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How Do Colours Catch Fire? – When They Match!


2023 artworks from the Māpura Studios North Shore Art Group. Painting, drawing, stories, designs and a whole section of jokes written by the group. Featuring work by Ilze Pistorius, Anna Cortesi, Warwick Frankham, Maria Beshay, Hana Ellis Kaa, Natasha Paterson and Ebony Gaensicke.

130 × 200 mm
108 pages
Publish Date: May 14, 2024




To view book click on Image below:


Sasha Iyengar

Art Therapist

MAArtTherapy, GradDipPsych, BArtEd, ATHR (Anzacata)


Sasha is a registered Art Therapist who specialises in child and adolescent mental health, women’s health, palliative care and rehabilitation. Sasha began her professional journey working as a visual arts and design teacher in secondary schools in Australia, before studying psychology and the Master of Art Therapy in Sydney and Melbourne. Sasha feels privileged to have facilitated both individual and group art therapy in a variety of contexts including mental health and rehabilitation hospitals, schools and community settings.

Sasha is passionate about the capacity for creativity to contribute to the health and wellbeing of an individual and strengthen social connection within communities. She maintains a person-centred practice and integrates narrative therapy and mindfulness principles into her sessions. Cultural sensitivity, social justice and empathy lie at the heart of her work. Sasha values her position at Māpura, where she feels at home amongst fellow creatives in such a vibrant and warm community

Diva Ford

Creative Arts Therapist 

MA Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical) - Whitecliffe, BFA (Hons) - Elam 



Diva is a multi-disciplinary artist and registered creative arts therapist. Drawn to the therapeutic field from lived experience of the healing power of the arts, Diva’s passion for creativity, connection and holistic well-being inspires their work with young people in the community.

Diva’s practice is grounded in a person-centred and strengths-based approach, and incorporates mindfulness, embodiment, playfulness, and imagination through a variety of creative modalities. These include visual art (painting, drawing, sculpture, collage), writing, movement, and drama. Diva believes in the unique language of the arts to explore and express the ever-shifting landscape of life, tell our stories, invite relationships, navigate uncertainty, and imagine new ways of being in the world.

Catherine (Cat) Hugo

Arts Therapist 

MA Creative Arts Therapy


 Cat has a Master of Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical) programme at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design.

She previously worked for more than two decades in graphic design, architecture and interior design, both within New Zealand and abroad. The pandemic saw her shift gears to study arts therapy, motivated by a desire to contribute to wellbeing initiatives more directly and meaningfully within her community.

Her work centres on establishing nurturing therapeutic spaces that empower individuals to tap into their innate creativity, fostering a greater sense of confidence and well-being.

Cat deeply believes in the transformative power of the arts in supporting marginalised groups, prioritising mindfulness and play in her work.

She has loved her work at Māpura, appreciating the safe and supportive environment it provides to the broader community.

Diana McPherson






Diana has a business background in management and company director roles working with and leading a diverse range of people. She has specialised in financial and business management and brings a practical business operational perspective to Māpura Studios. Diana has been with Māpura for 8 years and loves the amazing and inspirational people that come to Māpura.

She sees her role here as managing a collaboration of creative and administration staff all of whom are dedicated to changing people’s lives through the medium of the arts. Diana believes Māpura Studios has a unique synergy of art and art therapy delivered by a team of highly skilled and qualified facilitators.

Diana is a singer and leads her own a’cappella group as well as participating in larger groups of singers and quartets.

Dr Huhana (Susan) Hickey


MNZM, MInstD, PhD (Law) (University of Waikato)


Dr Huhana Hickey (Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui) has a long standing interest in the human rights of people from marginal backgrounds and the consequences of discrimination and social oppression.

She is a scholar of disabilities research and legal theory, and is noted for the breadth of her published cross-disciplinary research.

Dr Hickey currently sits on the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal and in 2018 Huhana was appointed as a director to the Housing NZ board and manages her own consulting company, called Pukenga Consultancy.

