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Virginia Kennard on TV3 Story

When people ask why i left New Zealand to make art in the UK

Before i left New Zealand to begin my studies at Leeds Beckett University, i was featured on TV3's news show Story, hosted by Heather du Plessis-Allan and Duncan Garner. In order to publicise my crowd-funding campaign (studying overseas is Expensive) on Boosted, i sent out a Press Release entitled "Wellington’s local naked girl is spreads her wings for academic dance adventures", exploiting the sensationalist nature of my explicit performance practice.

Lachlan Forsyth from TV3 was in touch, saying i came under the category "Kiwi success story", requesting an interview plus performances of some 'risque' work. I was working several jobs at that stage, desparately saving money, but i managed to conjure up a couple of (great) things for the camera. The naked dancing was performed on the balcony of my mum and dad's central city apartment.

What resulted was the above news story. It seems the nudity wasn't really a problem, but in order to make it "controversial" or "risque" the presenters felt the need to question whether or not what i do is "art". In addition they fell in to that trap of typical Kiwi-dom: Tall Poppy Syndrome. It seems they found it ("morally") offensive that i was given money by the government for my studies. Lols. I was given $4000 from Creative New Zealand, out of a potential $12,500, which covered 23.3% of my fees (not my living expenses, travel, etc), for which i am grateful, but...hardly something to get worked up about. That is probably the monthly tax bill of either of the news presenter's.

The editing is super good though, even if the commentary leaves so much to be desired (don't get me started on the GoT references, i chose Jessica Jones but GoT??????). You get a real sense of my Kiwi upspeak, and there are some clips of my performance videos from vimeo (they watched a lot of footage!).

Moral Panic eh. Money, bodies, sex. 

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