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MAUI - Monumental Outdoor Artwork

An example of the artworks associated with this project

An example of the artworks associated with this project

Learning Contexts

Visual Art Sculpture/Architechture


Jacob Scott


Te Kura Kaupapa o Ara Hou

Duration of Project

20 weeks

Students Involved

50 students, years 9 - 13

A nei te kanga! Children of Maui Mauitikitiki-a-Taranga


Students designed maquettes and working sculptures along side Matua Jacob's works. They gained a wide range of exposure to 'Jacob's world'. Students experienced Jacob's interactions with industry colleagues and whanau involved in design/architechture. During the production of the three-dimensional artwork they also were given an insight into a number of new technologies including design software, welding and laser-cutting processes.

Right from his pöwhiri at the beginning of the project, Jacob developed a trusting and open relationship with the students. The students got to meet and interact with Jacob's colleagues, clients and professional contacts in his many external projects. This interaction and insight into 'Jacob's world' meant that students were exposed to a range of professional art sectors and possible career pathways. Students could see that what they were doing in the classroom could translate to the professional world.

(Matua Piripi, Kaiako Toi Wharekura)

Cardboard maquettes made by students

Cardboard maquettes made by students

The main focus of this project was for students to observe Māori cultural and spiritual values as being integral to understanding Aotearoa and to contributing to design practices in visual arts.

The artist working with students

The artist working with students

Students also examined the unique art forms, motifs and narratives intrinsic to Māori art works, studying classical and contemporary artists' works. They drew ideas/imagery from local sources for inspiration and then transformed and translated these ideas into new works in media such as card, wire, wood and acrylic.

The presence of an artist on site was used by the Arts Kaiako as a focal point for corresponding academic studies in the visual arts classes through all year levels (years 9-13). They engaged in projects that used a similar approach to the artist. In addition a work by the artist to remain in the school was negotiated as part of the project.


Wireforms created using a spot-welder

Wireforms created using a spot-welder

The project began with a pöwhiri to welcome Jacob followed by whakawhänaungatanga -introductions for everyone. Whakamaramatanga, kaupapa matua a karaihe (understanding how the project would interact with class topics) was important to create a learning context for the students. In addition, the expected student learning intentions and sucess criteria were established at the beginning of the project. Students were able to directly observe and experience examples of the established artist's practice including: drawing; idea development through two and three dimensions; design solutions; the manufacture of final works, and subsequent installation in a community space.

After the introductory activities had taken place students researched information about significant local whakairo (carving, sculpting) art forms. Students drew representations of these forms first in two-dimensions (pencil on paper) and then in three dimensions by bending wire and joining it using a spot-welder. Students then began to create three dimensional forms from traditional narratives and motifs using straight frame and cover construction. They learned how to work spatially and develop figurative forms using 3D sheet construction, that is, constructing maquettes (small scale models) from cardboard.

Three dimensional figurative forms made by students using cardboard

Cardboard figures

Cardboard figures

In this project, students were involved with the artist/designer in a number of different ways:

  • In classroom lectures the process of designing and 3-D modelling software used to plan installations was outlined
  • Demonstrations about model making and new tools/ techniques such as spot welding allowed students to begin to understand the concept of drawing in space
  • Studio work - students could also observe work in progress as the artist worked alongside them on his own projects
  • Visits to the artist's colleagues in their studios/places of business enabled students to see the technology currently in use but more importantly they could see career pathways.

Student learning

Knowledge was passed from one of our renowned and respected senior practicing artists to our tamariki matapuputu. For students it was a real life case study happening in their own class room.

(Matua Piripi, Kaiako Toi Wharekura)

Students were able to view a number of Jacob's projects from start to finish. He taught the students about drawing techniques and tools, conceptual plans, manufacturing processes as well as the installation and treatment of community spaces. This gave students a valuable insight into the design process through the experimentation, testing and processing of ideas to achieve a final result.

Visiting the artist's workshop/studio

To begin to understand that the idea is probably the most important thing and that the idea can evolve as you get into it. That exploration leads to an answer.... that mistakes are valuable learning tools."

(Jacob Scott, artist)

Students seeing industrial processes 'in the field'

Students seeing industrial processes 'in the field'

By visiting locations and meeting artists/designers outside of the classroom students could see how the skills they were developing had a place in the real working world - how people in trades and industries live and earn their incomes. The connection between secondary school and industry was made by the artist's daughter who visited students to discuss her architectural degree. Hearing how a peer completed a degree made this seem obtainable for the students.

