Māpura Studios continues the work of Spark Centre of Creative Development, founded in 2000. Māpura is a creative space that provides programmes and activities in visual arts practice, creative expression, dance-movement, and art therapy for people living with disability and diversity. Māpura Studios has a policy of inclusion: any person of any background and life experience who is interested in developing their creativity is welcome.
Māpura Studios specialises in delivering innovative programme content and creative projects that offer people, including those living with complex disabilities, the opportunity to have a voice through creative expression. This group of people are often marginalised and regularly do not have access to life-enhancing resources.
A unique aspect of Māpura Studios as a creative institution is the caring and responsive environment it provides, to deliver professional, experiential learning processes orientated to the competencies and circumstances of the participants. The work delivered is innovative in its synthesis of arts practice and personal growth.
In our visual art programmes, participants learn about media, techniques and elements of art making through individual and group tuition. They are supported to explore and experiment, and to develop new ways of thinking and perceiving through the ‘making’ process; they are encouraged to consider the content and meaning of their works, and to develop their own concepts, ideas and imagining. They are introduced to various and diverse methods of working with materials – and to elements of contemporary arts practice.
The development of individual, self-directed arts practice is also supported so artists can really grow their arts practice to a degree of competency suitable for exhibition.
Māpura maintains an extensive exhibition calendar, providing regular opportunities to showcase artists work in the public arena at a number of public spaces and community galleries throughout Auckland (including Pah Homestead, Studio One (formerly Artstation), Corban Estate Art Centre, Mairangi Arts Centre, Bruce Mason Centre). This calendar of events greatly advocates for disability arts.
In the dance-movement programmes, Māpura Studios arts facilitators deliver a fascinating blend of body-based work that interfaces with visual arts expression. The use of sound, rhythm, movement, and kinaesthetic expression are all dynamic elements that enable participants to truly experience a range of expression otherwise not accessible to them.
Through the group process and class interaction, artists learn and are inspired by one another. They gain community and fellowship through shared creative activity. The attendance of regular ongoing programmes and activities generates meaning and purpose in their lives – and contributes to a healthy sense of self and well-being.
People of great diversity and life experience, including adults, teenagers and children, constitute the rich creative community and industry of Māpura Studios.