As the recipient of a main benefit, Dr Hickey brings lived experience of the welfare system.


Ursula Valeli

Community Development Co-ordinator

BFA Fashion Design



Ursula joined Māpura Studios in 2017 as a volunteer and quickly joined staff, assisting Diana with grant writing.

Her role has grown and covers a range of aspects relating to community development. She co-ordinates with The Stroke Foundation to put together our stroke art therapy groups and builds our reach to South Auckland.

Ursula is passionate about the work Māpura does. Her background in the fashion industry and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, allows her to thrive in the creative atmosphere of the studio. She has first-hand experience of disability after caring for her eldest son Reuben who sadly passed away in 2012 from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

From time to time her other two boys, Peniamina and Tama, can be found at the studio and they keep her busy when she is not at Māpura.

John Ferriss

Community Engagement/Communications




John’s background is in broadcasting and advertising. His passion, however, is visual art. In 2017, he devoted his Wednesday mornings to volunteer in the Studio Practice class.

John found he could not spend enough time at Māpura so he started looking after the social media accounts and joined the Board.

In mid-2021, he joined staff and took on the role of Community Engagement and Communications.

He also coordinates the MOA (Māpura Online Artists) programme.

Alex McPherson

Arts Administrator/
Student Liaison

Bachelor Fine Art (Elam)


Alex is a practising artist and has an extensive background running and owning private commercial galleries and in administration support.

Alex has a degree in Fine Art from Elam School of Fine Art and is primarily a painter working with oils, inspired by nature's flora, fauna, and people.

Alex loves the creative environment Māpura Studios provides, and enjoys the opportunity to work with like-minded arty people, both staff and students.

She lives in Northland with her partner and two dogs, Kowhai and Toto, making the commute to Māpura in Auckland every second week, and working from home the other.
Toto often travels with her to the studio and is a well loved character at Māpura.

Cath O'Brien

Arts Tutor

Bachelor of Visual Arts
Bachelor of Nursing


Cath is an artist and works as an art tutor at Māpura . “I’m constantly inspired by the artists at Mapura and their ability to communicate their ideas and personal experience visually.”
She enjoys working with artists from marginal groups to explore opportunities for visual communication in creative spaces, in digital media and print, and in public spaces.

Cath also worked creatively with children for 10 years hosting creative spaces at Mairangi Arts Centre and her studio at Lake House Arts.

She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from AUT and is also a Registered Nurse.

Visit @make_like_a_tree on Instagram to find out more about past projects. You can see examples of her own visual practice on Instagram @damhsaofaeons

Alvie McKree

Art Tutor/

Bachelor Fine Art (Hons)
Master Fine Art
Dip Art Therapy


Poata Alvie McKree (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, St Vincent, Barbados) is an interdisciplinary artist, Qoya teacher and arts therapy advocate. She completed both her BFA Hons and MFA at Elam School of Fine Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy through Whitecliffe.

Alvie is passionate about the healing potential that creative practices offer, and loves encouraging students to take themselves out of their creative comfort zones and to surprise themselves with what emerges as a result.

In her personal creative practice, Alvie is committed to telling stories that foster connection to the earth, the ancestors, other peoples, and the divine. This manifests variously through writing for live performance, facilitating therapeutic art and movement workshops, and offering ritual and ceremonial gatherings for women. Her current practice involves using performance and textile-based installations to reimagine the lived experiences of her ancestors as a means of healing the rifts in cultural identity caused by colonisation, migration, and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Joanne Sykes

Art Therapist



Joanne is an Art Psychotherapist who trained and worked in Scotland before moving to New Zealand in 2023. She has specialised in working in schools and community settings providing therapeutic support for children and their families.

Prior to becoming an art therapist Joanne has many years experience in both creative expression and care work, through her work as an intellectual disability nurse and her own creative art practice. She has found these two worlds of care and creativity are an intrinsic part to our individual well being and are often entwined into our sense of belonging and connection with the world around us.

