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Creative ID: 106

Art form(s): Ngā Toi Māori.

Based in: Whanganui.

When I'm available: As I work for myself, with enough warning I can make myself throughout the year.

Where I'm available: I am available across the Wellington district and throughout Whanganui and its surrounds. With notice, I could be available in other rohe as well.

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

My art is rāranga, Maori feather weaving, having received marae-based training in the techniques and traditions of this art. I design and prepare the materials using traditional, sustainable practices, then weave the cloaks drawing on traditional designs and whakapapa. Although my tutor's practice was very traditional, they encouraged me to explore representing traditional Maori weaving in a more contemporary fashion, which has led to my artworks based on rāranga that are often described as "painting with feathers". Since 2002 I have been a full-time artist exploring different themes, colours, and textures in my work using natural feathers and techniques that allow the feathers to express their inherent beauty. More recently I have been doing more commission pieces and exploring sculptural works. I have work all around the world and exhibit in a number of galleries in New Zealand. The Prime Minister has gifted some of my artworks to dignitaries that she visits, including the Sultan of Brunei.

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 have experience in all of the above. Previously in schools, I have run a pottery class for special needs students a Pottery Society and took a group of students on a visual arts programme over a term that culminated in a public exhibition for their whānau. I have undertaken training in raranga (weaving) and have practiced this discipline for over 20 years, I have the backing of my kaumatua and iwi to produce artworks in their name and be recognised as a weaver representing my whanau,
hapu, and iwi. My artworks are based in and affirm te ao Māori. I have been an exhibiting artist for over 20 years and have pieces in galleries and private collections both locally and internationally. I mainly do private commissions for kākahu and have a waiting list.

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

I have run arts classes in a number of medium for schools. I have run community art groups over a term, making ipu whenua out of clay for placenta or miscarried babies donated to the DHB. The students I have worked with range from year 3 to adults. Making kākahu that take hundreds of hours means that the opportunity to do that with the public is very limited so I relish this opportunity to potentially work with a school and community to make something I am passionate about that will have a lasting impact on that community.

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

I want to be a part of the Creatives in Schools programme for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a chance to expose students to a traditional Māori art form that has, through the schools' idea of a kākahu tautoko, got significance in the present and future. The opportunity to make a kākahu that inspires generations of students to further study and gains mana and provenance every time it is worn is unique and fits with my kaupapa about te toi Māori. The other reason is the educational benefits the school has explained that can come from this project with students inquiring into traditional practices, sustainability, whakapapa, collaboration with iwi etc. makes this project very special as I can see my kākahu as a vehicle for all of this great ako.

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