Wellington city and surrounding areas.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am an artist who is passionate about the environment, strives to make a minimal impact on the planet and has a knack for seeing the artistic potential in discarded items. I work intuitively, inspired by the discarded waste material I select and combine in response to a conceived general design idea. I allow plenty of freedom to respond to the combination of materials and chance effects as the piece develops. I work on several pieces at a time and at different stages of each piece. Collage and creating a variety of textural effects are vital elements in each design. The overall feeling and sense of balance of the final piece is paramount. I am stimulated by colours, textures and patterns and find working with rubbish wonderfully liberating. My assemblages allow the onlooker to discover something new upon each viewing and spark one’s imagination to use rubbish in an aesthetic form. Playful titles and themes of my artwork add further meaning to the story of each piece. I enjoy challenging the boundaries of what is discarded and sending, even if only at a subconscious level, the reduce, reuse, recycle message to my audience.
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
One of my favourite positions was teaching technology to year 7/8s. For this position I designed a programme in which the students created a kinetic sculpture using discarded soda cans. In 2014 I created a programme for a handmade exhibition and workshop open all ages. The goal was to demonstrate that one can create art from rubbish and not be inhibited by the perceived costs to create art. Attendees created a two-dimensional piece of art which involved collage and use of discarded materials. In 2015 I stopped teaching to obtain a long-desired postgraduate diploma in Art History. After its completion I became a board member of an Art School and a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. I have exhibited art over the last 15 years.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
My classroom teaching experience ranges from new entrants to year eight. I received a Masters degree in Special Education from University and for several years worked solely with children with learning and behaviour difficulties. In New Zealand I have worked as a registered teacher in various schools in Wellington. My joy of the arts and environmental sustainability has always been incorporated into my teaching programmes as I feel this is an approach which allows for students to express themselves and learn more about sustainable practices in the art world. I believe the creative process is crucial in one’s overall learning process. It fosters intuition and discovery and teaches one to trust their instincts. All these factors are empowering and lead to well-adjusted confident individuals.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I want to empower young people with the ability to create from things they would otherwise discard. Using rubbish takes away the financial barriers of purchasing expensive materials to create with. It promotes free thinking about alternative uses and approaches for using materials. Environmental crisis is a defining issue of our times and can be overwhelming for young people today. Creating with rubbish teaches one to think about what they are discarding therefore taking some control of the issue and making a positive impact by reusing and reducing what goes into the landfill. As mentioned earlier I believe the creative process is crucial in one’s overall learning process. I also believe young people want to know they can make a positive impact on what is happening in the world. All these factors are empowering and lead to well-adjusted confident individuals.