Joanne's own interest in art and creativity is what led her to studying at Edinburgh College of Art, Since then she has gone on to work in community art settings, where creativity and wellbeing are strongly connected and has combined her interests through her continued studies which have included Nursing and Floristry prior to beginning her art therapy training.

Joanne uses all strands of her knowledge and experience to inform her therapeutic practice and strives to provide holistic, client led support. She offers client's the opportunity to explore their emotions and express themselves through creativity. She works in a non judgemental and empathetic way, creating a supportive and trusting environment for the client to feel open to inner reflections at their own pace.


Since arriving in New Zealand Joanne has begun studying Reflexology and is enjoying finding new ways to connect the body and mind through holistic approaches.

Dave Kane

Music Tutor

Level 4 Cert in Manakitanga/Social Services from Te Wānaga Aotearoa



Dave has either been learning, listening, playing or working in music since he can remember and is now playing and writing music with some of our students.

Being a parent of two young adults on the ASD and ADHD spectrums means Dave brings an understanding of neurodiversity and some of the challenges facing the disabled community.

His interests include: writing, playing and recording music, building robots and space craft from junk, making bread, researching local history and hot yoga.

Daneil (Dan) Cunningham

Art Tutor

Artist, Facilitator, Trainee Arts Therapist, Yoga Teacher.



Dan is a multidisciplinary artist. He trained as a performer in the UK, Estonia and Poland. Dan is a 500Hr Yoga New Zealand registered teacher.

Dan lived in London till 2020, where he presented his solo performances and taught creative movement and body work in four drama schools. In his life, Dan has experienced the transformational power of yoga, mindfulness practices and artmaking. He is passionate about sharing holistic movement and creative work with people.

Dan completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Creative Arts Therapy in 2022 and he is currently a trainee Arts Therapist completing his Masters in Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical) at Whitecliffe. Dan currently works as an Expressive Arts Therapist at The Kindness Institute, Kōwhai Intermediate and Māpura Studios.

Jenny Gordon

Music Therapist



Jenny, a registered music therapist, is particularly interested in resourcing people into their own well-being – “living the best life you can, given who you are” – and therefore aging well.

As a musician, Jenny’s main instrument is her voice and she plays guitar, piano, ukulele and sometimes tenor saxophone. Her strengths are facilitating and leading singing groups and she believes that singing, in particular group singing, has both physiological, psychological and social benefits that are helpful in one’s well-being. Jenny works with many people in the aged care sector and also those with age-related neurological conditions.

Music has been an integral part of Jenny’s life.  She has been and is part of many singing and/or band groups, has taught music at an intermediate school for many years, and now enjoys “musicking” (being with people in and through music) in her music therapy practice.

Allyson Hamblett

Disability Advisor

Bachelor Art
Dip Library
Nat. Cert. Computing (Level 2 & 3)



Allyson has been involved with Māpura Studios since 2002 as an artist, and joined the team in 2006.   University, and a Diploma in Library and Information Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.

Allyson Is currently co-chair of the Local Advisory Committee of  CCS Disability Action Auckland and was on the Board of Auckland Rainbow Community Church Te Whare Karakia Āniwaniwa ki Tāmaki Makaurau from 2020 to 2023.

She has written 3 books, including “My Art Journey with Mapura Studios”, a book that showcases 20 years of artwork

Emma Cooper-Williams

Board Trustee



I have lived in Tāmaki Makaurau since 2003, after moving up from Te Whanganui-a-Tara before starting school.

I have had a strong interest in music since I was at primary school and wrote and performed my original music for a number of years.

I live with a physical disability and use a wheelchair some of the time; I am committed to supporting inclusive opportunities and access within arts spaces.

Kalisolaite (Ite) ‘Uhila

Art Tutor

Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology in 2010, Masters of Performance & Media Arts in 2016.


Tongan born Kalisolaite 'Uhila’s innovative visual art uses metaphor to express ideas and provoke audience introspection.

