Loose Canons18.09.20

Loose Canons: Ana Scotney

Ana Scotney is a Tūhoe-Jewish performer, and musician, who is debuting a new theatre show 'ScatterGun: After The Death of Rūaumoko'.

Loose Canons is a series in which we invite artists we love to share five things that have informed their work. Meet the rest of our Loose Canons here.

Ana Scotney is Tūhoe/Jewish force-to-be-reckoned with, a performer and musician, who has recently released a music video Force Field under the name of Kōtiro.


There’ve been some dicey ones, some sad ones, some real gentle loner’d all nighters. One or two truly euphoric. A couple of deadly dance battles on the dance floor in the pit at Boston. Blessed be the memory of the D Floor at Mighty Mighty. Blessed be the the Snack Box from J and M’s at the helm of 2.30am. I feel like Wellington shakes out all it holds together, or has to repress during the uni week, or the 9 to 5 working for the Government, in town on a Friday or Saturday. One time I sat beside two beautiful Māori nomads with a trolley full of wine whilst waiting for an after midnight bus home. They said a judge “Had a go ‘cause I’m homeless. I said bro, I’m not homeless, I’m landless!” Courtenay Place in the night time gives license to the fab, free and fun, adjacent to the gnarly; our colonial breath, the racism, raw misogyny, homophobia. The Lads masc posturing at varying degrees of violent. Us as animals longing to be seen or touched. On a wairua level I feel it all, and feel for it all.

The first show I ever made was about this world in the nighttime. That show was called Death of Nomad. It was about feeling placeless as an urban Māori, and an outsider in the party and town-spheres, even whilst partaking in them.

We first put Death of Nomad on for three nights in an empty office space in Anvil House, just off Cuba Street in the summer of 2013. We had no money, but Michael Pitt was an absolute legend and loaned us the space for free. I was e18. It got made with Haz and Charlotte Forrester, Lily West, Jo Randerson, Poppy Serano, then with Ella Gilbert and Ella Hope, Comfrey Sanders, Naomi Murgatroyd and my step mum Joanna Doherty at the Rotorua Museum; a team of friends and loved ones who have kept influencing me since.

20 people came a night. After putting that work up I remember feeling so free and limitless, like anything was possible. I think I’ve been trying to capture that same spirit ever since.


My favourite cartoon is Ed, Edd n Eddy because I cherish how blunt, dank and stanky that toon is.

I remember watching an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy with my German-Jewish Grandmother Rita, who thought that it was “Absolutely revolting.” After that I went off it for a while. Recently I’ve resumed my love and started partaking again. Ed, Edd n Eddy is my calming portal to zen, to being a kid again. When I am stressed, it’s a good catalyst to a spiritual reset, a meditation. The art, colour and composition of the frames in this show are incredible. You can pause an episode at any place, and it will be a fire image in its own right; striking, perfectly composed and full of magical cartoonish radness.

As a performer Ed, Edd n Eddy is inspo because this show is so fun, irreverent and silly. It’s an O.G. masterclass in comedic timing. Also though, in moments of high emotion, drama and rage the characters commit, they never apologise. They make no excuse for taking up space. Even when they’re still, their scale feels like it expands out way beyond the frame.


Puti Lancaster is a visionary. She is a director of few words. She leans on an ability to listen and to draw from what is not seen or tangible, but on what is felt to make her art.

We collaborated on a play called The Contours of Heaven for three years. Our collaboration pushed me to level up in craft, and as a person on so many levels. Going in to what felt insecure, awkward and close to the bone. With Puti I learned that I didn’t have to reach or look anywhere else to know what it is to be Māori. That the implications and affects of colonisation are real, alive and kicking, that class is a major dementor performing the kiss on a lot of our rangatahi’s potential, and that a lot of people in middle New Zealand don’t really know or mind that much about it.

Jamming with Puti made me realise that it’s cool to be off balance. That this fragility is an ūkaipō, or source, and it’s what makes a performance magic.

Puti’s style has led me to cherish the drive home, cuppa tea and poached egg on toast after a working session. That this informal space for dialogue and reflections is just as vital to the mahi as is the “leaving it all on the floor.”

Finally, Puti has the meanest taste. In her room at Aunty Joy’s she has my favourite bedroom collection of pictures, books and treasures. She is a great admirer of birds, the moana and Hone Tuwhare. I love Puti so much.

Haz, Charlotte and GG.

These clever, celestial, magical siblings. Their music and their art, together and individually is like a portal to other places. When I listen it makes me think of being in the ngahere, or close to a big awa.

These three make me appreciate the low-fi, use what is close to you, anything can be a resource, approach to creating.

Georgette’s visual art work, her zines, her great appreciation for cinema and music. The ease of her line making and the narratives inside the images she creates. Her presence on stage playing drums.

Hazzie and his ability to produce scores, short sonic sketches, songs and synth lines which combine samples and influences from all sorts of places: the environment, the club, the guitar. Haz also introduced me to Xavier Ellah who has become another dear, best homie and whose P.O.V. I cherish and love so much.

Charlotte and her voice (!) first as a writer and then her actual voice, bb girl’s got pipes omg. Her presence on stage is potent. She is such a charismatic storyteller.

I am so grateful to these three for sharing their ideas; for their aroha over the years and for the friendship. They are a taonga in my life and really precious.


Because going home to the hills puts everything else back in to perspective. The ngahere is a healer, a protector and a live being with its own wairua. You can feel it. Te Urewera is a source. It’s where I best understand what it is to be Tūhoe.

In Te Urewera, time slows back down and I can remember and reconnect to what is true, and most important: Whānau. Good sunrises and sunsets. The night sky over the koroua house in Ngaputahi. Running up Mount Tarapounamu. Having a few cold brews on the deck with Hinewai and Pahi. Doing tarot in the light of the fire from the billy. Playing a mass game of spotlight as a kid with Aunty Tarn and the rest of the cousins down on the karinga. Aunty Lybia’s Rewana. Uncle Fi stoking the fires. Building dams in the creek. Having so much time. The Christmas that Uncle Willie put up massive sheets outside and projected The Lord of the Rings for us all to watch. Hearing Dad, my brothers, cousins, aunties and uncles tell stories about the generations before and their antics. Cracking up, and feeling so warm and full-hearted.

Growing older and cherishing how the most low key thing someone does can turn to story, turn to myth.

ScatterGun: After The Death of Rūaumoko
Created and performed by Ana Scotney
Playing 28 – 30 July 2022
Basement Theatre | Tāmaki Makaurau

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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