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Northcote College

Region: Auckland

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Inhabitants

Creative name: Yvonne Todd

Project information: Students will explore concepts of Tūrangawaewae (a place to stand) and cultural identity using pūrākau (Māori myths) as inspiration and portraiture photography using costumes and props and local land sites as the backdrop. Students will individually select and explore a narrative around their cultural identity initiated from researching a number of options, including pūrākau about creation, stories of our local area and iwi, Pacific myths, Greek myths, and traditional fairy tales. They will identify people, places, and objects that hold meaning for them and can be used to communicate their own cultural theme. By exploring their individual identity, culture and/or history, they will gain a sense of belonging and self-knowledge - “If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.” Opportunities will be made to draw knowledge from whānau and the broader Northcote Community as part of the initiating research process. They will gain knowledge from their whānau (personal stories and their historical cultural and local knowledge), from local individuals within the school, and from curriculum areas including History, Māori, Classics, and Geography. 

Our creative will build collaborative relationships with students, working with them in a group and individually throughout the process; from the initial research to exploring the photographic possibilities of costumes and props, taking photographs in the studio and on site, editing them using Photoshop, and then exhibiting their mahi to their whānau. Students will be encouraged to take photographs locally ‘on location’ where this is appropriate to their concept. 

Students will develop practical knowledge in both the technical and formal aspects of taking photographs and post production (Photoshop) to produce a series of works which explore and develop their ideas. Students will communicate and interpret by unpacking their chosen story and reimagining by reworking and extending it to retell it using their own authentic voice. Students will also undergo the process of making their work “exhibition ready” including the use of titles to further enhance the communication of their concept or meaning. The final works produced will be exhibited at a number of exhibition opportunities, including a dedicated showcase event to the whānau of the participating students with supper and a karakia.

Project starting: February 2022

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