City Gallery


Crazy Lady Artists

Sat 5 March, 12–1pm

$19 (NZ Festival partner event)

“Whoa, you crazy lady”

Artists Jo Randerson (Secret Art Powers), Freya Daly Sadgrove (Whole New Woman), Eleanor Bishop and Karin McCracken (Aliens & Anorexia) are at the forefront of some of Aotearoa’s most inventive art-making. For some reason, the patriarchy still likes to brand creative women as ‘crazy’ and those that have made art their career, ‘stalwarts’ and ‘veterans’ as though they’ve stepped onto a battleground littered with the bodies of other women. Claire Mabey speaks with four women who have ambitious and brilliant new works in Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2022 about their work practice and experiences as artists. 

Ka kōrero a Claire Mabey ki ngā wahine nei, tokowhā rātou, ka kōrero rātou mō ngā mahi mīharo e haere ake nei ki te Taurima Toi o Aotearoa Nui Tireni. Ko ēnei wahine tokowhā nei ētehi o ngā kaiwhakahaere o ngā whakaaturanga ka kitea ki te taurima a te tau 2022. 

A My Vaccine Pass will be required upon entry for those ages 12+ from Friday 3 December. Read our COVID-19 guidelines here.

Karin McCracken
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Writer / Performer
Karin McCracken is an award-winning writer and performer. She is the co-creator of Yes Yes Yes (Theatre for Social Change Award, Outstanding Performance Award: Wellington Theatre Awards 2019, Excellence for Overall Production: Auckland Theatre Awards 2019), Standard Acts (Melbourne Tour-Ready Award, NZ Fringe 2021, Best Production Design: Auckland Fringe 2021, Best Live Art: Auckland Fringe 2021), Body Double (STAB Commission 2017, AAF/Silo Theatre 2018, Production of the Year: Wellington Theatre Awards 2017), Jane Doe (Most Original Production: Wellington Theatre Awards 2018, Critics Choice Award: Sydney Fringe 2018), and It’s A Trial! (Barbarian Productions/Binge Culture, Most Original Production: Wellington Theatre Awards 2016).  She is currently adapting the Chris Kraus novel Aliens & Anorexia with Eleanor Bishop, which is set to premiere at the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts in 2022. Karin previously practised as a lawyer and is a specialist sexual violence prevention educator. 

Jo Randerson
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Writer and theatre-maker Jo Randerson is the founder and artistic director of Barbarian Productions. She has received the Robert Burns Fellowship, an Arts Foundation New Generation Award and the Bruce Mason Award for playwrighting. Author of several books of poetry, play texts and short stories, her play The Spit Children premiered at Antwerp’s largest youth theatre HETPALEIS in May 2014. She is part of a team that has re-purposed a disused bowling club in Vogelmorn, Wellington as a creative community space and her writing has featured in the Journal of Urgent Writing, Pantograph Punch and Future Conditional: Notes for Tomorrow. 

Freya Daly Sadgrove
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Freya Daly Sadgrove is a writer, performer and theatre-maker from Pōneke. She has a Master of Arts in Poetry from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and her work has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa, Australia and the US. She is the architect behind Show Ponies, hailed by Janis Freegard as “a new bar for poetry”. Her first poetry collection, Head Girl, was published in 2020 with Victoria University Press. 

Eleanor Bishop
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Eleanor Bishop is a stage director working across theatre and opera. Her work weaves classical material with documentary forms such as found text and filmed interviews and often features video and projection. Currently working in Aotearoa-New Zealand, she has been described as “one of New Zealand’s most daring, intelligent, and political directors” (The Theatre Times). In 2021 she is the Friedlander Foundation Associate Artist for NZ Opera. Recent works include Chekhov’s The Seagull - a new online version (Auckland Theatre Company), Yes Yes Yes (Auckland Live & NZ touring) & BOYS (adapted from Greg McGee’s Foreskin’s Lament, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School & Auckland Theatre Company). She holds an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA where she studied as a John Wells Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar and a NZ Federation of Graduate Women Fellow. She works as an associate director for New York based multimedia theatre company The Builders Association/Marianne Weems. As an assistant director she has worked at New York venues such as the Park Avenue Armory, Brooklyn Academy of Music and NYU Skirball. She is an alumna of the Académie du Festival d'Aix’s Women Opera Makers Workshop with Katie Mitchell, the European Commission Citizen Artist Incubator and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab. She received her BA in Theatre (Honors) from Victoria University of Wellington. Eleanor has been a teacher and guest artist at numerous universities including University of London Royal Holloway College, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama & UC Santa Cruz. 

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