Wellington and the greater Wellington region. However if budget allows I am also able to travel out of town to any school.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I'm an award-winning picture book illustrator, children's book writer and World of WearableArt finalist designer. I run workshops for kids in all three areas but my chief passion is hands-on wearable art, guiding a group of students through concept, design and making, through to finishing and showcasing the garment. Wearable art is all about story, not fashion. A WOW creation involves all the key curriculum learning objectives: thinking, using language, symbols, and texts, managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing. Students can learn a huge amount about creative thinking, planning, construction, and sustainability through exploring a Wearable art concept. I particularly like using recyclables with students, and extending their thought processes around using new technology to create their concepts.
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 an award-winning junior fiction novelist, children’s book illustrator, non-fiction author, World of WearableArt designer, and a previously long-standing presenter of arts and crafts on two television shows. I'm also a veteran of Wearable Arts; a finalist and award winner over 24 years with 26 entries in show. My work has been exhibited many times in Nelson’s World of WearableArt Museum and one piece of mine is currently touring internationally. I have also worked with Weta Workshop, Stone Street Studios, Pukeko Pictures, and The Production Shed as a film costumier, puppet maker, illustrator, and crafts expert. In 2019, I was the recipient of a prestigious Arts Fellowship: Creative New Zealand Children's Book Writer in Residence and resident for six months.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I work with children regularly though public art, festivals, and schools, running workshops for groups up to 200 kids. My work with Read NZ takes me to schools of all deciles throughout the country, including special communities projects and working with students from a school facility. This past year, I devised and facilitated illustration holiday camps across New Zealand.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I've been working with children, writing, illustrating, and creating for children all my creative career. I understand the abilities and challenges of different age groups and how their practice can be extended through working with a specialist in the arts. Kids, particularly 8–12 year olds, are the target audience for the mahi I create in the publishing arena. Working with students feeds my practice and understanding of their needs and concerns which in turn extends my written dialogue. And, as I pass on the skills I have learnt over 40 years in the arts, I help to nurture a new generation of creative thinkers. Working with students and teachers is something I am deeply familiar with and enjoy hugely.