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Creative ID: 216

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

Based in: Christchurch.

When I'm available: I am available during school hours. All terms and days of the week apart from Thursdays. Max. of 15 hours per week. I have flexibility as I am self-employed.

Where I'm available: I am happy to travel anywhere in New Zealand.

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

I have recently returned to being a practising ceramicist (clay) after a long career in teaching visual art in schools. In my well-equipped workshop at home, I am enjoying the process of making - slowing down, taking time to create with my hands and allowing time to focus in the present moment. I am currently exploring ideas that incorporate our natural environment - it's beauty, uniqueness, and issues it faces now and in the future. My practical strengths are in hand building and sculpture. I have a kiln and materials which allow me to complete my work using glazes, englobes, slips, and lusters.

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 am a fully registered visual art teacher with an excellent reputation. I have delivered many successful art programmes throughout my career both in primary, intermediate and secondary schools in the UK and in New Zealand. Most of these resulted in an exhibition either held at school for whānau or within a professional gallery setting. I am very proud of the students I have taught and the progress they have made. Some have entered the Royal College of Art and have majored in ceramics, while others have gained artists in residences or become highly respected art teachers themselves. The online metadata I created for the MOE (Digistore) based on picture book illustration has been used by several classroom teachers for the teaching of visual literacy with some great results.

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

In my capacity as a fully registered experienced teacher of visual arts I have worked with students from Year 5 - 13 for over 20 years. This has been in the role of a specialist, and more recently in the role of a classroom teacher in schools. I have also worked as a LEOTC educator at a gallery where I facilitated practical workshops based on current artist exhibitions and curation. The themes/projects that I have worked on that have engaged students the most are those where they have been able to see a purpose for the work and make a connection to their lives or a possible future career. Young people often want to communicate how they feel and visual art allows them to feel valued, empowered, and to have a voice. In the past, I have worked with
themes of extinction (birds, marine life), human and environmental issues, health and well-being, and identity. Working in 3D is a challenge that students love. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is something constructed from found materials, card and paper, wire or clay, they rise to the problem-solving involved and develop resilience. The process is the key to success.

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 becoming a part of the Creatives In Schools programme. I left my specialist art teaching position recently because of my concern for my own well-being and that of youth generally across New Zealand. This project provides an opportunity for students to connect, feel empowered and have a voice. It creates an ideal opportunity for me to share my practical skills with my community and foster student’s knowledge in communication, collaboration, and creative thinking. I can’t wait to feel a sense of belonging as students, creatives, teachers, and whānau are brought together to plan possible outcomes collaboratively. In my own creative practice, I am looking forward to the influence that students and community will have on my work as much as I am working in collaboration towards an outcome for schools. Being recognised as a creative in my community will help me feel less isolated and help me to represent wider community's opinions and ideas in my own pieces and community. By working alongside students as a creative rather than a ‘teacher’ I hope to raise student's awareness of other careers in the arts/creative sectors and to benefit their preparedness for the future of work.

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