Residency stimulating for artistic couple

Henderson House artists-in-residence Kate De Goldi, and Bruce Foster, of Wellington. Photo: Simon Henderson
Henderson House artists-in-residence Kate De Goldi and Bruce Foster, of Wellington. Photo: Simon Henderson
Central Otago is ''like being transported to heaven'' for Wellington couple Kate De Goldi and Bruce Foster, the latest artists-in-residence at Alexandra's Henderson House.

After several weeks in the beautiful mid-century house looking out over the town and the Clutha River, the pair are finding the experience creatively stimulating.

For author De Goldi, writing was an act of exploration and while it was still in her head, there were many connections to be made.

''Of course it is always a work of genius at this point, but once you sit down to write it's very definitely not that.''

Sometime she would write a few chapters then set a story aside.

''I started writing when we had children, so there were inevitably interruptions.''

But she learned over time that having a story idea ''marinate for a long time'' changed it but its essence remained.

There were definitely focused and concentrated periods of time that writers needed to have, but she was happy to ''do a little tango'' with an idea before beginning to type.

For her husband, photographer Bruce Foster, Alexandra and Central Otago was an area that he had explored many times for different projects over the years, including photographing the Cromwell Gorge in 1987 before the creation of Lake Dunstan.

''My first contact with the gorge was as a kid.

''We stayed in some railway carriages in the gorge, just south of Cromwell.''

Later he came to know it and appreciated the ''unique topography''.

Coming back to Central Otago had been an interesting update on those times.

His subjects for photography came about ''quite serendipitously''.

An example was taking part in the school climate strikes in Alexandra during the first week of their residency.

Another was a trip to the Manuherikia Valley during the snowfalls several weeks ago, driving to Falls Dam to film.

''More recently I have been using video more and more''.

The space and scale of the Central Otago landscape was of particular interest, for example the Clutha River, ''this huge swirling blue body of water'' .

Both agreed the people in Alexandra and Central Otago were making it an enjoyable experience.

''We've been meeting some really lovely people, who are very engaged in community,'' Foster said.

Henderson Arts Trust chairman Grahame Sydney said they were the 14th and 15th residents at Henderson House.

Plans for a major landscaping project were still some way off.

''We are trending cautiously towards speaking to possible designers, gathering ideas, and then selecting the right team for the job.''

Funds from the sale of an adjoining property not needed by the trust would be put towards the landscaping project.

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