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Creative ID: 020

Art form(s): Digital Arts, Film, Visual Arts, Design, Multi-Disciplinary.

Based in: Thames, Coromandel Peninsula.

When I'm available: At this stage I am very flexible around availability to take part in the Creatives in Schools programme as I have not yet committed to any major projects for the 2020 year. That can, of course, change. However, if I were to receive a proposal to participate with a partner school in this programme in the first term, I would make that my priority and work with any school to ensure my availability provided a satisfying learning experience with significant personal contact time in class to create a rewarding teaching interaction for the students, their teachers, and myself.

Where I'm available: I am based in Thames, on the Coromandel Peninsula which makes me equal distance from Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland being all approximately 1.5 hours drive away. For this reason I am open to approach from any schools within that radius, but would certainly consider travelling even further afield if the right opportunity arose. For the purpose of this question, immediate locations I can be available in are: the Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki Plains; Waikato and Bay of Plenty Districts; Auckland Central; West and South Auckland localities.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

Following graduation from the School of Design, Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University), after training in Professional Photography and Broadcast Film studies, I embarked upon a career in commercial photography for corporate, advertising and editorial clients (including magazine and book publishers in New Zealand and internationally). Thirty years later, I have accrued a reputation as one of this country’s leading documentary photographers with work regularly featured in New Zealand Geographic magazine; I was shortlisted for the 1999 Montana NZ Book Awards; I have been the Epson New Zealand Professional Photography Award winner and New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year. Over the course of my career I have expanded my skills to include published writing, graphic design for print and digital platforms, books and websites, as well as a track record in exhibition development. My photography has toured in major shows around New Zealand and internationally, is held in the permanent collection at Te Papa Tongarewa, and an exhibition of a documentary project of mine hangs permanently in the Vodafone Event Centre in Manukau City, Auckland. The New Zealand Portrait Gallery recently held a survey exhibition of my photography in the capital city. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

My experience includes, but is not limited to, regularly contributing photography and writing to esteemed magazine publications such as New Zealand Geographic, who also published my 20 year retrospective book under their imprint. In 2013 Penguin Random House published a book on the eve of the iwi’s historic raupatu treaty settlement. I concept designed this 240 page hardcover book which featured my photography from an earlier New Zealand Geographic assignment. In 2000, Te Papa Tongarewa curated and launched a travelling exhibition, which I was a major contributor to. This toured the country’s museums for the next five years. A documentary project of mine was shown over 2005-2006 at Artspost Gallery, Hamilton, Grahamstown Community Hall and Thames Public Library, and the Aotea Centre in the Auckland CBD. In 2013, I received a Creative New Zealand grant to mount my documentary photographs in a group exhibition at the Whakatane Museum. Alongside these many public engagement shows I have maintained a parallel career working for clients in the commercial and corporate sectors providing marketing and communications material to a high international standard.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

My teaching experience has included a number of opportunities to interact with a wide range of age groups while facilitating teaching workshops, artist floor talks, panel discussions and one-on-one mentoring sessions. These interactions have frequently been arranged through invitations to speak at events such as the 2018 Photival Wellington Photography Festival in a panel discussion moderated by Te Papa’s head curator of Photography, hosted at Massey University in Wellington. Likewise at Auckland Museum, where I have guest presented on several occasions, providing insights into my approach to the documentary photography process and my work with an iwi. I have been invited by Wintec Hamilton campus's Head of Photography department to run a day seminar with photography students on the ‘business of photography’ to engage with them on the dynamics of the commercial photography industry. Along with those experiences, I have run a number of practical teaching workshops for various camera club enthusiast groups on techniques to improve their photography skills. Throughout my career I have also been approached by a number of aspiring photographers from high school students to tertiary trained graduates seeking direct mentoring input which I have greatly enjoyed helping them with.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I feel I have now reached a point in my own career where I have achieved a level of critical success and recognition within my fields of creative practice that I can look back upon and draw from to impart valuable knowledge to students who may be interested in following a similar creative pathway. My own practice has been at the forefront of digital technologies. Everything from hi-res camera and video technology, computer-based design for print and web, multi-media production and software development, which I have stayed abreast of into current iterations. However, my early career also spanned the analogue period which is now seeing a resurgence of interest and I have plenty of knowledge to impart on darkroom and film processes. That said, I believe the strongest skills to possess in any creative field are the ability to shape and tell stories that will engage an audience. This is my expertise, whether it be as a still photograph for a book, magazine, website or for an exhibition or a multimedia show or short film. I would love the opportunity to share all that hard-won knowledge to emerging generations interested in finding their own place in the creative industries.

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