Richard Reddaway is an artist and an associate professor of fine arts at Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University.
Richard Reddaway has been making physical and photographic sculptures since the mid-1980s. In the early 2000s, Richard found his work was starting to reflect the baroque style that is typical of former Spanish colonies. This led him to visit Mexico, in 2006, where he saw a vibrant, contemporary baroque culture wrestling with its colonial past. Seeing the similarities with New Zealand, he was curious about whether New Zealand’s culture also has baroque tendencies, and whether these manifest in the work of New Zealand’s contemporary artists.
In 2010, Richard met Gonzalo Ortega, director of Mexico’s Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte, and subsequently invited him to New Zealand through Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s visiting academic programme. Richard and Gonzalo spent two weeks visiting artists throughout New Zealand, learning the similarities and differences between their cultures. This sparked their idea to hold an exhibition of New Zealand art in Mexico called El Barroco de Aotearoa.
Richard’s interest in Latin America continues to grow. In 2015 he gained a university research award for an art production residency in Puebla, Mexico, and a research residency in Quito, Ecuador. The award is thought to be the first one given to a New Zealand academic by the Government of Mexico. Richard continues to build relationships between academic and diplomatic bodies in Latin America and New Zealand, and this has led many other Mexican artists and academics to visit New Zealand. In 2018, he worked with fellow artists Terry Urbahn and Catherine Bagnall, and staff and students at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, to produce an exhibition in Lima.
In 2023, Richard will lead a study tour for fine arts students to the Bienal de São Paulo, funded by a Prime Minister’s Scholarship.
“The Mexican Embassy in Wellington and New Zealand Embassy in Mexico both recognised the importance of our cultural exchange and how it could build more substantial, long-term relationships between our countries.”
Wellington, New Zealand