One of the most significant Christian initiatives in Aotearoa, New Zealand for artists has been Chrysalis Seed, a mission that aimed to help artists integrate their art and faith, and to reconcile art and faith communities. Of the many ways in which Peter and Jessica Crothall and their team sought to encourage and empower artists, it was their magazine, CS Arts (formerly CS News), that had the widest impact. You can find the back catalogue of this remarkable magazine here, with interviews, commentary, reviews, and poetry, featuring the work and thought of many notable local artists.
One of those is the feminist Christian artist Allie Eagle (1949-2022), interviews with whom we are featuring here. A leader in the Woman’s Art Movement who became a follower of Jesus, Eagle is a fascinating and significant figure whose life defies easy categorisation (you can read more about her life in Jillian Wordsworth’s obituary). At the time of these interviews in 2004 she was an established artist. As we listen to her here, we get the sense of a woman entirely engaged in her vocation, alive to God, to this land, and to others. Now edited as one, these interviews were first published in the 2004 September and October issues of CS News. In both cases, the interviewer is Wendy Grace Allen. They’re reproduced here with the original introduction – Ed.
Allie Eagle has been a practising artist and arts educator since the 1970s. She is a familiar face at galleries, art schools and secondary schools around the country. Her lengthy curriculum vitae is testament to her life and her contribution to New Zealand art. This year a film titled Allie Eagle and Me has been part of film festivals around the country. The film reflects her participation in the Women’s Art Movement and 30 years later, the significant changes that are now reflected in her life and through her art. She is the Managing Artist for the exhibition Walking Past Each Other held at The Suter in Nelson from 14 September, 2004 and Artist in Residence at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology around the time of the exhibition.