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Creative ID: 145

Art form(s): Community Art, Visual Arts, Craft/Object, Design.

Based in: Wellington.

When I'm available: From 2020: 9 - 5 Monday Wednesday Friday, 9 - 2.30 Tuesday and Thursday. Available throughout all school holiday times. Flexible and able to adapt above hours depending on project.

Where I'm available: I am available to take part anywhere within the greater Wellington region. I am also happy to travel nationally - pretty much anywhere in New Zealand with enough notice.

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

I am an artist, designer, and art educator specialising in community mosaics. I like to create vibrant and unique site-specific art with impact. Commissions have included wall murals, pathways, seating, and sculptural features. I have clocked up over eighteen years' experience in collaboration with architects, interior designers, educational institutes, councils, arts trusts, and creative agencies. Committed to building partnerships with schools and local residents on educational and social projects, I focus on urban art combining contemporary and traditional mosaic techniques. I have travelled extensively throughout my artistic career collaborating with local communities in London, Europe, South America, and more recently India. I returned five years ago to my roots of New Zealand excited to pass on enthusiasm and passion for the use of mosaic art in public settings.

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 art career has expanded over 30 years. In that time I have worked in a bronze casting foundry, as a glass-blowing assistant and recently as lead artist instructing painting techniques at pub events and corporate offices. I studied Craft Design in New Zealand, I hold a foundation in Art Therapy from B.A.A.T UK and NVQ in Public Art and Design London. I studied traditional mosaic design as an apprentice under French architect turned mosaic designer in Paris. In 90s New Zealand I had a successful decorated ceramic domestic ware business. I have been a freelance mosaic artist since 2000. I have participated in the first Global Arts Festival in Gudjurat India, a series of five arts residencies ranging from an Art Camp in the White Desert to the
first Art and Sculpture Festival at Parul University in Vadadora. There I led a small group of architecture, design, and fine art students in the creation of a mosaic sculpture for the Medical Faculty campus grounds. I was also one of 40 artists in The Big Hoot Public Art Trail where my work raised $16,000 for the New Zealand Child Cancer Foundation.

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

I have had over 10 years extensive experience in the UK on back-to-back projects as part of a similar government-run scheme called 'Artists in Education' I have facilitated a wide variety of over 30 successful projects in schools ranging from early years (under 5s) primary schools, intermediate, secondary schools, and special needs schools. The outcome of some school collaborations culminated in the development of prominent public art features including a sculpture in an East London apartment courtyard and the grounds of a Children's Hospital in Salisbury UK. In 2012 I spent an extremely rewarding year on the outskirts of Sao Paulo Brazil, based at an NGO where I facilitated art projects with children and young people from marginalised communities. Presently I teach part-time in Wellington at after-school art and holiday programmes. Mosaic making is beneficial for all ages because of the necessary focus required and mindfulness achieved through engaging in all the detailed processes. It varies in size and content and is particularly good for young people with excess energy to burn. In my experience, and through feedback from others, making mosaic art is very rewarding, satisfying, and therapeutic.

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

I am passionate about creativity in education and art as therapy. I have a lot to offer in the Creatives in Schools programme because of my past experience working with so many diverse groups of school children. I'm grateful that my experience might inspire and encourage creative pathways for children's futures. I've worked on projects with children living in extreme poverty and those with all they could wish for. There is no division when it comes to children's bubbling enthusiasm to learn and express their abundance of creativity. Although I spend a lot of time in my studio making art to commission, it is more important and rewarding for me as a community artist to get out and share my skills. I am keen to promote art as a viable career to children, as for me it was all I ever wanted to do from a young age. Participatory art is what I'm about. I strongly believe we are affected by our environment so the more we as communities can share our life experiences through the act of creating art that is visible - tangible, vibrant, uplifting, and tells a great story, the happier and healthier our communities will be.

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