Students had opportunities to experience the latest in new technologies: computer software applications; welders; laser cutting etc., all related to the artist's practice. They learned how to use these tools themselves as part of their art-making processes. They experienced building and creating in 3D drawing and thinking spatially, exploring structure and form. Students were also introduced to constructing forms digitally and organising virtual "walk-throughs".

Students visit a manufacturer to see work in the final stages

Students visit a manufacturer to see work in the final stages

The students already knew their learning objectives and how to structure their own expectations, thereby enabling quite sophisticated communication between students, the artist and the tutor.

This dialogue was important - having someone else interested in their work and able to contribute as they were to mine, was great. Being able to interface on a daily one-to-one basis over a period of time... so that relationships... of understandings... got time to develop and the depth of dialogue was able to be pursued. (Jacob Scott)

Learning skills with new tools was rewarding for female students

Learning skills with new tools was rewarding for female students

By doing actual physical work - making things that were tangible and impressive and different than other people's experiences - students' gained a sense of ownership over their own work which gave them satisfaction and pride. Female students found using and becoming proficient with some of the tools, materials and processes that students regarded as men's domains, a revelation.

Curriculum links

Strands from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa - Ngā Toi document were able to be addressed.

Taumata 5 - 8, Ngā Toi Students were able to experience and understand Matua Jacob's way of working. They were then able to explore and develop ideas in their own work. Students used a range of technologies to communicate and express these ideas.

Ka āhei ngā ākonga ki te:

  • Whai pūkeko te whai mārama i tā matua tikanga tūmahi. I taea hoki e rātou te tūhura, te whakawhanake whakaaro mō ā rātou ake mahi.
  • Ka mutu I whakamahingia e aua ākonga aua tukanga hangarau hei whakaatu, hei whakaputa I ēnei whakaaro

All four strands of Visual Arts Curriculum were integrated: Understanding the Arts in Context; Developing Ideas; Developing Practical Knowledge; and Communicating and Interpreting, as students explored the use of materials and how they could represent ideas visually.

Students observed Māori cultural and spiritual values being integral to the project.

Ko te kaupapa arotahi mā nga akonga kia mātai rawa ai ki aua ahurea Māori me ōna wäriu wairua hei urutomokanga ki te ao whakahoahoa toi a motu i roto I ngā hāpori whānui.

Ngā iwi

Knowledge was passed from one of our renowned and respected senior practicing Artists to our tamariki mātapuputu. I tukua iho te mätauranga nei ki a tatau tamariki mātāpūputu hei tākoha na te tahi pakeke he rongonui nōna ki ōna ringa rehe mō te mahi toi

Students were encouraged to reflect on their own learning processes and to learn how to learn while connecting with the wider community , engaging the support of their families, whanau, and communities.

Related learning

Students understood the clear learning pathways to tertiary training. They gained a clear sense of how each stage of learning prepares them for and connects them with the next. This was facilitated by visiting tertiary student speakers and the range of artists and industry members the school students were exposed to.

Impact on school community

This project has enabled us to have an ongoing relationship with one of our respected senior artists, a member of our community and a member of our whänau.

(Matua Piripi, Kaiako Toi Wharekura)

Different staff members were involved in the project and this engendered a sense of ownership and a collective contribution about conceptual and planning phrases of the project.


The supervising teacher, Matua Piripi Belcher, found the presence of a very experienced architect/ designer/artist/educator invaluable in regard to his own professional development:

I was exposed to new media, technologies, specialist skills, aspects of problem solving, production and pedagogy. For example, using a range of different drawing programmes (illustrator, sketch up, inkscape), laser cutting technology, enrichment of community through expressing culture in open community spaces, and exposure to a professional Mäori designers' network, Ngā Aho.

The artists/designer, Jacob Scott commented on the aspects he most enjoyed:

To be able to see that I have skills and understandings that can help, and that these are valued and appreciated... to make a contribution of some value to the school's understanding of arts and the place of arts and design in a real world.

Where to next

The artist Jacob Scott noted:

Funding for this residency was for one term but the work I was involved with required continuity so we discussed the possibility of some flexibility of the hours that I could work at the school as we wanted to extend the project over a couple of terms within the defined funding. The ability to negotiate this I think was beneficial not only to myself meaning I could keep up my outside work commitments but also to the students whose own projects were extending over a longer period. This has meant we have all been able to watch each others' progress and development from the start to finish and this has been valuable.

Useful link

Teacher Resource Exchange 2.2 Sculpture Unit

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