Lake Brunner and Greymouth area.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I'm uniquely placed to offer your school something transdisciplinary and exciting! I'm both a registered Visual Arts educator and practicing/registered clinical arts therapist. This means that I can both address the curriculum needs of your school and build into this work a deep understanding of how the arts can be used to improve the well-being of young people with multiple and complex needs. In addition, I have useful links to the Grey District Youth Trust and am the developer/convener for a Young Filmmakers Group (based in Greymouth) which works alongside young people passionate about building their skills as filmmakers.
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've worked as a Head of Department in Visual arts, advocated for arts within my community and delivered a range of creative programmes in all levels of the New Zealand education systems right the way through from ECE to Tertiary providers across the past 20 years. My passion is in community-building efficacy through the arts in collaborative partnerships. I have a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, a Diploma of Education (Secondary) and a Master's in Arts Therapy (Clinical) with first-class honours. Whilst I maintain a deep interest in the theory of arts in both education and health I work well with young people and have spent my entire working life advocating for their creative aspirations within the communities I serve. I currently operate a private studio arts therapy clinic, the first of its kind on the West Coast of the South Island. In addition, I maintain my own creative practice, exhibiting locally at regular intervals throughout my career, my most recent was a Community Photovoice Project delivered as part of Aotearoa's Creative Therapies Awareness week campaign, which I was instrumental in developing.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I have worked within all levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (ECE to Tertiary level) responsible for the management and delivery of creative programmes of work and have a track record for bringing innovative and invigorating arts projects to the communities in which I serve. My focus tends to be on sensory-oriented accessible processes often disseminated to wider audiences via digital platforms/formats. From teaching darkroom photography in my early teaching days to developing QR-coded voice-linked dialogue to exploratory photographic narratives, I enjoy exploring new ways of seeing and working alongside others. My focus tends to be on using the creative process to engage learners and educators in developing shared experiences that enhance understanding of creativity as a cross-curricular tool for communication.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
With a better understanding of the multiple ways arts can enhance our abilities to work and communicate within communities to enhance each person, their hapū and iwi, my passion is in developing and promoting this mahi through platforms like this one. I'm excited to work in ways that collaboratively celebrate our creative potential.