ARTIST STATEMENT: Ela Tukuhaukuna

Aroha – Ela Tukuhaukuna

Ela Tukuhaukuna. Aroha, 2016

Ela Tukuhaukuna. Aroha, 2016

 

When I first came here I was a bit shy but when I came I knew some people so I felt all good so I started painting and I felt all good.  The first time I was painting a Maori lady she was really sad.  She was named Aroha.

 

Anyway she dress and had a Maori coat on with a pounamu stone.  She was crying because she was thinking about her friends because she hasn’t seen them and that’s why she cried.

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT: Matthew Tucker

Living inside a prism

Living Inside a Prism, Matthew Tucker, 2016

Living Inside a Prism, Matthew Tucker, 2016

I wanted to try to experiment what it is like to live in a prism.  I like the idea of colours revolving me.  Even though these colours are not the colours of a rainbow, purely because I think that indigo and violet are not easy to make or obtain, I wanted to use unnatural colours in this painting.

Artist profile: Deirdre Parr

Allyson Hamblett profiles fellow artist Deirdre Parr

Deirdre Parr in the studio

Deirdre Parr in the studio

Deirdre Parr started coming to Māpura Studios with her mother, Tui, in 2013.  Tui had had a stroke and Deirdre persuaded her to start art therapy classes, but soon discovered she also wanted to be creative at Māpura Studios.  She found art was a good way to deal with her own ongoing health issues.  It was a way of processing what she was going through and especially so since Tui’s passing.  Deirdre started in Art Transition class, but now she is in Living A Creative Life class on Thursday morning.

Leading A Creative Life provides a supportive, instructive and stimulating environment for people living with stroke-affect (or similar disability), to develop a strong visual arts practice. Twice a term there will be a workshop or a tutorial that focuses on the learning requirements of the group and individual learning needs; once a term a guest ‘professional’ artist will present on their arts practice. The remaining time is ‘open studio’ where participants work independently and are self-directed in their choice of content and subject matter. Tutors provide on-going input regarding methodologies, techniques, media and guidance re subject matter so artists are supported in the ongoing progression of their art making capabilities and knowledge base.

Arts Transition is a focused programme that continues to support people making the transition from the Māpura Studios intensive Arts Therapy programme (which is aimed at people dealing with the initial trauma of sudden disability in stroke–affect), to eventual involvement in “Leading a Creative Life”, (a programme designed to assist people in their ‘new identity as practising visual artists’). 

Hope, Deirdre Parr, 2016

Hope, Deirdre Parr, 2016

Deirdre enjoyed print making in the Arts Transition class, but most of her work now is one object on a stylised background.   “There is a spiritual element to art”.   Creating Icons in her art practice is what gives Deirdre meaning:  it is a “process of spiritual reflection”.  One particular work stands out for this artist, Hope, which was of a lotus:

In Buddhist symbolism, the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind. While rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals.

 

There is a great sense of achievement for Deirdre, seeing her own work exhibited, and this affirms what she is doing is valuable.   She recalls an exhibition at Studio One in 2015, being absolutely   surprised to see how great her print of a clam shell looked all framed up and hanging on the wall in a gallery.  The clam shell piece was a connection to her grandfather who was part Samoan.

Icons, spirituality, the search for wholeness and healing, and the love of beauty in nature and in life inspires Deirdre to make art.  She has been creative all of her life.  Growing up she would make her own clothes and has a very creative family.  Deirdre has two older brothers and a younger sister.  One brother is a poet and David is a good musician and artist.  Deirdre played cello at school and has sung in choirs all of her life, most recently with Auckland based chamber choir Viva Voce. 

 

Since 2013 Deirdre has been looking after her mother, Tui, and has been dealing with her own health issues, but now Deirdre is about to become a university student again to complete her Graduate Diploma in Theology.

 

Deirdre loved how the Māpura community embraced Tui and gave her a sense of self-worth and self esteem.  Deirdre feels the same way about how Māpura has embraced her,  “Māpura is a place where people are empowered and their self-worth is affirmed through art making – they are given a voice.”

