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Creative ID: 79

Art form(s): Community arts, Crafts/objects, Visual arts
Language(s): English
Based in: Otago
Where I'm available:
I am available in Oamaru and the wider region.
When I'm available: I work flexible hours so can come any day and time during school hours.

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

I am one of 15 local artists who share in the running of a gallery in Oamaru. I enjoy mixed media, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. I completed a Diploma of Art at Aoraki (now Ara) Polytechnic in 2014. Previously I studied and worked as a scientist and enjoy linking art and science. Interest in the geology and paleontology of the Waitaki district has led to my current foray into a series of ceramic pieces that explore the local and internationally renowned Oamaru diamomite. I am working with colour, pattern and glaze reactions on various clay types. For me, drawing is an essential tool in creativity. I facilitate a life drawing group and I sell my drawings at the gallery. Last year our drawing group held an exhibition at the Forrester Gallery and orchestrated (with CCS grant assistance) a community-based creative drawing event. We have organised drawing sessions for the community. Tertiary art studies and various workshops from leading visual arts practitioners have enabled me to work confidently in a variety of media.

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

This year I worked with a school (supported by a Waitaki CCS grant) to deliver a successful programme of sculpture that involved all year 3 to year 8 children at the school. The project involved creating animals from around the world, using tinfoil, surgical bandage and paint. These are displayed as relief murals on walls inside the school. I work as an OOH (out of hours) art teacher. At another school, I worked with a group of Pacifica children (year 6 to 8) to produce a tapa cloth that adorns the school’s reception area. As a member of a Community Arts Council, I have worked collaboratively with a school's OOH art children, local iwi and the community in a Matariki celebration. This event celebrated childrens’ art, oral storytelling and traditions, music and performance. My work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions. I received a prize at one of those exhibitions.

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

I have been working as an OOH art teacher for the last 7 years. For 11 years, I worked as a volunteer art teacher at another school, with year 1 to 8 students. Projects included:

  • a year 8 mural painting
  • year 6-8 wetland field trip/creative clay workshop
  • teaching art to year 3 gifted art students
  • year 6 farm to table project using surgical bandage to make hens and eggs
  • collaborative after school art programme involving ceramics and stencil spray painting
  • various one-off class room art activities. 

I have taught ceramics and sculpture to year 4 to year 8 children at two of a school's biennial Art Week. I also run a small after school art club for high school students. Themes that I have explored in the art context include cultural identity, natural environment, ancient earth, the everyday, and imaginary worlds. These have been delved into with reference to artist models from local, national, international, contemporary and historical viewpoints.

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

I strongly believe in the arts and its connection to well-being, the well-being of children involved, the school community and the community in general. For me, art has many aspects such as the gift of aesthetics; engagement; provoking thought. Art is a creative process that leads to a flexible, searching mind, adept at problem solving, exploring and formulating ideas. Creative thinking is a leading skill to have in our rapidly changing world; it is important in any future activity or employment. Learning about local, national and international artists gives context and provides the students with a sense of place, a sense of belonging. I would like to share the experience and knowledge I have in a variety of media through teaching. It would be a privilege to be a part of this programme that connects artists and creative people to schools and celebrates children’s art. As an artist, I can bring new ideas and connections. For me, teaching is a process of learning and discovery. Any creative endeavour such as this is a fantastic opportunity for all involved. I will take what I learn back to my artist community. The creative process opens doors to future possibilities.

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