North Canterbury, Christchurch.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
Currently I am a full-time artist. I have spent the last few years studying and working alongside other weavers expanding my knowledge of Raranga (Māori weaving). I have spent time creating artworks and exploring different techniques of raranga as well as teaching people of all ages. I find your knowledge is often expanded not only as you practice your art form but as you teach others and pass on that knowledge. I have a passion for utilising traditional techniques and tikanga in my practice as it is at the heart of everything I do. Whilst that is at the heart I also love using contemporary elements that allow exploration into furthering the art in new ways.
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
- Toi Paematua – Diploma in Māori Art (Weaving).
- Delivered a short programme with the bilingual (Māori/English) unit at an intermediate school.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
Most recently I was a part of a small collective who completed a short programme at an intermediate school. The focus being a collaboration with the class to use a traditional resources available in their environment. It lead to an inquiry process about Harakeke and discussions around tikanga. This was followed by an environmental process. What is the material, where is it sourced, how do we ensure sustainable practices are followed? Who will the final art piece be for? What is the story behind it? Along the way the students followed all the traditional practices of Raranga to gain a deeper understanding of these practices creating an awareness of traditional Māori practices and a connection to the environmental resources and what role they play in protecting these and the art form. Paving a way for the next generation of Kaitiaki. In the past I have worked with children of all ages from 4 years old (kindergarten) to year 8. These have been teaching a range of weaving skills. I have also facilitated workshops with adults in beginner workshops and workshops to facilitate artworks as people work as a collective.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
Being a part of the Creatives in Schools programme allows me the chance to pass on everything that I have been fortunate enough to learn. I have a passion for working with young people and giving them a chance to become connected to something bigger. Harakeke is a material that truly represents strength, whānau/family and resilience. Weaving has a way of calming the mind as well as challenging it to learn new skills. By nurturing the minds of our young people it ensures the art form's survival in the future. In my own creative practice I draw inspiration from many places. One being the people I work with and teach. Children bring a new perspective and they allow my process to be challenged and redeveloped to create work outside of the box. Working with young children also inspires me to never stop learning and taking in new knowledge from around you.