His experiential performances have involved living rough on the streets of Auckland for three months, and living as a pig in a crate, as well as conducting the waves of the Pacific Ocean from its shore.

Through his work he explores cultural, social and political themes such as urban homelessness, and how the ocean can connect people from distant, disparate nations. He has also examined how traditional Tongan notions of the relationship between people and sacred animals, like pigs, intersect with Western ideas.

He provokes and challenges audiences to confront prejudices in order to understand works that oscillate between Tongan and Western notions of self, space and time.

Emilia Rubio

Dance/Movement Therapist
Expressive Arts Therapist
Professional Dancer and Art Facilitator

DTAA (Prof.DMT) Reg.No.220-05


Emilia is an interdisciplinary artist who studied a post graduate diploma in Dance Movement Therapy (Argentina,2016).  She also received a post graduated diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (Peru, 2017) and completed the Certificate of Advanced Graduated Studies in Research, Leadership and Training in Expressive Arts Therapy, Education and Consulting from The European Graduate School-Faculty of the division of Arts, Health and Society (Switzerland, 2021)

Emilia is very passionate about the role of arts as a psychotherapeutic form and the idea that creativity enhances the well-being of all people (tangata). She centres her work to encounter the participants own expressions and develop their sense of self and confidence, valuing engagement and interacting individually and in a group setting. She combines different creative arts modalities to encourage curiosity and inspiration, trust the art process journey and to illuminate what emerges.

Emilia leads inclusive community programmes in the studio and satellite classes:  Movement and Art, Expressive Movement Therapy, Kids Creative Therapy, Expressive Arts and Wellness and Creativity.

She also works at Te Whatu Ora at Mason Clinic.

Jane Bawden

Board Trustee

Jane is a parent of an artist and is an experienced lawyer, director and trustee, CEO and advisor in disability.

She is grateful for the opportunity to support Māpura Studios as trustee.

Lea Schlatter

Art Tutor

 BFA (hons) Photography, Film and Video
MPhil Visual Arts
PgDip Creative Arts Therapies


Lea moved to New Zealand at a young age with her family and grew up on a farm in Tauranga. She loves being outdoors and embraces te tai ao/the natural world within her art practice.

Having followed her passion for the arts, Lea completed her Fine Art degree at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (2014) and her Master of Philosophy in Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology (2020). As an immigrant in Aotearoa New Zealand, Lea explores movement through spaces in her creative work. Playfully exploring with different mediums from clay to textiles to dance/movement, Lea believes that art has a special power that brings people together and creates avenues for individual and collective growth.

Through her interests in community arts and art for wellbeing, Lea discovered Māpura Studios in 2022. She enjoys the vibrant community and the ability to work with a wealth of talented artists.

Lea is a student of art therapy, currently completing her education at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Creative Art Therapies.

Margaret Feeney

Art Tutor

 BA (Art History) from Victoria University, Wellington
MFA from RMIT, Melbourne


Margaret is an artist and works from her studio at Port Waikato.

Margaret sees Māpura, and its satellite studios, as spaces where the important business of connecting to ideas and other people can happen. She is in awe of the artists’ mahi, and of the high concept/low tech ethos of the studios which maintains the kaupapa of courage and invention.

Margaret’s main project is A Black Comedy in Pastels which plays with the human shift of mind and environment from culture/ nature to culture/ culture, as if we were the product of culture alone, and are not part of nature. A focus is Wild Animal Glyphs: the idea that animals are complex and communicate with each other, we just don’t hear them.

Paula Green

Board Trustee



Kia ora koutou.
Ko Horouta te Waka
Ko Hikurangi te Maunga
Ko Waiapu te Awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te Iwi
Ko Paula ahau
Ngā mihi.

I am Paula, a proud descendant of Māori heritage and the heart of Pohū Arts.
A creative force with a heart for culture and community.​

My story began in the humble town of Manurewa in South Auckland, where as a child, my fascination with art was evident. From 'painting' on my bedroom walls to sketching with a pen in the crib, creativity was my constant companion, much to the exasperation of my mother.

