My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I have been studying raranga (weaving) for the past two years. The genesis of the knowledge I uphold is rooted in my ancestral line; Ko Ngāti Maniapoto me Ngāpuhi me Te Arawa ōku iwi and supported by my respected mentors in my exploration of my cultural identity. Mātauranga (knowledge), Māori and Kaupapa (principles), are fundamental in facilitating learning of Ngā Toi Māori and are embedded from the beginning. Whakatauki: "Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nōnā te ngahere", “the bird that consumes the miro berry owns the forest”. And “Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga nōnā te ao”,"the bird that consumes knowledge owns the world”.
I would facilitate students learning, interweaving the following methodologies:
- Te Whare Tapa Wha by Mason Durie – the four dimensions being; taha tinana, taha hinegaro, taha wairua, taha whānau; to support their wellbeing and engage all students in a holistic learning environment; understanding that in order for students to succeed they require all four dimensions to be supported in their learning, inclusive of a fifth dimension 'taha whenua' (ground, foundation). Taha whenua which cements all four dimensions, will be explored through our engagement of tikanga (protocols), Māori, raranga and pepeha (whakapapa).
- The Poutama Model of learning and development – by Arapera Royal Tangaere 1997; another holistic model engaging, supporting and scaffolding students in their ascension and retention of knowledge which is inclusive of the tuakana/teina concept of learning and development. The tuakana/teina concept is derived from two principles: whanaungatanga and ako (reciprocal nature of learning and teaching). The Poutama is a step pattern symbolising the different stages of learning and the growth attained from that experience.
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 am currently completing my diploma in Māori Indigenous Art in Ngā mahi ā Te Whare Pora (raranga – weaving). I have taught tamariki from years 4 to 6 how to harvest harakeke following tikanga (protocols), karakia, waiata, pepeha, as these are integral to all aspects of our culture and are introduced from the beginning. They have learnt how to weave putiputi (flowers), ika (fish), whetu (stars) and kono (4 corner basket) using harakeke as well as contemporary material (wallpaper). Along with being a commissioned artist, some of my mahi (work) has been exhibited at a museum and within our tertiary institution.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
In my experience, the ability to create using natural or contemporary materials, colours, shapes and symbols is an exciting process and carries a lot of heuristic value by way of experimentation, research, resourcefulness, project briefs, time management, reflective and creative journaling. I find indigenous art to be a metaphorical language and this excites me the most; affording the artist the advantage to embed deeper meaning to the geometric shapes, textures, colours and patterns, rooted in Kaupapa (ideologies) Rangahau and Mātauranga (knowledge) and Māori principles.
I have worked with children from year levels 1 to 6 in a mainstream capacity, including cooking classes and through art (raranga). I have observed that raranga is a great sensory tool to engage kinaesthetic learners. They will sit there immersed in trying to figure it out like a puzzle that they want to conquer. The opportunity to watch children grow in confidence and make connections with their natural surroundings, developing an appreciation for their eco-systems, environment and cultural taonga (harakeke) is a satisfying experience. The pride they take in their creations and sharing their experience and knowledge (ako – reciprocal learning and teaching) of what they have learnt with their loved ones, favourite teachers and peers is a rewarding experience for all.
Working with adults as colleagues or students is not too different, with the exception that adults have a tendency to over analyse their creative task and make it more complicated than what it is. I prefer to teach by allowing them the safe space (ahurutanga) to feel their disconnection through trial and error and, mentoring them back to connecting with their ability to create from their world view and cultural identity. I thrive on creating an environment that is conducive to learning for all ages and enjoy sharing my knowledge. To facilitate learning integrating Māori methodologies as stated above; Te Whare Tapa Wha and The Poutama model of learning and development to support their acquisition of knowledge.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
To put it simply, I love what I do. I love my rich cultural heritage. I love sharing knowledge with adults and children with what I am passionate about, and I believe that is reflective in my work. I enjoy expanding my knowledge base and awareness through research, however the metacognitive advantages through art is transformational and fundamental in all areas of learning. I cannot emphasise enough the heuristic value in art, to assist students in assimilating new information to their existing knowledge base. Just witnessing people, old and young alike, light up, when they have achieved something; that for me is gold. And that's the moment you know, they got it and that they just grew ten feet tall...transformational!