As mentioned, I am part of a joint application with Shirley Boys High School. The project would take place both on campus in East Christchurch, but also investigate the roles of urban art in wider Ōtautahi and beyond.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am a practising writer, curator and artist. My area of specific focus and interest is urban art. In 2016 I completed my PhD in Art History at the University of Canterbury, my thesis was an exploration of the varied incarnations and performances of urban art within the post-quake landscape. I have had writing published in a number of sources, including BackStory – The Journal of New Zealand Art, Media and Design History and The Nuart Journal. I regularly contribute to a Christchurch art newspaper and write for urban art website, a unique forum for the discussion of contemporary urban art in Ōtautahi Christchurch and beyond. I have curated a number of urban art projects, including gallery exhibitions and public projects, collaborating with a range of artists. In addition, I have worked with students of various ages in both practical workshops and guided tours of public and urban art, hosting schools from all over Ōtautahi. As a stencil artist, my work has been included in a number of local exhibitions and as part of collaborative installations.
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
Having earned a PhD, I have a strong reputation as an urban art scholar. I have contributed to a number of projects and publications, including the impressive exhibition Rise, staged at the Canterbury Museum, which became the most visited exhibition in the Museum's history. My writing on urban art has reached a wide audience, including publication in international journals.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I have had a wide-reaching engagement with young people, both through stencil workshops and guided tours provided to schools to engage with urban and public art. Urban art is perhaps the most engaging art movement for young people of all time, having begun as a movement started by young people and having been primarily sustained by successive generations. My approach is one of encouraging young people to understand the importance of creativity, and in particular the way it can assist us to make sense of our surrounding environments and social trends. This belief can help empower young people and encourage them to re-imagine the world in which they live.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I am interested in the Creatives in Schools programme because I am passionate about urban art's ability to express ideas, concerns and potentials of young people. I have witnessed the way these incredibly diverse forms of art can engage young people and transform cityscapes. Having guest lectured at a university and presented the first graffiti and street art specific lecture at that institution, I am excited at the possibility of these topics being introduced to secondary students as well. A more in-depth understanding of these diverse practices and relationship to place will encourage students to consider art within a unique framework.