In my youth, the allure of architectural design and the creation of spaces captured my imagination. I embarked on the path of a traditional draftsperson, dreaming that one day I might become an architect. However, my journey took a different turn, leading me to discover a love for creating events that celebrate the unique stories, people, and culture that make Aotearoa special. This passion became the cornerstone of my career, where I delved into VIP handling, travel organisation, and the orchestration of events, both small and large, spanning local and international stages.​

As life unfolded, I found myself coming full circle, rediscovering my initial love for art and spaces. This renaissance was deeply influenced by the exploration of my Māori heritage, language, and the Te Ao Māori worldview concepts that resonate within me.​

Today, alongside my husband Steve who is the strategic mind guiding our waka, I am the heart of our organisation that breathes life into our endeavours. We are blessed with three beautiful tamariki and continue to call my childhood home in Manurewa our haven.​

Our journey is a reflection of the melding of tradition and innovation, artistry and events, and the enduring connection to the land and stories that define us.​

Thank you for joining us on this journey of creativity, culture, and community.

Rachael Burke

Art Tutor

Bachelor Fine Art (hons)



Rachael joined Māpura Studios in February 2022. She completed a Fine Art degree with (Honors) at Whitecliffe in 2021.

Rachael has always had a deep fascination for the human condition. Her creative practice, right from the onset, has been an ongoing exploration relating to perceptions of identity and selfhood. Working primarily in collage, her studio practice aims to investigate the multifaceted contemporary identity relating to concepts of the self.  

Rachael’s practice traverses the liminal state between light and dark, death and rebirth and that's not literal, it has a lot to do with trying to find spiritual connection and psychological growth. The fact that Identity is created through hidden processes, that we become individuals through metamorphosis, living in a constant state of flux are key concepts crucial to her practice.

Rachael believes that art holds a deeper meaning for both the individual and the collective, where one can connect to self-understanding, personal growth and transformation. For Rachael, creative expression serves as a way for us to make sense and clarify inner experiences that often words alone cannot.

Sam Knegt

Art tutor

Bachelor Design



Sam is an artist, illustrator and trainee creative arts therapist. She completed a BDes at Massey in 2018 and is currently completing her Masters in Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical) at Whitecliffe.

She joined Māpura in 2020 and has worked alongside artists in a variety of programmes such as kids art club, young adults on the spectrum, creatives in schools, the stroke programme and open studios. She is passionate about community well-being and the healing role that artmaking has in these spaces.

Curiosity, playfulness, compassion and connection are core values Sam has in her work and life.

Currently, Sam's own art practice is scattered across several modalities with a focus on creating imaginary worlds and ridiculous characters through comics and soft sculpture.

Sarah Rankin

Art Tutor

Bachelor Fine Art
Masters Teaching


Sarah joined Māpura in 2012 and worked in a variety of programmes and modalities before pursuing further study. She is delighted to return to Māpura and to participate in the transformative work taking place there.

She completed a BFA(Hons) at Elam in 2010 and a M(Teach) at Auckland University in 2016. Her work within secondary, tertiary and community based education informs the contextual responsiveness she brings to her work at Māpura.

In her own art practice Sarah is interested in linguistic inflections and limitations, oral storytelling and the mercurial nature of memory.

Shiraz Sadikeen

Art tutor

BA (International Relations) Victoria University Wellington
Bachelor Fine Arts (Elam School of Fine Arts)
Master Fine Art (Elam School of Fine Arts)


Shiraz Sadikeen is a practising artist and has been working at Māpura Studios since 2017, after volunteering for a period in the teens group. He is also engaged part time as a support worker.

He loves the atmosphere and social energy of the studio and the variety of artistic expression that comes out of it. Shiraz has mostly been tutoring in the Cartooning group where the unique modes of drawing and narrative construction constantly amuse and surprise.

