Ursula Moira Christel, née Badstübner (previously Cranmer) b. 1961, South Africa
Artist | Tutor | Writer | Inclusion advocate
Born in Durban, South Africa -of Celtic/Germanic descent. Fluent in English, German and Afrikaans. Immigrated to New Zealand in 1996
Participates in the arts sector as an independent Art professional - a practicing artist, art writer, tutor, curator, photographer, and creative connector/networker
Identifies as a social practice artist, particularly drawn to collaborative projects with fellow creatives and diverse communities. Combines art making, installations, social and political activism, community organizing and environmentalism. This participatory art often flourishes outside the gallery/museum system.
'Interconnectedness, inclusion, social cohesion and environmental concerns, are topics that
strongly influence my concepts and creative output. I work mostly as a social practice
artist - addressing these topics through research, networking and collaborations;
using art to help foster an understanding of each other and of our environment."
As a member of the University of Kwazulu-Natal Alumni, Ursula is well travelled, and maintains a wide network of academics and artists around the world. In 2016 she came to represent Yllwbro (an anonymous sibling duo) for the New Perspectives show at Artspace in Auckland and is honoured to have then been included in the Mokopōpaki whānau (wider family). Mokopōpaki is a unique art-promoting entity based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ursula has three sons; one of whom has the rare condition, Angelman syndrome. Being personally involved in the disability sector in New Zealand for over 25 years has made her acutely aware of disability as a social construct that (even in the 21st century) causes a large percentage of the population to remain alienated, every single day of their lives.
Based on this insight and lived experience as a parent caregiver, Ursula is an advocate for inclusion, diversity, and human rights - focusing on accessibility for all. She is actively involved in several non-profit organisations - for environmental conservation, a local museum, the arts, and the disability sector. Ursula is also a qualified and experienced art teacher, and offers inclusive art workshops and classes.
'of phantom bridges and spirit birds' 2017