Skull Session: Simmering Propositions with Bruce Connew

Skull Session: Simmering Propositions with Bruce Connew
From  I Must Behave , Bruce Connew, 2009

From I Must Behave, Bruce Connew, 2009



Skull Sessions are the anti-seminar; a magical series of intimate full-day workshops with leading makers who maintain authentic, alternative practices in the arts and creative industries.

No powerpoint presentations, portfolio talks or stuffy conference rooms — just insightful, poetic lessons from those on the fringe of their field.

For our third Skull Session, we welcome internationally renowned photographer Bruce Connew to divulge his ideas on curating content.

Apart from an early skirmish with tertiary education, Bruce is an autodidact. Living in Auckland (and sometimes in Paris) Bruce’s central projects have been shown in most public art galleries in New Zealand. His work is featured in public and private collections both at home and internationally and he has a number of published photobooks including Body Of Work, I Must Behave, Stopover, I Saw You, On The Way To An Ambush and South Africa.

Bruce says, "My work does not come from orderly research. An idea emerges from an assortment of simmering propositions, components of things yet to be fashioned. With these elements in hand, I set off in pursuit of other evidence from which to construct meaning."

Over morning coffee, Bruce will use his photobooks (and those of his peers) as a platform for an open discussion on curating content. Bruce will focus on editing and sequence practice and divulge his processes for developing meaningful narratives. He’ll also touch on concept ideation and the part played by historical perspective, fieldwork, collaboration, and the importance of typography and materials, bringing in Tim Veling and Catherine Griffiths to expand on the art of the photobook.

After a communal lunch, participants will deep dive into an edit and sequence session with critical feedback, using several examples of work prints for books now complete to better understand the process and where it comes from.

Concluding with post-workshop drinks, the day will be interlaced with historical and cultural references, whimsical moments, communal eating and is designed to bring out the best in both practitioner and participant.

10.00am until 5.30pm, Saturday April 28th at Strange Haven, 281 Karangahape Road.

$250 waged. $150 unwaged.

This price includes:

  • A purposefully intimate class (max. 12 participants)
  • A full-day intensive, collaborative workshop
  • All victuals provided by local suppliers
  • Knowledge you are supporting an arts-based practitioner with a living wage

To attend, please fill out the questionnaire below. The group will be curated by Bruce to create the intended experience. The application deadline is Wednesday April 24th. Contact Strange Events for more details.


Feedback from previous Skull Sessions:

"I wrote 5,000+ words and finished the first draft of my novel in the two days after the workshop. So yeah, it was good!"

"The entire day was amazing. No favourite part. It was super special to see Tourettes perform that same day."

"The approach taken was perfect, the atmosphere was relaxed and everyone there was super nice, friendly and approachable."

"Toby's insights and advices were invaluable!"

"A very inspiring workshop. Thanks for your honesty."

Skull Sessions are presented by Samuel Walsh and Katie Kerr of Strange Haven.