My first preference is schools and kura in Southland, primarily in and around Invercargill. I drive and I would be willing travel further within Southland depending on the type and duration of project. I am also happy to consider and discuss arrangements with schools and kura elsewhere in New Zealand.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I work with natural fibres and repurposed materials to make artworks in a sustainable art practice. My works, my ideas, and my meanings are driven by my materials and by my location and environment. My strengths are that I work with simple, accessible materials, I have over twenty-five years’ experience working this way, working with children, teachers, and other groups and I can adjust the delivery of my creative practice from simple activities suitable for young children through to more technically and conceptually complex work for senior students and teachers. My hand paper-making work can be scaled from small individual works through to large installations in a range of paper-making techniques. At present with schools, I would particularly focus on recycled and repurposed materials and support the right level of sophistication of technique to meet student and school needs. I also have detailed experience as an artist in residence for longer term programmes and in event and exhibition development and delivery and can incorporate these outcomes into workshop programmes.
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 work in handmade paper and natural plant fibres focusing on sustainable arts practice, working with available natural materials, recycled materials, and low-impact processes. I am focused on learning more about local plant fibres and my environment to ensure my practice remains sustainable and culturally respectful. I was born and spent much of my childhood in Malaysia and have been a practising professional artist in Australia since graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Queensland College of Art (1987). I am a multi-disciplinary artist producing two- and three-dimensional works, installations, prints, and small edition multiples. Significant achievements include a short documentary on letterpress history, an Art Built-in commission for a medical centre and various solo exhibitions. My works have been selected in various Australian art awards.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
My experience teaching people (of any age) or facilitating creative processes is extensive. I have taught textile design to adults in the Northern Territory. I have designed and run creative workshops based on hand paper-making and sustainable art practices regularly since 1992 with small groups, in schools, at events and festivals. I have worked with children of all ages from 4 up, and designed and delivered in-school professional development for teachers and run individual sessions for tertiary students and emerging arts practitioners. I have undertaken two high-school residencies, one culminating in a large-scale exhibition of works by students, other artists, and me. I have undertaken publicly funded projects incorporating workshops and skills development for community members and developing artists. I have worked with children and young people aged from kindergarten (4-5 years old) to senior high school (16-17 years old). I work on themes of sustainable arts practice and natural fibre artworks and work with natural and recycled materials. I have also worked with primary school students to incorporate basic science knowledge into the hand paper-making with attention to the importance of water in art making, waste reduction and processes such as mixing of materials and solutions.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
Sharing and teaching my art practices in schools has been a long-time part of my professional art practice. It is a key element of my connection with my community. Along with exhibitions and events, it is an important means of placing my work and my ideas in front of the community and particularly for children and families that might not otherwise have a creative connection. I believe that creative practice that involves thought, hand work, and cooperation is essential for children learning. I have developed my practice such that I can deliver on my creative concepts across a wide range of ages and capabilities.