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Creative ID: 174

Art form(s): Film, Interarts, Literature
Language(s): English
Based in: Auckland
Where I'm available:
Available for the wider general Auckland area, but am based in West Auckland.
When I'm available: I am available during school hours. I currently have a feature film in development so will be under deadline at periods during 2020 but can be flexible as what dates might work with schools.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I knew I wanted to make cool stuff happen. I often tell students that and I see the look of relief pass over their faces. I have worked in dance and theatre, I tell them, and now with words. All of these mediums are about making cool stuff happen, all of art is about storytelling. As a full-time writer I concentrate on bringing worlds to life. On bringing movement and energy and heart to the words that will build and grow characters and entire universes. The world is facing unprecedented change. Forests are burning. Constitutional systems of governance are being shaken. Many believe our very existence as a species is under threat. Faced with such enormous stakes, art is one of the most motivating and powerful mediums that we as humans have to evoke, challenge and create positive change. I want to encourage and grow the story-building skills of our young people to make that change.

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

Despite training in law (or perhaps because of it) I have been a dancer, producer and writer across the globe from India to Bosnia, Brazil to Edinburgh. I am now the mother of two small, loud, boys, who seem to have inherited my love of generating fantastical scenarios (mostly under their beds). My fiction and non-fiction has been published widely, and broadcast for radio both in New Zealand and the UK and I am one of the founding members of an online writing contest for New Zealand kids. I was the Robert Burns Fellow, and an emerging screenwriter, I was one of eight selected filmmakers for New Zealand’s Film Up programme and now have a feature film in development with a New Zealand-based production company.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I have facilitated workshops for a variety of ages. From the Writers in Schools programme in primary schools in 2006 and 2009, to teaching writing workshops on a cruise ship in 2010 (yes really!). To teaching story workshops at an arts expo in 2011 to this year working with high school students on story and film as part of a schools tour in Palmerston North, and working as a story tutor for an inclusive performance art company project at a Deaf School in Auckland. I will shortly be speaking at a high school about having a career in the arts. I'm also one of the founding members of a popular online writing contest for Kiwi kids aged 7–13. 

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I am the mother of two young boys. They love that I write. I love that they love story. We often make stories together and I'm always excited by how big their imaginations are. They push me to remember that there are no limits to storytelling. And they remind me of the power of story every day. In my experience in workshopping story with kids, I'm always impressed and excited by how much we come up with together. It's an invigorating practice on both sides. Children are the future leaders of all humanity and art is one of the most powerful tools we have to make our voices heard. Story can invigorate, console, reassure and enliven lives. I want to help our young people craft their voices so they have the confidence to share and be heard.

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