Creative ID: 059
Art form(s): Multi-Disciplinary.
Based in: Auckland.
When I'm available: Usually I'm flexible if given a few weeks' notice, any weekday except for Monday and Friday mornings. I can work weekends too, with a least three weeks' notice.
Where I'm available: I may work anywhere in Auckland City, I prefer however the Central City, or West of the city, (they're closest to me, and therefore carbon footprint is smaller travelling there). Do consider my travelling anywhere around Auckland however, that's fine too, I'll buy trees to cover it.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
Writing, making hand-made books, or posters, including comics and zines, and also visual art, and performance. I'd like to encourage students to write and/or collage, and/or draw on their own theme, or choose from themes I provide. Then we'll make the result into artist books each can perform from, or explain to others what they've done live, or can record on their phones for broadcast to family and friends. The artist books may use unwanted, discarded clean paper, collage, drawing, paint, hand-writing, print-outs from the computer, cut-outs, woven paper, and ideas the students invent too. This brings students' own work to light in a book form, in spoken form, and also broadcast if they wish. I write Poetry While You Wait every Aotearoa Poetry Day and guarantee anyone else can also write a poem or story. Fun ways to illustrate described too, and then how to display the work and/or perform it. This fosters confidence, fluency, literacy, gathering an audience, working in groups, forming coherent stories and poems, and using materials easy to find and adapt.
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
With decades of experience in fashion design, performances, publishing many genres of writing too, and publishing others' work, my visual art's growing more well-known after decades, I'm often kindly or even wildly celebrated as a multi-disciplinary artist. My first paid writing was when only 10 or 11 years old – ten shillings for Weekly News, Letter of the Week. Also, I've acted and created visual art since childhood. My CV runs to three pages. Making zines, artist books, art with words a true joy too, (internationally exhibited). Novels, poetry, short stories (in print and broadcast on radio), collaborative nonfiction books, blogs, reviews, a shortlisted essay in a Landfall competition, and many ghost-writing and editing assignments, along the way. Since school days I've loved assisting fellow students, or anyone who asked, with writing. Narrative Writing lecturer at UNITEC a delight, after gaining my International Communication degree (2004). Now I run my own writing workshops. Sometimes these include day sessions for young people, zine-making, writing, talk. Also, my agent attracts editing and writing clients.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
For six years I worked with marginalised or ill teens, (unable to attend usual school) in the UK – communication, writing, and other arts. An intermediate school teacher asked me one year to work with her class on short stories. People and parents have asked me to work with groups/individuals re writing or making, for decades. In 2003 I worked after school with local primary schoolchildren – homework, arts, crafts, and writing. 2018 NZ Book Council employed me to teach small groups of children, half hour sessions each, writing poetry. Other writers covered different genres. For four years I've worked with children. Also when I helped run Poetry Live, 1990s, we worked with teens at the venue, or at spin-off events we created like Poetry Picnic in Western Springs park. I convened The Poetry Brats, teens to middle-aged poets, in the 1990s. We wrote and performed together for three years. We, some, still workshop each other's work.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
Love working with enthusiastic people who enjoy arts practice; young people often prove most keen I notice, trying new approaches with writing, or visual art, making zines or artist books, performing, wanting to learn more about their own projects' successful management. My creative practice develops with experience. Inspired to assist, also I learn much as well, preferring dialogue, so we freely discuss ideas, subjects, approaches, techniques, what works or not and why, and so on, creating our own lively, rewarding pathways. Too, I gather a school environment helps young people focus on new activities, seeing what I offer in a kind light; they feel confident then to attempt exercises or offer opinions. Familiar territory but new input, a fresh approach, helps young people work with more interest and therefore outcomes may prove truly satisfying. Also teaching staff being in-the-know, may offer ideas/angles to make sessions go especially well, and can ask students prior to our meeting what they want to know or do. Students hear from a trusted adult what my work is like too, and what they'll possibly learn from me, before we meet. Uncertainty should be therefore reduced, with confidence high for the most rewarding outcomes.