He sees his role as supporting the work of others and making space for their personalities and artistic expression to flourish.

Stefan Neville

Arts/Music Facilitator




Stefan grew up in Northland, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato. He is a Pākehā of Scottish descent.

Stefan is an experienced musician, artist, and disability support worker. His roles at Māpura Studios combine all three of those worlds perfectly.

As a self-taught musician on a wide range of instruments, Stefan has been creating, performing, recording, and releasing records for over 30 years. In bands, collaborations and as a solo artist, he has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, Australia, USA, Europe and Japan. He is a qualified audio engineer able to produce live sound for events as well as recording and producing for record releases. He hosts and produces the monthly Māpura Studios radio shows which are broadcast via AFM.

Stefan's visual art practice has long complemented his music making, providing images for album covers, posters and T-shirts. He has self-published comics/art books and has had work included in international comics anthologies. His work exhibited in NZ and Australia includes drawings, printmaking, paintings, sound works and multimedia installations.

He is a qualified level 3 Community Support Worker having worked for Idea Services providing creative programs, activities, and personal care for a West Auckland day service for 4 years. He also worked providing community home support for Healthcare NZ for 12 years.

He loves dogs, vinyl records & rugby league.

Tim Danko

Art Tutor

BFA in printmaking ( VCA)
Grad Dip in Electronic Design and Interactive Media (RMIT, Melbourne)
Masters in Visual Art (AUT)


Tim has been producing comics for 35 years in Melbourne and Auckland and has had his work published and exhibited in both countries, as well as in France, Canada, Latvia and Croatia.

His comics have been acquired in the print collection of the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. He has been a tutor in digital animation and design at Natcoll as well as running comic workshops for all ages in Australia and New Zealand. Tim’s short film work has screened at the Auckland international Film Festival and Melbourne Super-8 Film Festival.

The Māpura cartooning group’s comics have been awarded multiple best of zinefest awards in Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland zinefests over the last four years, and comic publications from the group have been preserved in the Silent Army Archive (Melbourne) and The New Zealand Cartoon and Comics Archive, National Library of New Zealand.

Xu Ping

Art Tutor

Bachelor Arts Graphic Design (AUT)
Master Arts (AUT)


Xu Ping is currently studying for a Master of Creative Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe College, heading into her final year.

Art has been a central aspect of Xu Ping’s life since childhood. She began practising calligraphy at the age of four, laying the foundation for her artistic journey. She received formal training as an art teacher in China, completing a comprehensive three-year programme that encompassed Western and Eastern art history, life sketching, acrylic painting, Chinese calligraphy, and Chinese ink painting. Subsequently, she embarked on a career as an art teacher and later evolved into a professional graphic designer.

After relocating to New Zealand, she pursued her academic aspirations by obtaining a Bachelor Degree of Graphic Design and establishing herself as a professional commercial photographer. This was followed by the attainment of a Master of Arts degree at AUT.

Xu Ping has obtained recognition throughout the years, including being a Finalist in the Wallace Art Award 2014, Silver and Bronze awards in the Iris Annual Photography Awards 2008, and Bronze in the Epson Photography Awards 2003. Her artwork “Between Likeness and Unlikeness” is part of the Arts House Trust collection, having been acquired in 2013.

Dr Peter Haynes

Board Chair



Peter Haynes has served as Chair of the Trust that governs Māpura Studios since July 2020.

He worked as an energy policy advisor in the Ministry of Energy, private secretary to the Minister of Energy, employment advocate and senior lecturer in management before election to the Albert-Eden Local Board of Auckland Council, of which he was Chairperson from 2010 to 2019. He has served on the boards of various non-profit organisations.

Peter feels privileged to support the work of Māpura Studios and is excited by its recent expansion into outreach and online programmes. He identifies the need to keep the organisation’s strategic focus and governance structures current in rapidly changing times as a priority.

Karen Fraser-Payne

Board Trustee



Karen Fraser Payne has a background in communications, government, the arts, and the disability sector, and is an accredited communications practitioner.

