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Waitati School

Region: Otago/Southland

Art form: Craft/Object

Project name: Papanekeneke Waitati

Creative name: David Milne

Project information: Our story, our dream. At Waitati School, we run Passion Projects one day a fortnight. One kaiako started to explore clay. This is one of his passions, and using the principle of ako, he shared his passion with a group of ākonga. The ākonga deeply embraced the craft. After Lockdown 2021, working with clay became a method of supporting children's well-being. The local area school (30 mins away) kindly gave us access to their kiln. It took considerable time to take the ceramics back and forth during the firing process. We decided that we could create a studio at our school. Our vision was to have a space where the children could create, the community could have access, and whānau could potentially work with clay together. We would also invite our local schools. It is now six months since we began, and we have fundraised and applied for grants, and we now have a functional space dedicated as a studio. We have one kiln, two wheels, and a lined, well-lit area. We are very proud of our progress. 

Our aim is to continue to establish the physical environment of our ceramics studio, where the creative process and specific ceramic disciplines and technical knowledge can be taught to our students and other local schools and the community. This project will also help to continue to serve the stakeholders over time from enhancement of the clay studio.  Together with our creative, we will use clay as a medium to explore stories, relationships, and histories to produce an art installation that clearly expresses our journey. 

Papanekeneke Waitati - Moving Earth Ceramics Installation - showing the past history of our earth to inform our future. Māori history is the foundation and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Local stories, landmarks, and earth provide artefacts for us to learn through. Students will share related ideas, feelings, and stories communicated by their own and others' objects and images. There will be a focus on the school value of Tūrangawaewae and the importance of connectedness to us as a school community. 

The installation will be driven by our journey with the NZ History curriculum and visual arts and be reflective of our local community and local curriculum. It will be co-created by our school community, our creative, our local marae, and our ākonga. It will be something that the whole Waitati community will enjoy. It is inspired by other pieces of artwork throughout our village. We would like our installation to be placed within our local environment.

Project starting: February 2022

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