Auckland but can travel to live and work in other areas dependent on funding.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
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 New Zealand-born Samoan photographer working in Auckland. From interiors to driveways to communities, my practice is concerned with the environments that shape who we are. Domestic interiors as transitional sites of migration feature in my early work. My ongoing study of the Samoan transnational community has taken me to Samoa, New Zealand, France, Canada and the United States. My first photographic foray into a cultural community not my own was in 2009. Helping a family of refugees from Myanmar settle into their new home, I began photographing them in their home, and eventually onto the street. I work with the real-world knowledge and experiences of people in my community. I was the featured in Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, a major survey of photography published in 2005. I won the Marti Friedlander Photography Award, and the following year was a Walters Prize nominee. My first major survey exhibition opened in 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. I recently became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
In 2017 I undertook a six-week residency to work with a Community School which has a 65% Pasifika and 32% Māori roll. The extraordinary resulting exhibition developed with the students for an Art Gallery won an award at the Service IQ New Zealand Museum Awards. With the Art Gallery we produced a publication which was sent to over 300 schools in New Zealand as a gesture to the next generation. I have worked with all years of primary and secondary schools and taught photography and video workshops for high school students. I am particularly familiar with the Level 3 NCEA external photography exam.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
My photographic practice is centred around people, how people live or want to live, and what influences us. I am particularly interested in how the arts can be used to tell us something about ourselves, unlock imaginations, and help us belong. It is a privilege to work in communities of young learners and I am interested in creating participatory photography projects that share the role of authorship, as it is a powerful form of storytelling.