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Creative ID: 066

Art form(s): Animation, Interarts, Community Art, Film, Digital Arts, Literature.

Based in: Titirangi, Auckland. 

When I'm available: I am available to work at any time over 2020, except when teaching at AUT, which takes place on Thursdays and Fridays during semesters.

Where I'm available: I am happy to work at any school within reasonable commuting distance from Titirangi, Auckland.

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

I have acted as co-director of a video and animation production company since 1980. The company specialises in empowering others to tell their stories in their own ways. Projects can involve art and design, creative writing, local history research, or helping groups share important ideas about social issues such as homelessness, youth offending or disability awareness. I co-researched and wrote a guide to teaching animation in schools. This year, I worked with 12 schools in Bhutan to produce a resource on mental well-being by and for teenagers, involving drama, animation and guidance from school counsellors. I currently teach 16mm and digital film production at AUT, Auckland. Recent exhibitions of my work as a moving image artist and photographer include a visual arts programme (2019), an exhibition at Studio One Toi Tu (2018) and Best in Show, Matariki Festival, Arataki Centre (2018). 

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

I began making artist's films on 16mm in the 1980s, and have made a series of moving image artworks supported by Arts Council England. My work is mainly rooted in the landscape, and combines elements of abstraction, lyrical poetry, electro-acoustic sound design and performance. This year an Auckland theatre presented three recent shorts, inspired by the landscapes of the Waitakeres, as part of their winter season on their digital stage. My work has featured in a touring retrospective of international video art screened across Europe. My work has also been screened on broadcast television and at film festivals in the USA, UK, Holland, Spain, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. 

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

I have run animation and film projects in over 200 schools over the last 40 years. My company has received major grants to develop peer led teachers' resources, in which both primary and secondary students have been creatively involved. I have run media projects with all ages, in primary and secondary schools and in tertiary education. Models of working include live action drama work, 3D animation, claymation, drawn animation, documentary, local history studies, shadow puppetry, glove puppetry, blue screen performance work and machinima. Project themes include local myths and legends, the supernatural, sci-fi, animated poetry, local and family history, global links with other cultures and living sustainably. A typical example is a multimedia resource about sexual health and relationships, which is being used in schools throughout Eastern England. Students from 10 schools devised songs, puppetry, drama sketches and animations to explore ways to make informed choices about relationships. In Auckland I have run many short courses in film and animation for school children. 

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

The Creatives in Schools programme links neatly with my lifelong ambition to inspire children to find new ways to discover and express their innate creativity. I welcome the opportunity to share my extensive experience of working with digital technologies with both students and teachers, and hope to help support the new 2020 Digital Curriculum. The creative learning models I support allow for digital collaboration in learning, with small groups of students mastering software used for stop frame animation and manipulating digital assets such as sound, image and video files. The entire production process encourages creative problem solving and collaborative, cross-disciplinary working. My personal creative practice is born of a love of the natural world and the expressive potentials of photography and cinematography. I hope I can share this passion with the students I work with in schools and university.

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