At this stage my ideal would be within my local community here in Newtown and nearby suburbs however I would be open to considering other schools within the Wellington region.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I have been a professional artist for 30 years and my focus now is to use my art practice to encourage more awareness of our natural environment. Throughout my artistic career I have staged multiple exhibitions and residencies in public places where my ability to engage with people of all ages and from all walks of life has been key to their success. This has included creating a national touring installation of artworks where I collaborated with a native bird photographer to promote active public involvement in nurturing the 'halo effect' of bird sanctuaries throughout New Zealand. With my ongoing project for the last 6 years I have coordinated hundreds of community and corporate volunteers to help create and nurture a native forest within our capital city in Newtown. I have recently set up a workshop where I have focused on creating butterfly and moth artworks as a vehicle to encourage people to stop, observe and celebrate the natural wonders around us. I'm a good communicator and passionate about art and nature. My teaching methods are based on experience and respect and I'm always willing to listen and learn.
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
- 30 years working as a self-taught professional artist exhibiting since 1992.
- 36 solo exhibitions and in 21 group exhibitions with artworks held in private collections both nationally and internationally.
- Public artistic residencies in the Michael Fowler Centre during 6 International Arts Festivals 2002–2014, Wellington Waterfront Dec 2016–Mar 2017, Artist in residence at a gallery August 2017, a nature reserve 2017, Nelson Arts Festival 2017 and Auckland Arts Festival 2017.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
Six years as an educator with an art roadshow touring schools throughout New Zealand ages ranging from year 1– year 13. I was instrumental in bringing this roadshow to some Wellington schools, as it was important to me that my local community experienced this major collection. I've also worked as a guest educator at the a gallery running workshops with local schools primarily year 1– year 8. 35 school classes attended these sessions from four different schools. Working as a volunteer local artist educator at a school running drawing workshops and creating an exhibition space to showcase the students' artworks to the students and parents. Themes I have worked with cover how to look at art, developing a vocabulary around art and creative practices, using other artists' work to gain inspiration for the students' own artworks, thinking outside the box creatively is relevant to all subjects being studied at schools not only art-related subjects. Teaching creative drawing and enhancing observation skills, perspective, draughting skills and compositional awareness as tools for seeing and understanding the world more accurately and to assist in remembering facts better.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
Working with the art roadshow and engaging with over 55,000 students of all ages throughout New Zealand has been one of my life highlights. The engagement with the students was rich and rewarding on so many levels for all involved. Throughout the six years I was involved as educator I realised I was very good at inspiring creative thought and quickly breaking down any barriers of self-consciousness the students had around conversations about art. The art stories I told were mainly sourced from the students themselves generated in the conversations we had around contemporary art. I found the students inspiring and their liberation of creative exploration permeated throughout my own artistic practice. The students and I became peers on a journey together built on a foundation of respect as fellow artists. Now that the art roadshow is finished my involvement with the Creatives in Schools programme will provide me with another opportunity to pass on some of the creative skills I have mastered over my 30 years as a professional artist, to continue to encourage creativity in young people.