with a connection to Viv, but her reach is broad… If you find that someone has missed out, please let me know and I will follow up!

Thanks everyone, happy making

Sarah Read, class of 2010 Whitireia NZ
(,+64 27 226 5736)

If you want to verify this project, please contact the Dean of Faculty of Arts, Kaye Jujnovich:k.jujnovich@ 0800 944 847