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Kohukohu School

Region: Tai Tokerau

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Stories of Te Ihutai

Creative name: Taupururiki Brightwell

Project information: The first phase of this project is for local history to be shared by local kuia and kaumatua with our students, whanau, and the wider community. We will have storytelling workshops where our students respond by creating their own creative images using a range of media and techniques. We will visit local marae to view whakairo (carvings), kōwhaiwhai, and tukutuku. We will be learning and considering traditional stories, but also investigating the way in which marae use art forms to hold the history and stories of the people. 

The next phase will be for students, teachers, whānau, and our creative to consider how we can indigenise our school environment through a collaborative mural. We will view and consider more current visual art that holds the history and stories of people in other communities and cultures. Our kura is positioned on the whenua of Te Ihutai which links with Ngā Puhi. The purpose of this project is to visibly acknowledge and tell the history and stories of Ihutai and our kura. In this phase, we will require the partnership of our creative to share her expertise in translating oral stories to wall-sized artworks. We will have workshops where students will work with our creative to view her previous works and share the stories they have visually interpreted from our local stories. Then, they will work with her and our storytellers (community, kuia, kaumatua, and whānau) to design a mural for a wall within our kura. This will be a very significant project for our community, and our school is the perfect place to hold this taonga. We need to be mindful that what we create will be present for all to view for some time, so the stories we choose to tell in our art will be chosen carefully. 

The final phase will be a blessing ceremony to bring our community together to celebrate the sharing, the mahi, the stories, and one another. Students will be required to utilise key competencies: thinking, using language, text, and symbols, managing self, relating to others, and participating and contributing. This project will develop a greater understanding of the history of our whenua. It will be a great opportunity for our students to see how creative pathways and industries are within their reach. Students participating in this project will be provided with the opportunity to express themselves creatively and will develop a great sense of personal achievement and fulfilment from this creative experience. The greatest opportunity this project provides is that it will support their mental well-being, as it helps them connect truly to the whenua and people of their community, giving them a greater sense of belonging. This project also will create a great connection between the school and the wider community.

Project starting: February 2022

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