Karen is currently acting general manager for Hohepa Auckland, a residential facility for people with intellectual disabilities.

She is also a director of Hohepa Auckland and Dance Aotearoa (DANZ) and is a former founding trustee and chair of Touch Compass Dance Trust.

For the last eight years Karen was general manager for Touch Compass and prior to that was private secretary tourism to the Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Tourism, and for eight years was the corporate affairs manager for Auckland International Airport.

Karen has an adult daughter with a disability and is passionate about enabling equal access for people with disabilities to all aspects of society.

Kerry Deane

Board Trustee




Kerry Deane is a former lawyer whose 35 year as a practising lawyer was brought to an abrupt end when he suffered a major stroke in 2015. Māpura Studios became, for him, a silver lining to the dark cloud which descended upon his life  six and a half years ago. He attends the Thursday morning stroke class at Māpura which has forged a new life and passion for him. He reports that Māpura has been his salvation.

Kerry’s legal career began in the Criminal arena where he appeared in countless criminal jury trials as defence counsel. Over time his practice metamorphised, first into general practice where he worked in property law and the law of trusts, and secondly into commercial contracts and disputes.

Chloe Mao

Art Tutor

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Whitecliffe College of Art & Design




Chloe came to New Zealand from China in 2003. She enjoys the balance between Eastern and Western cultures.

Chloe explores the meaning of life and relationships between people through 2D and 3D artworks. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, and her choice of materials ranges from clay, modelling paste, felts, to marker pens and paint. She prefers a playful approach and often uses child-like styles to explore deep existential topics and meaning. She wants to portray the complexities of our world with innocence.

Chloe is passionate about art education and using her visual art skills to help others. She engages regularly with young people and with adults, including people with disabilities more recently through her work at Mapura Studios in visual art learning. Through close contact with different people, art helps people open their hearts to one another and in Chloe's view, conversation is an art in itself.

Gabrielle Stoddard

Art Tutor

Bachelor Visual Arts (AUT), Dip Creative Arts Therapy



Gabrielle joined Māpura as a volunteer at the start of 2021 and has been working across a range of sessions in the Morningside studio and off-site locations. She is grateful for the warmth and inspiration the community at Māpura shares week to week and enjoys seeing the connections, creativity, and collaborations that are alive in the studio daily.

Gabrielle's creative practice is motivated by her project-led approach, which is often collaborative and multidisciplinary. Gabrielle is interested in working alongside others to support an expansion of creative capacity and find connectivity and support for well-being.

Gabrielle is a trainee Arts Therapist finishing her Masters in Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical) at Whitecliffe.

Laura Tremaine

Art Tutor

Bachelor Drama, Grad Dip in Science in Psychology


Laura is a clown, musician, comedian, and psychotherapist-in-training.

She graduated as a drama teacher in Córdoba, Argentina. She moved to New Zealand in 2019 and has been working in organisations that support disabilities and mental health, mostly leading juggling and puppet groups. Laura studied psychology at the Catholic University of Cordoba and at Victoria University, Wellington.

She is currently studying to qualify as a psychotherapist at AUT.


Sonny Tuiletufuga

Art Tutor

Cert Contemporary Music (Te Wananga o Aotearoa)



Sonny is passionate about family, music, art, sport, cooking, his culture and community.

After leaving school, Sonny worked as a screen printer and this led him to designing his own merchandise. He has been involved in two fashion shows with Southside Represent where he designed and sold his merchandise.

His career in fashion includes designing the costumes and styling up-and-coming model Raven Henry in the Kanorau Beauty Pageant 2023. Raven was the overall winner and took home seven awards, including Mr Photogenic, Mr People’s Choice, and Men’s Best Casual.

Sonny has been published by Kavateen magazine in Australia. He was a radio host with Rep FM for five years, ending up as their Programme Director.