Artist profile: Chris Baxter

Artist Profile: Chris Baxter

 

Allyson Hamblett profiles fellow artist, Chris Baxter

 

Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter has been coming to Māpura Studios for 8 or 9 years, and has become a prolific artist.  Chris loves drawing and painting eagles, cockatoo’s owls and horses.  He loves creating their shape on canvas.  And did I mention Chris absolutely loves motorbikes.

Chris has two sisters, 2 nephews  as well as 15 cousins.  One of his sisters is also an artist.   Chris loves horse-riding and indoor bowls.  He  won two medals at the Special Olympics a couple of years ago.

One motorbike painting was based on the picture on his tee-shirt.

Chris does Open Studio Three on Thursday afternoon at Māpura.  He gets a day off work, mowing lawns, and finds Māpura is a place where he has a space to create and relax.  He loves the creative energy of the studio.

The Open Studio programmes provide a simple, dynamic format for art activities. They offer a supportive, empathetic learning environment for artists to develop a sense of creative community and to be involved in creative industry and activities that have meaning and purpose.

In the Open Studio’s, art tutors / therapists encourage artists to be self-directed, to explore content of personal interest and significance, and to develop their own, unique style.  Artists are given guidance in the use of media and techniques. They are encouraged to try out new and different ideas and mediums, and where appropriate, are introduced to professional artist-models as points of reference. Artists are encouraged to express the things they feel and think - and to tell their personal narratives through the language of visual imagery. The facilitation is person-centred and accommodates each artist’s unique experience and perception.

 

Chris is very proud of the work he creates at Māpura and loves having his work displayed through Mapura Studios Exhibition Programme.

Artist profile: Harry Nua

Allyson Hamblett profiles fellow artist Harry Nua

Harry at Studio One Toi Tu

Harry at Studio One Toi Tu

Harry Nua has been attending Māpura Studios since the beginning of 2015.  Harry enjoys working with acrylic on canvas.  He likes creating comics and people.  He also enjoys using charcoal and pencil.  His work is very strong.  Harry likes creating dragons and other characters.

Harry makes assemblage sculptures that he paints, as well as being a strong ceramic artist.  Harry is also confident with paint media.  His subject ranges from personal heroes to cartoon figures and myths.

Harry attends Open Studio 1 on Monday morning and Becoming an Artist on Tuesday morning.

In the Open Studio’s, art tutors / therapists encourage artists to be self-directed, to explore content of personal interest and significance, and to develop their own, unique style.  Artists are given guidance in the use of media and techniques. They are encouraged to try out new and different ideas and mediums, and where appropriate, are introduced to professional artist-models as points of reference. Artists are encouraged to express the things they feel and think - and to tell their personal narratives through the language of visual imagery. The facilitation is person-centred and accommodates each artist’s unique experience and perception.

 Dragon by Harry Nua, 2016

 Dragon by Harry Nua, 2016

Dragon 2 By Harry Nua 2015

Dragon 2 By Harry Nua 2015

A Bunch of Friends, a Zombie and a Skeleton by Harry Nua, 2015

A Bunch of Friends, a Zombie and a Skeleton by Harry Nua, 2015

Cainan by Harry Nua, 2016

Cainan by Harry Nua, 2016

Becoming an Artist is a dynamic programme aimed at youth and adults who want to extend their creative capabilities in imaginative and innovative ways within a range of diverse art making processes. This programme delivers a particularly vital, stimulating, community-centred and social environment. It is particularly suited and orientated to youth.  Tutors respond to the individual interests and learning needs of each person. They introduce a diverse range of media (painting, sculpture, print-making, drawing, and clay-work), demonstrating techniques and methodologies, assisting artists to grow their skill and knowledge base.

Harry has been creative for about 4 years, and loves attending Māpura Studios to further his art practice.  Harry leads a very busy life outside of Māpura Studios. He likes to chill out and go on the computers at IDEA services in Veronica St, New Lynn on Fridays.  Every Thursday he attends a Literacy and Learning course at Unitec, and Harry has a scholarship for Recreate Orchard project which he goes to every Wednesday.   Harry also plays in the special Olympics Basketball team on a Monday night.

Harry loves everything about Māpura Studios, especially seeing his art work on display through Māpura Studios Exhibition Programme.  A portrait of Harry featured in Māpura’s So Much There Is exhibition at Studio One Toi Tu in September.

Harry wants to keep on coming to Māpura.  He enjoys being part of the creative community.