In a varied cultural and sporting life, Sonny played premier rugby league for over a decade with the Manukau Magpies and Richmond Bulldogs. He coached the Manukau Magpies U12/13, taking them to their first ever championship round. He fed the homeless of South Auckland for a year and a half while on ACC. He also produced a song for the artist Marina that was included on the Polynesian Panthers Women of the Dawn compilation. Sonny has deep spiritual beliefs as a practising Christian.


Merrin Fagan

Studio Coordinator

Master of Arts (Hons), GradDipTchg (Secondary)



Merrin joined Māpura at the beginning of 2023, having been a secondary school Drama teacher for the past 20 years.

Prior to teaching, Merrin worked in retail and hospitality management.

Merrin keeps active in the creative realm through fabric/clothing design and wearable art construction. Being part of the dynamic and ever-changing environment of the studio informs and invigorates her own making practice. Theatre design, performance and costume construction are also some of her areas of focus.

Outside of the studio, she loves travelling, cooking, being in nature and spending time with family and friends.

Leticia Durant

Art Therapist

Bachelor Visual Arts(Hons), MA Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical), Cert. Dance Movement Therapy


Leticia (she/they) (Ngāti Raukawa, Pākehā) is an artist and registered creative arts therapist from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Since 2016, she has been supporting people in various spaces to explore hauora through the arts.

Leticia started as a volunteer in the North Shore art group in 2021 and was inspired by the creativity and mana-enhancing community of Māpura. They came on board as an arts therapist/arts facilitator in 2022 after graduating from an MA in Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical).

During their BVA(Hons) Leticia’s responsive, performance-based works played off the mystery, humour and stories of artefacts and the everyday. Since then, her arts-practice has developed into a multidisciplinary mish-mash. Guided by the creative presence in daily life and concerned with the act of poiesis. Recent works draw on her living experience as a neurodivergent person exploring themes of self/ves, identity and voice.

Dawn Hutchesson

Studio Co-ordinator



Dawn is an experienced General Manager and Sector Specialist in the not-for-profit sector.

During her career she has held a variety of roles across a range of not-for-profit and community organisations including General Manager of the Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance, CoLab Manager for an innovation creative technology centre at AUT, General Manager of Circability Trust, Project Lead for two regional arts and cultural strategies, and Sector Specialist (consultant) for ATEED and SAE Auckland.

Dawn loves to give support to change making organisations and supporting the development of programmes that achieve optimum social impact such as Māpura Studios.


Maununu (Nunu) Sa’anga Ama

Pacific Cultural Connector       


Nunu and her three children came to Aotearoa New Zealand from Samoa in 2013 to join her husband. Her son, Ululau, started attending classes at Māpura Studios two years later and Nunu accompanied him as his supporter from 2016 as he was having seizures.

As she had to spend a lot of time in the studio, Nunu was invited to join the class as an artist, and she discovered she could paint and draw. Ululau and Nunu would inspire each other, and they have grown together as artists. They regularly feature in Māpura exhibitions, and their work graces the walls of many homes.

As Pacific Cultural Connector, Nunu supports Pacific art awareness in the studio and in the community, particularly to Pacific people living with disability.

Nunu expresses her spiritual beliefs through her creativity.



Sacha Kronfeld

Art Tutor

BFA, Grad. Dip. Tchg (Secondary)


Sacha Kronfeld graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1995, majoring in printmaking. After finishing a Post-graduate Diploma in teaching she taught art to secondary school students, working as a sole charge teacher at St Marys College and later at Waitakere High teaching Art History and painting to senior students.

During these years she continued to develop her work as an artist exhibiting at Oedipus Rex and in various group shows. Sacha has long been interested in personal development and involved herself in numerous related activities including  completing  a preliminary year to a Masters in Psychotherapy at AUT, participation in major creativity development programmes with Wings, and extensive training in yoga.

In more recent times her creative life has been consumed by the birth of her two children Manawa and Malia. Sacha is excited to be a part of the  team and is drawn to teaching Art in an environment where creativity is about  community, is inclusive and is therapeutic in approach.